‘Kin’ Directors Tell You Why Having a Black Lead Was So Important
We got a chance to sit down and speak with Director/Writers Jonathan and Josh Baker of the movie Kin. The film stars newcomer Myles Truitt, Dennis Quaid, James Franco and more. Kin tells the story of Eli who comes across some a strange alien/futuristic weapon that is being hunted by some mysterious characters. At the same time, Eli must go on the run with his brother Jimmy as a deranged loan shark is hot on their tail. You can read or watch our review for Kin here.
In our interview with the directors, we got a chance to discuss a range of topics ranging from what inspired this film’s story, to the challenges of balancing two different genres. However, they especially emphasized on the particular topic of the significance of having a black lead in the film.
The Movie Blog: Can you talk about the significance of having a black lead character, I mean you could have just made him another white guy.
Josh: Yeah. Well, look it’s interesting because we’re in a post Black Panther world right now, and we made the short [film “Bag Man”] back in 2014… We had a we had a black lead in that. There was no way we were ever going to change that moving into a movie. And some people might think that by making him adopted into a Polish family in Detroit is you know white-washing a short film. It really isn’t, once you’ve seen the film and you know where it’s going there is a…
Jonathan: There’s a reason for all of the decisions…The main one for us was like I mentioned before, it is a little bit more of an interesting visual to contrast this kid into an adopted family, and have him feel like he never fully belongs and connects and knows his place in this world. That as a place for a character is a really interesting place to start.
The Movie Blog: Can you talk to me about Myles?
Jonathan: That was a real joy… To find a kid Myles Truitt from Atlanta, never done a movie before, I mean honestly it was the blind leading the blind over here. Because it’s our first movie and his first movie and we’re surrounding ourselves with really-really experienced talent (you know) Dennis Quaid, James Franco. And he held his own, its his movie and he’s right at the centrepiece of most of these.
Josh: We did a casting call out across America and probably saw two hundred fifty to three hundred kids. A lot of them have a certain vibe on camera. A lot of them are a little slick, a little cool and it’s not really what we’re after. A lot of them came with like big energy, that’s not really what we’re after either. We wanted someone in insular, someone that could hold their own in a room full of adults, but was emotionally mature…had something in the eyes and was quite quiet at the end of the day.
Jonathan: And there is a darkness to this movie, just as there was a light…It’s that duality that I think Myles is really good at juggling because he’s surrounded by so much mistakes, and he’s taken down this bad road, and his relationship with this alien technology is not necessarily a good one. It’s influencing him in a bad way and… we just had to sort of juggle that relationship between darkness and light… I think it’s both things.
For the rest of the interview, be sure to check it out below. The Baker Bros continue to give some very insightful information about Kin and more.
Full Interview: Josh and Jonathan Baker
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi , Drama
Director: Jonathan Baker, Josh Baker
Writer: Jonathan Baker, Josh Baker
Stars: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid