That's cool guys! Casey sat down with Yellowstone star Denim Richards! This guy is amazing and really makes for great conversations.
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Interview scheduled byJeffrey Haas
Theme music by Good Co Music:
Steve the Robot likes denim, both the person and the pants.
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Welcome again for another country spoiler episode on today's show, let's talk about denim. richards Denim is starring alongside great guys like Kevin Costner and Jesus Christ. Let me start from the beginning.
Casey:Problem. Forgiveness. I'm going through my notes here. OK. ok guys Welcome back, in another country spoiler episode on the show today, we're going to be talking about denim.
Richards Denim can be seen in a show alongside Kevin Costner. The show is on the Paramount Network and it's amazing. Folks, if you haven't visited Yellowstone yet, do yourself a favour. Cash. It's now in its third season. Jeans. How are you?
Jeans-Richards:i am excellent Thank you for getting me so excited to have some time to chat with you.
Casey:Man, I'm happy, so, okay.
Me, I'm new to Yellowstone [00:01:00] and was kind of joking along with my wife doesn't like anything and she liked the show. Oh,
Jeans-Richards:That's good. That's great man.
Casey:it is solid. it is great
Jeans-Richards:Fun. Yes. Yes. A lot, it's a super, you know, I think Yellowstone for a lot of people. I think it is. It's really interesting because as you mentioned in the intro, we're in our third season, but it really feels like she's really recovered in season three.
Although it was a really nice success, you know, seasons one and two, but I feel like season three really caught fire. and so a lot of people just get into it. and so yeah I mean the show is so much fun and it's something like that. You know, you don't have a lot of shows on TV or even in movies that do what we do, you know, Yellowstone or the ranch if you will.
and it's so exciting to be able to work with cattle and ride horses and just be in nature. [00:02:00] and also bring in that city element. So it's really fun to be on such a great show with such a great cast, but it's also even more amazing that we're kind of starring in something that you just don't see on TV.
And in that respect, it really sets us apart. And that's really amazing. Oh yeah.
Casey:Certainly unique and yes. when I see you guys doing what you're doing on the show just because I can talk to other people who are in a movie. They train you a lot. When you ride a horse, it's a responsibility.
Then they will train you like hell. How was it?
Jeans-Richards:It was, you know, it was really amazing. I think this year, even more so, this year, when we were getting ready to shoot season four, I think it was just, you know, it was a bit ramped up, I think, which is really exciting, you know, I think. .
You know, every show you do, especially when you [00:03:00] do a movie, you train a little bit, and then you train and then the training generally ends because it ends now the film is over end. and then even with a TV show you don't usually know how long it's going to be.
Everyone expects that when they get on a show, it will last forever. You know, and it's really been an amazing opportunity where every year we feel like we've just gotten more and more advanced in our, you know, writing and our lasso and, you know, beef cutting and all that other really exciting things that you wouldn't normally do, you know, in your day-to-day life or circumstances, unless you lived on a farm or you went to the rodeo circus.
And the amazing thing about this show is that we have so many phenomena. Rodeo men who have won and won championships and awards and stuff like that. So we really trained the best of the best and can play with them and then be so patient with us and learn everything we learn.
Yes, I mean, it's really a [00:04:00] once in a lifetime opportunity, but for all of us. I just loved the process of the horse and the training because, like I said, maybe you don't usually have the opportunity to do it for that long. And now, as we head into the season, Ford is doing just that.
It's even more exciting because now we're like, okay, we've done it. We were here. And now they're throwing new things at us, new challenges. So it's really exciting to see how we've grown, not just as a show with an audience, but as a cast with our writing style and all our confidence, you know, cattle, etc.
Casey:You really. Gone is all of Daniel Day Lewis' immersion mode in the thing you're portraying here. Yes.
Casey:The show falls by the wayside. A career awaits you. Yes.
Jeans-Richards:Yes. You know, it's a, you know, it really is. You know, [00:05:00] it's so cool because you know Taylor Sheridan, who is, you know, the sole creator and, you know, the writer and director of these seasons one and two, you know , who is truly the visionary of it all.
And, you know, he was so big and so persistent that we didn't just play cowboys. He wanted us to be as cowboys as possible. and that's why they, he really went through it, you know, and Biocon Mountain, they really wasted all their resources. You know, on this show, we as actors can have such an immersive experience.
You know, with that, because like you said, it's like, you know, usually when you do something like that, okay, maybe you do it once or twice, or, you know, sometimes that's one thing where it like that, no, how. We really want you guys to be the best, so when the audience is watching it never feels like they are watching actors.
And, you know, I think it's just a testament to the great writing and the great relationship and the great vision that Taylor [00:06:00] got with this show to really put it like that it seems. You know, I want it to challenge us as artists and actors to constantly improve our game. But we are also competitive.
And that really creates an opportunity to build bonds when you also add that kind of diverse competition, which is really great.
Casey:that's cool man. So if you go into that, start with, you came in season one but you didn't like it. Another permanent cast member.
Jeans-Richards:To the right.
Casey:and then they made you come all day.
How was the feeling? Did you feel like you had just met something new? How was it?
Jeans-Richards:Well, you know, I think, you know, I'm pretty big, you know, it's all about seed time and harvest time and, you know, even though I wasn't made into a series regular, or I think season, until last season 3 that everyone is watching right now, you know, I've been on pretty much every episode except, I think, up to this point.
[00:07:00] So it was just another, an opportunity where, you know, you're in a position for a reason, and you have different perspectives on every situation you get into. You can look at this as an opportunity to grow, as an opportunity to learn. Or you can sit back and have a bad attitude about it and say, oh, I wish I had more.
I wish I would. I wish I would. I decided that I wanted to use this as a chance, a learning opportunity, but also a way to cultivate even more from the outside-in, or rather the inside-out. And so it allowed me to sit and sit.
Like watching all these other actors do what they do, the Kevin Costner and Nicole Houser of the world who have been doing it for so long. And that really gave me the opportunity that while I didn't always have a lot of lines to say, I had the opportunity to be in a lot of these different scenes with these different takes.
So I really had a great opportunity to just sit back and watch, and then. You know, when the regular series update came, it was [00:08:00] an amazing thing, obviously a, you know, you have this different sense of appreciation, but also this added sense of responsibility, you know, with such a show, that is, like the hit, it's the number one show on cable television.
And then when you get upgraded in that way, it's really a tremendous blessing and opportunity because it's such a big show. And you know, it also lets you know that they also see value in you and in things to come. And that's really amazing.
Casey:That's great man. So on the show you play alongside some who really like it. Big names in the area and people working since childhood. So I'm guessing you're probably a little younger than me if not the same age. I have 38
Casey:What is it like working with the Field of Dreams?
Man, I haven't worked with [00:09:00] Kevin Gossner.
Jeans-Richards:You know, it's, you know, it's one thing, you know, like you said, you know Kevin's been doing this longer than I've been alive. and so, you know, it's really something, you know, growing up and seeing so many of his different films and, you know, seeing different interviews and things like that.
And I don't think you can ever really imagine one. A world where you would be in whatever he would be in just because we're in such different places in our careers and everything, but you know, again, it's something that's been a really incredible opportunity . I tell people all the time, I really feel, you know, I've gained 20 years of artistic knowledge and information just by being with such an amazing cast.
and incredible directors who have done so much good. And to be able to see them and watch them in their process and their work and how considerate and giving they are, you know, even at this point in their careers. And that's, you know, something with Kevin is that, [00:10:00] you know, that's him.
He's been doing this for so long, but he's still a great strategist. He loves, you know, he really loves what he does and it's really cool and refreshing to see someone who's been doing it for so long. And if there are still so many awards and so much prestige, devote the same precision to your craft.
that, you know, so late in his career it's really an amazing thing to sit back and watch, you know, such a great learning opportunity.
Casey:That's great man. May I ask where you record?
Jeans-Richards:like where you
Casey:Do that, don't like details. I just want to know how are you guys, are you guys as far away as it looks on the show, are you guys in the middle of nowhere?
Jeans-Richards:We are. We're in the middle of Montana and the only reason I'm not saying the name is because we really had people like we have people now, that's [00:11:00] really funny. Like the other day we train. And we're all dry where it is at the end of the day. And this beautiful couple is sitting outside the ranch and we were sitting there and they were like, oh my god.
And they'll kick you out the door. No pictures are taken. Like we're from Texas. You know, so you think, you know, it's an amazing thing to see how the show is. But that's the way it is, mainly because of everything that's going on. It's like, yeah, the show's really caught up, you know, a major is kind of important, but yeah, we're, you know, we're in a really small town, you know, and it's right in the middle of it all, Montana and, you know , it's great, but it's definitely exactly how you see it on the show.
We like hundreds and hundreds of acres with just mountains and plains. It is for the most part what it is like from a very small town
Casey:It's breathtaking. Nice.
Jeans-Richards:and the broadcast
Casey:If the show didn't have other people, [00:12:00] it would be just fabulous, like a Montana commercial.
Jeans-Richards:That's like, right, right.
Casey:Hour-long episodes come to Montana because it's beautiful.
Jeans-Richards:Yes. You know, it's very relaxing, you know, it's a very relaxing place. And you know, especially for a lot of us that are on the show, we're from big cities. and you know you're on the coast.
And then, you know, for us it's also a great kind of reset and reload to slow down a bit too. So it's very peaceful and very beautiful and it's a great sunrise and sunset to wake up to every day because we're filming.
Casey:That's actually one thing I wanted to ask, this year it was. Interesting. It was really interesting, a lot of crazy things happened, a lot, just it's a one year old dumpster fire. And you are right in the middle
Jeans-Richards:nowhere. [00:13:00] You
Casey:feeling a little more removed from world news while on the go?
Jeans-Richards:I think the best way to respond is not to interrupt it, the best way to respond. Well, probably like a little bit more or separately. Yes and no. I mean, we still have, you know, we still have these, you know, a lot, these are real protocols that we have to go through.
It's not like we can come to Montana just like that. And then, you know, doing what we normally would. You know, we all do your test three times a day, three times a week, you know, and, you know, I have to, you know, have the distancing and all these other things, and, you know, we're going to be bars and restaurants and dislike all that other stuff.
so, you know, it's really as much as yes, you were probably born here. Disconnected from the world in terms of information flow, it's like being connected all the time. Yes. But as opposed to feeling like [00:14:00] somehow escaping everything that's going on, you know? NO.
You know, but that's the way it is, you know, we're one of the few productions that I've been able to wrap up and get back to work on. You know, we put in a lot of protocols to ensure that. You know, not only have we followed those guidelines, but we've gone above and beyond our call of duty.
So, you know, to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe and secure, you know, so like I said, we do all these things, so, you know, it's great to be able to do that. Kind of being in more space and kind of being with people you've worked with over the past few years, but it's not necessarily like you're completely disconnecting because you know every time you're being tested , something have a good room for you.
Have a good memory of the times we are in.
Casey:That's good because they welcome you and with you because that's scary where I am right now. Well, the infection rates are
Casey:very loud and, yes, quite distracting.
I have two young children and we keep them away from school.
Casey:Yes. That's just a choice we're making. Then,
Jeans-Richards:You know, everyone has to do what's best for them. And you know, that show, you know, with the Ur-Baya, they did a great job, like I said, they just made sure they were following all these protocols to make sure that.
You know, not only the cast but the crew was, you know, safe and, you know, we're what we call the Yellowstone bubble, if you will, where it's very similar, you know, this is what we do. And then we all end up going home and it's like we go to work and, you know, over and over again, like when you do that, you know, do tests three times a week and all these other things, you know , you feel, you know, really, you feel pretty confident, I think if you did you would say, you know, so you know they do whatever they have to do.
And that's why we're also really grateful that we can work for so many people in this [00:16:00] country now, you know, and during that time we can't have that opportunity to do that. You know, we're located really in a unique situation but we know we are definitely not taking this lightly and definitely not taking for granted the fact that we can truly go back to work.
Casey:Hey, can we talk about the Chickasaw Farmer?
Casey:So this film fascinates me. It looks amazing. And it's something to do that I think is really important, especially now when it comes to talking about people who are. The myth of the American West and the actual history of the American West could not be more different as far as American history is concerned, which has often been greatly overlooked, particularly the inclusion of African Americans in the West.
I mean they were cowboys, they were all out there.
Casey:Yeah, they were permanently [00:17:00] erased from history on purpose for that crap. Why was your writing experience so wrong?
Jeans-Richards:Well, you know, I think it's, you know, the Chickasaw Farmer is, like you said, it's something where, you know, we're not just talking about the African Americans, but also, you know, the Native Americans, the quoted Native Americans, you know, and being able to play a character who really lived in races was even better.
but like you said, you know, kind of retreat for a second, like yeah. You know, I think that's one of the things it is. But it's always so fascinating. A lot of what the cowboys got today from rodeos and stuff like that came from people like Ben, you know, Bill Pickett and all these other greats.
You know, men of color who stand up for these different things. And we did. We've done that in every country we've been to. We, you know, we cowboys, and we were in the country and we [00:18:00] did the cattle. We did these things, you know, of course not unlike Indians who were here, they're just people who were here first.
and you know, being able to be part of a movie. It really speaks to the depth of what it is and the relationship between the African American community as well as the Native American community and how they came together and worked for much of our history is pretty much the same.
and so many in so many ways really. You know, I think it's always been a thing for me as an artist that when I get the opportunity to be a part of anything, I hope that not only is it fun, but it's educational and uplifting. and as for me, that's something I really want to keep as art.
I think it's a beautiful thing when you can get into a mode where you can really talk about things that most people don't know or have just decided they don't feel. It is [00:19:00] necessary for them to know that. And when you're able to make some kind of entertainment, I think it breaks a lot of people's cognitive dissonance and allows them to be entertained but also educated.
And I think it's great to be able to do that. And so the Chickasaw farmer really has a great opportunity to combine these three things as well, namely entertainment, education and encouragement.
Casey:Yes. Yes. And yes, you get to work with some really interesting people. Dermot Mulroney is a great actor.
and you also work with many Native American actors and actresses.
Jeans-Richards:Yes. Yes. Like Martin Satisfier, who played the mop T Johnson, a great, you know, just a great actor, and, you know, you were, you know, and within the community, you know, and I think it is like, you know, you're not, you know, we're filming and we're filming and you know, on and on, well, Houma, who has a big, you know, a giant.
you know, the Native American community [00:20:00] and placed there with, you know, with the Chickasaw Nation, who, you know, fund and manufacture this thing. and so it was really amazing, even for me, you know, so much information that I already knew just to be a part of it and to be there.
So many beautiful people and learning more about their culture, heritage and also how, you know, the culture that I have as my heritage and my story, how they were so connected was so amazing. And I think it really helped build the bond, especially for. You know, Martin and I, who, as I said, play the mop T Johnson, and I play the character Jack Brown.
and so Jack Brown became Oklahoma's first tenant. And so, you know, it was really an amazing experience. Because you somehow manage to kill two birds with one stone. As I was, I'm extremely polite. And so I had the opportunity, you know, to learn from others, but also to incorporate what I knew from my own history.
And I think that's a kind of victory.
Casey:This is [00:21:00] amazing. I just noticed this monster, Martin, as is Meyer, the actor that was in the great seven and he was so badass in that movie. Oh dear God.
Jeans-Richards:Yes. Great. You know, and like I said, just another great artist and another great actor and, you know, like I said, to be able to act and see and kind of really draw the spotlight on you, knowing that kind of you, those different cultures and parts of history that are often overlooked, and bringing them to the forefront and making them a star is really amazing.
And I hope that there will be more and more types of movies and TV shows that really emphasize that in the future.
Casey:Yes. Yes. Then. How did you get into acting in the first place? What did you go to school for or did you just campaign for? You know, you just started auditioning.
how did you break in
Jeans-Richards:I mean I like all the streets, I guess you know I've been yeah I've been I think my first real time on stage, [00:22:00] I was in kindergarten and you know you do these really bad pieces. And I think we did it like that, it was like we had these meetings that we had every Friday and.
You know, kids, parents and teachers would join this gathering. If the parents could. And, you know, I thought I said, okay, you're going to use that character. You go in front of the stage. and then when I saw everyone there, I thought, well, I can't just walk up to the front of the stage.
There are all these people here. and in my head I kind of decided that they were all there to see me. And, you know, and you start popping up and popping up and people laugh, neither does the teacher, that would be it. but after that they went to my parents and they said, you know, hey, how, you know, your son is, you know, he's real, he's got a lot of energy and he's really excited, you know, like he'd like sing in this gathering that we are coming and there will be a few hundred people.
And then they're like, yeah, great. And then I thought, and I love that. And so I went and sang to these hundreds of people and just saw the smiles on their faces. I thought, man, that's all I want to do. You know? And I was [00:23:00] about six or seven years old when that happened. And then, you know, after that I kind of always thought like that, you know, I did plays and then I got into music theater and then I did a lot of music theater for a long time.
And after that I was like, okay, you know, I really want to, you know, I really want to do this, you know, TV and film thing. And that was, you know, a really long process. It took me a long time to get it. somehow figuring out how to transition between musical theater and them and stage acting to more television and film acting.
And then, you know, it was really this thing where you just have to be afterwards, but I always knew what I wanted to do. So I was like, you know, even when I was in school it was like, why aren't you paying attention? And I thought, well, I'm going to be an actor. I like it, I don't like it, I think of other things.
And during that time I thought I was training, I was training really hard. You know, I trained as an opera singer and I learned, you know, and I took singing lessons all the time and came to us. Because I always knew in my mind that no matter what I did, [00:24:00] it was in the mode of, you know, st.
You want to sing your performance. It would be one of those two. And then, you know, I became real, I just stuck with it and you kept digging and then, you know, one thing kind of leads to another, you know, and here we are.
Casey:At what point did you realize that? Oh yes, that's a doable thing.
I do it and everything will be fine.
Jeans-Richards:Oh man. I think after I did it, I did it, I started, you know what, I was doing musical theater for a long time, like I said, and I was like, okay, you're moving to Nova York and like that the Broadway do thing?
Or are you touring? like what you gonna do And then I could, you know, I still auditioned for TV and stuff like that. And this was. You know, I sang at a few shows here and there, but nothing really clicked. And I think like I've had a year where I did a couple of short films in books, like one of my first national commercials.
And so I booked Chickasaw Ranch, which was the first co-star [00:25:00], which was like my first co-star movie. And after kind of experiencing that, it felt like I was on set every month for nine months of the year. And I was like, okay, that's all I want to do.
And if I can get my head around that, I think that could be really good. And then, you know, then came Yellowstone, and then, because then, you know, Yellowstone started leading to all these other things, these other opportunities. So looking that far into the future really wasn't necessary for me because you have enough things to deal with today.
but it was just about being able to say, okay, whatever opportunity you have, just maximize that opportunity. And if it's for you, then tomorrow is for you. And that was really something that got me stuck. And it continues to this day, you know, whatever you get.
You never know what you will get, what will become of it. To the right? When you give someone an acorn, you look at it, it looks small and insignificant, but you give it time. You give a crop [00:26:00] and suddenly it turns into an oak tree. So, you know, it's really kind of an allegory in a parable of.
You never know what will bring you down. Is it just how much you can, whatever you get, how much you're willing to put into it? How much cultivation are you willing to do in this seeding and reaping season within this seeding and reaping season? There's the plowing, the sweat, the tears, and the frustration, but you get so much more out of the harvest because you now understand what it takes to get there.
Casey:Yes. Yes. And there's a lot, it's not just about run and get, it also means making sacrifices if you're into entertainment, so,
Jeans-Richards:To the right. Yes. I mean it's a lot of sacrifice and you have to be willing to eventually get something you never had.
You must also be willing to do things you have never done before. And that means no compromise, morally speaking. That is, when things are like this, you know, [00:27:00] it's like everybody sometimes, if you want, you know, you want abs, right. It's like, okay, well, that means I can't just say it like that. I want to get abs that I must really like, do sit-ups, and change my diet.
You know what I mean? Because there are things you need to change. Outside of you you're just saying, oh, I just want this. And then you wonder in your head why, no matter what, the accounts are still there and all that other stuff. So that also becomes a big motivator, like, you know, going out and I mean, look, I've had, I've heard it hundreds and hundreds of times, you know, and it's always, it's always something, you know , this industry will really keep you very humble.
'Cause you know, you can be on that wave and all of a sudden you're like, oh, this is for me. And then you walk in and you're like, I don't understand how you know that, but it's just like that again. Yes. It's just that you have to keep your hand on the plow and keep moving forward.
Casey:So next time you audition, you'll be one of the few people who doesn't lie.
The thing where he asked if you could ride a horse, right. That's just an observation I made [00:28:00].
Jeans-Richards:NO. The one thing I would definitely never have to lie about is the horse thing. That's something, there's a lot of footage. that's it. I feel very comfortable with that. Yes. Very confident.
What I want to say,
Casey:As my soccer coach would say, they stick your dick in the dirt while they coach you on these things. Did you have a major stroke while training, something close or something?
Jeans-Richards:I haven't had any splashes like this before. and I still say because, you know, if you ask someone, if you ask someone who rides horses all the time, some cowboy, they say it's not if, it's when, you just hope it doesn't is bad.
You know, but the thing is, it's like, you know, there. They coached us so well and never forced us to do anything we weren't comfortable with. It's always us somehow. Yes, we will always do more. And then when we see the guys coming out of the rodeo circuit, they come in and do cool stuff like we do.
You know, we become like kids who just want to do everything. and then, you know, it's a big deal because. They [00:29:00] You know they really like it when we get better, Taylor is like that too, they upped the ante to give us another challenge. So it's not like we come year after year like, yeah we did.
It's like, oh no, there's more this year than last year. and that's really amazing because it's like we're passing through. How to use the soccer analogy. How do we go through boot camp, you know? And then, like every year, it's like, yes, we have your off-season. And then it's time to get back in cowboy shape, ride horses again, and do all those other things.
Then you have to go to a training camp, training camp is often in the summer and it's hot and exhausting, but that's the way it is. You know, so we really embraced it. Because like I said, we're all very competitive most of the time. So we just wear stuff like that because we all play sports for the most part.
We have to get this. and it somehow increases the different level. And like I said, in the beginning it's just another opportunity to connect, but you know, up until now, up to [00:30:00] no crazy accidents and no spills.
Casey:That's good. I'm knocking on wood for you now. Can you tell me about laser focus productions?
Jeans-Richards:Yeah, so these concentrated productions was my production company that I started a few years ago and in 2012 because I wanted to, I really wanted to create stories that were. As done by how the minority community. I thought it was, I mean, we had as many as you, you brought that up before.
We have so many amazing stories that were kind of edited out of the story and that's what I wanted to do. And then they sort of formed that name and now they're opulent artists. and that's why because it's just something that I want it to have an uplifting quality too, because you can get laser focused productions with something about anything you focus on.
And as I kind of grew as an artist, I also thought there were other things about the opulence of information and the opulence of education and a lot of my Honor [00:31:00] art. And so many things that I have. I found so much interest in things that are educationally valuable. And that's where this whole production aspect comes from.
And that led me to want to write and direct. And so it's been really an amazing thing because as I've kind of grown as a man, but also as an artist, it's also kind of changed my kind of things that I wanted and what outside of my career also kind of changed, like, oh, me just wanna do it
And then as you grow up and have different experiences, you develop your mind, you develop, your spirit develops. And then you kind of evolve. So it's been an amazing journey to be a part of.
Hello? Oh sorry. i think you were mute Yes,
Casey:No, I missed you for a second. The
off for a second. but yes. So you [00:32:00] started this thing in 2012 and you, that's it, that's who you made the forgotten in the Z question,
Jeans-Richards:I find it so opulent. And then we have a merger of a production company called Truth, Be Tell Productions.
And that was a great, it was a great day, because that's what the name sounds like. Be informed where, you know, we tell stories about, you know, the story of, you know, this. We really, like I said, have a lot of what I think is so interesting about life in general, the deeper you go, the more you look, the more you realize you don't know, you know?
And it's really funny because you get to a point where you're like, oh yeah, I know all about this stuff. And then you have fun digging and actually spend time researching off the surface. And you say I don't know like I have no idea.
So, you know, it was someone. So we all got together and we started this production company called Truth, hear where it was, see, we wanted to tell these historical stories, these great [00:33:00] stories of these people who would never really have the opportunity to tell yours to hear voice.
And so our first, our first production that we did, was the zoo. and that was our first short film, which is now being developed. In a limited series, we also have a movie version, but we do it as a limited series too. So, you know, we're really stepping on the gas with that kind of unique story that's coming in, where we can tell our stories the way we want them presented in their true context.
Yes, I'm really excited to be a part of something like this. That's it
Casey:unbelievable. Still. Yes. One thing that really got my interest was that you wanted to get into the story. For your films especially the zoo.
When I was in college, wow, I studied history and didn't do anything with it, but one of the first textbooks I had for a history class was the last.
My teacher told me. And basically we're talking about, like, American textbooks, American education, all Eurocentric [00:34:00] and mythologized for the use of James w lo's American history. And he's a sociologist, it's a fantastic book but you realize how much you've been lied to. How many things was falsely told to him to spread a tale.
And it's shocking. Yes. Yes. Yes. Because you don't want to believe that Mrs. Smith and the fourth graders lied,
Jeans-Richards:intentionally. Right, right, right, right. Yes. It's hard, I mean, you made it, right? it's shocking at the basic level. It's like you look at him.
You're like what, like. What part of my education was true, right? Since two plus two equals four, what else would be true? and it was a very, very Eurocentric form of history. And it kind of contributes to, you know, exceptionalism, you know, that's being promoted and I think that's a hard pill for a lot of people [00:35:00] to swallow.
You know what I mean? And I think it is. That's what I always say to hard of hearing people imagining people who know it's not true how they feel you know how to imagine having your history completely erased or why a washington complete, right.
As if you were looking at him. Oh no. I mean it's definitely limescale. As if it were called that. As it is called White Wash. And then you look at that and you think, I mean, I get that. It's hard to see, but also imagine how our grandparents felt there. Our great-grandparents felt that it was as if they just didn't exist, or if they did, they existed in this variable and highly characterized version of themselves.
And that couldn't be further from the truth. And that's really how it started for me in 2012 when I got involved in this story. That's what put me in this hole, man, if I, if that happened, what else I don't know. And then that leads you to like it more and more. And then you're like, oh my god, pretty much anything.
Like it [00:36:00] was that thing where you have to unlearn all the things you've learned and rebuild your structure into something new. And for many people this can be very difficult because we were all educated in the same system depending on how far you decide to take your education.
But deep down, we all kind of know the same things. You know, it's been a really interesting journey for me. It's a kind of discovery more about my own history and heritage. But just knowing how much, how my ancestors and our great-great-grandparents endured and there was no recognition.
It's like it just doesn't exist. Or we did them a favor by doing what we did. To the right. And that's how all these things are, no, that's not how it works. You know? And it's always fun, because when it's like that, it doesn't really matter. And it's like, well, if it doesn't matter, why can't we just tell the truth about what's right?
There's always two sides to the problem when it's okay, what do you say? Is not true. And then you show them it's like, okay, it's true, but it doesn't matter. It's like, but if it doesn't matter [00:37:00] then why can't we just tell the truth? It's like, you don't know.
It's like, you know, and then it becomes a really interesting narrative that it's great in because I think it's a great opportunity for me to use entertainment as this form and this medium of education to be able to be, you know, re-teaching, but also even more so for me and our next generation of men and women of color and these children of color to understand what their story really is and what their story has done. Don't just start 16, 19 during the transatlantic slave trade in Jamestown, Virginia, you weren't created there.
and that's why I think this is a narrative that's so often and consistently hyped. And I think what that does to the mental psyche of the community makes you feel worthless. And to a lot of people they say, oh no, that's not true. And it's like, well, no, because if everybody, especially if you're here, [00:38:00] you know if you're, I think if you're white in America, right?
Say how, well, what's your story? You say. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington said you have these stories of conquerors who did these great things and monuments and all these other things, so he would say, well, black people. And your story? And for the most part, they're like if we had Jamestown, Virginia, where we were here as slaves, like we were slaves.
To the right. And then you have the feeling that you want to part with it, when in reality it was a completely different story. That was long before you were brought here on those ships. And then it's like a huge interruption. For me it's part of my, I think my chance and part of my blessing and part of my blessing and doing what I do to be able to not just use my platform.
Just being an artist, but also using it to educate and talk about things that most people don't really want to sit in a political arena and talk about. So put it in a form of entertainment where they can be entertained but also educated at the same time.
So you kind of get, you know, [00:39:00] hopefully
Casey:it's a spoonful of sugar with the medicine.
Jeans-Richards:To the right. It helps everything go
Jeans-Richards:simple and accurate. Yes.
Casey:Can you tell us something about the zoo? Because it looks fascinating.
Jeans-Richards:Yes. Then the zoo. The zoo talks, basically talks about black people and the black experience during Nazi Germany.
and what most people don't know is that there was, yes, there was, you know, the concentration camps and all that was happening, but there was something else happening as well. Cotton fabric that was in Africa. And during that time it was the sack of Africa.
And during that time you get all these European countries as well as the United States that went to all these different FA, all these different countries in Africa and take the gold in the minerals [00:40:00] and the silver and the cocoa and all the stuff they put in.
And then you know, for example, like for Belgium, right, you know that King Leopold, you know, he went to the Congo and murdered 10 to 15 million Congolese men, women and children for rubber and brought it back to Belgium, sold. and this is how you build your kingdom. So he built the castles. And so he built it all up by going out and killing.
10 and 15 million Congolese beds, women and children, and then to burn all the documentation, to burn all the books that documented all this after he finished looting everything. And one of the things that also happened is that when these different European countries went there they had a really hard time dealing with the weather and the heat and just the different plants and all these different things.
So what they would do is capture. Black. And they would put them in cages and test them and experiment on them. Then they doused her with cold water. They would use heat lamps on it. [00:41:00] They would inject different diseases all over LA like we had an America that's his Keaggy project and they would cut her open, you know, they would cut her open and put different things on her skin and see, there was they were being used as guinea pigs to see if they could somehow crack some kind of genetic code.
So they could translate it for their people and say, okay, we get it. Now we can go in and totally conquer everything. And then the zoo talks about that relationship with that hand, that bunch of black men who have been taken and captured and are now doing experiments on what their relationship is like with each other and the relationship with the doctor who is testing them. .
And that's one of the things this guy talks about. It's also an ambiguity because. Here in the United States, as well as in Europe, even I think the 50's in May, it might even have been as early as the early 60's. In fact, there were physical zoos where you would take black people and put them in cages behind tall glass and X , Y and Z
And they [00:42:00] would have them, you know, recreate what it would be like in an African setting. And people could buy tickets and just watch them interact with each other. And so it is, and they called them zoos and sold hundreds of millions. They made hundreds of millions of dollars from it.
And that's more or less what the zoo is talking about. He talks about that relationship, he talks about the experience, and he talks about why they wanted to do what the goal was and what the motivation for it was. But we're also talking about light skin, dark skin. You have it a lot now in the black community, that was nothing, it was never something we.
They have always been taught. It was something that was instilled in us by Willie Lynch's letters when we were 17, 12, and Willie Lynch came to the United States and spoke about how you destroy the black community when you pawn light skin, dark people against black people, brunette people , young against old, men against women.
And a lot of these different countries, these different men and women who ran these countries, they took these letters from Willie Lynch and just [00:43:00] laid these things out. And then he talks about all these things that we're on a few words and tried to make it as tangible as possible for the audience.
But I hope they look and say there's no way that happened, and I hope they google it and say oh my god, that happened. And this is the part of our training that we look forward to the most.
Casey:It seems to have been an intense experience. Not just writing, but directing and being on set.
I'm sure that's an understatement. What was difficult to overcome? Did you have w how you break up at the end of the day?
Jeans-Richards:You know, for me, that's a lot of this information that I've known since 2012. And so, you know, what that really was, when we put this team together for the truth, it was said and they talked about, let's make this a short film, and, you know, Denim, you should direct.
And I thought, I guess [00:44:00] I don't want to do that. You know? And they're like, you know why not? And I thought I'm so close and I've seen it and experienced it. And I've been there for 0.8 years. and I thought I like that. Because it would get to the point where after writing.
And then I brought someone else on board, the author, so that I could no longer look at the descriptions. Because I just got it. I just couldn't emotionally rejoin the journey, especially when we were writing the feature, you know, you know, when I read over a hundred pages, it's like a killer.
But what was the beauty of it, you know, we, as I looked at everything, was like that, that was something bestowed on me from the highest, which was something where it was like our ancestors didn't endure everything they did had to endure so that their story could not be told.
And if I ever get the chance to tell those stories, I have to do it. and then it can't be like, oh my god, this is so hard for me to do. Nothing could be worse than what they endured, you know [00:45:00]? And so, albeit emotionally. I'll have to put up with that for a while.
They had to live with that their whole lives. Often their children were born into it. They lived and died as slaves and knew nothing else. And so, for me, it became something that you really have to humble yourself in this way, like it's not about you.
It's about the story. And I can take care of myself later. You know what I mean? How I deal with my emotional state afterwards. And the best part was the cast and crew that we brought together, they just went for it. And the team that didn't know about it went back and looked at things and they said I can't believe it.
That, you know, they went to big universities in a lot of them, and X, Y, and Z. How come we've never heard of it before? You know? And it's like, yeah, like I know, you know, and it's been nice to see how other people can step into that truth and be there for them, because I didn't have anyone, for me when I kinda [00: 46:00] on all that one, it was pretty impressive.
And then I can be there and they say dude, did you know that? And I think yes I know. He meant, you know, so in the movie itself, it really became a thing where we guys think like what we're doing is something that's so much bigger than ourselves.
As if that were us. We tell the story of our ancestors. We are telling a story that needs to be told because many of the same things that are happening in society today and have happened in society today are the same things that happened then as well as the same things that happened in the year 16 are , 19.
and so, you know what it says in a, I think it's the wisdom of Solomon, there's nothing new under the sun. It's basically what it is, like history repeating itself in this way. And then it's up to certain people to get out of the spinning life and look at it from the perspective, we have to teach it, we have to educate, so hopefully the next generation.
[00:47:00] We will understand the things that people before them had to endure. And so we must, we owe a great deal of gratitude, but we also owe it to ourselves to be better and better informed about our history and never to be ashamed of our history because look what we've been able to overcome.
It's gonna look like what we could stand, and, you know, here we are, you know, it still does. Oh
Casey:Yes. Now. As a director. So purely on the crafting side, if you're filming this while you're doing all of this, is it like a walk, a tightrope walk between inserting the story you want?
and also. Keep in mind that there will be an audience watching and you don't want them to watch. You don't want them to be like, oh my god, I don't know if I can see that
Jeans-Richards:no longer. To the right. If you like it. Yes. You know, and I think funny is a great question. I think [00:48:00] the interesting thing is, you know, you, I think you, there's a tightrope you're walking because I think, but again, it goes back to that, the thing with her seed time and harvest, I guess.
If I had made this movie in 2014 or 2015 or maybe even 2016, I think I would have been so excited to educate everyone that I would have overdone it. To the right. You are so desperate to show everyone that you are this and that. And then every moment is just hit, grabbed.
And while that's true, you know, a lot of times people don't want to listen to that guy over there with the megaphone on the corner. They do that too, even though what he says is true and correct. You only hear one thing and that is loud. And then you have to do it. And so I think again, for me it's been like a journey, you don't just have to grow spiritually as a man, you just have to grow and be patient and understand that it's just a bite each round.
And so [00:49:00] as we expand this script, we're like, okay, you know, let's take this and let's take this. Or let's clear it up a bit at this point. Not because we want to take that away, but as you said, because I don't want the public's eyes to be closed all the time.
It's not a soundtrack. To the right? So it's something you want them to be involved in, but also be able to participate in. You want it to be intense but you don't want it either, I keep closing my eyes because I'm uncomfortable so we're missing the mark completely.
And so I think as a director, from that point of view, the way we cultivate the script and the way we plan everything, we really have that in the back of our minds, because even for us, as you know, our first drafts from How to Write a Feature Film, you know, it was, that's, so that's so difficult.
So it's just tight and it is. As if you were only in it. And there's no light moment like this, like the lightest moment you would have watching that movie, when you sit down to get your popcorn, you know, and then there's the second light [00 :50:00] is a moment when the movie ended.
And then it's like this, you know, maybe that's something for some people, but I want it to be like that too, look. As if you create something in each level. As I said, you create one for entertainment, one for education, one for edification or edification. And I think when you do that, say, look, there's something in the film for everyone.
And it really depends on what you bring to the film. If you decide you want it, you want it to be something you're open to, you can see the whole movie if you want, if you're just going because you want to see something different than what you're looking for see to enjoy.
And we really did it for that. And then for the other people who are like, oh, I, you know, it wasn't really for me. Well then this is the right answer. it wasn't for you To the right? It's really one of those things where you walk a tightrope, but you also have to be very aware that yes, so much has happened, but you still have to tell a story.
To the right. And within that story there has to be different forms of humanity, they just can't [00:51:00] be afraid of every second of the film. Otherwise everyone checks out.
Casey:So you're a motivated guy. You've got a lot of pants on fire right now. What do you do to relax?
What do you do to take a break?
Jeans-Richards:It is not. It's a very thing. I mean, I read the Scriptures a lot. I spent a lot of time with the word. and that's very, it keeps me very centered. It keeps me very focused, especially in a world where it's very easy to lose yourself, if you will. and that's something that's my meditation time, but it's also an opportunity to let things flow into me.
and you know, and sometimes I just sit there and I'm really quiet, like, I just sit outside and. You know I have, I have my dog with me and, you know, no, I just like to be, I like to be silent a lot because I like to work on my own thoughts and work on the next moves and stuff like that.
And I think that's it. Still, you know, even though [00:52:00] there is, I'm busy if you will, I'm not burned out because I think I've found a great way not to have to Switch the mode to hundred all the time. To the right. It's like using a sports analogy, if you're in the NBA Finals, you've played over 90 games.
Now you are in the final. You know, you realize it's probably going to be a seven-game series. Let's not give everything away in the first game, shall we? For example, we won't, we'll still compete, but I'm not going to die on this pitch today. You know what I mean?
Jeans-Richards:it's like that, you know, and then I think it's going to be one of those places where you really have to strategically position yourself because the goal is to see through to the end.
To the right? It's a marathon, not a sprint. And so I'm trying to persevere to the end. And what are you good at? You burn out so easily with all these other things you want to achieve but because you just couldn't take your foot off the gas [00:53:00]. Now suddenly look where you are, you have nothing.
and that's what i do. It's what I appreciate, what I love. and it keeps me very still and very centered. but it also gives me a tremendous amount of energy because when I need to turn it on. It's all there and that's where I needed to be in your focus. And very rarely do I walk away from something feeling like I didn't give everything I could.
Casey:That's great man. As far as I know, you also do charity work. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Jeans-Richards:Yes. You know, I think the biggest, so one of the biggest charities that I work with is running the Underground Railroad. and this is a phenomenal organization dedicated to infiltrating and ending child trafficking and human trafficking and prosecuting human trafficking in general.
And you know, I've always been a big advocate of protecting young people and children because they're [00:54:00] looking for adults and people who have a voice to be their voices. And unfortunately, I think about 800,000 go missing every year. That's a lot of kids that go missing every year and don't fall into a black hole.
And, you know, and I've been really passionate about it for a while. And I've had the opportunity to partner with these different organizations and just become. You know the hard part about the hard part of this is how a lot of people don't like to talk about sex trafficking and child sex trafficking because it kind of comes up, it peels off like a disguise Life is so good in the world it is the amazing all the time but it's like,
Jeans-Richards:To the right. To the right. And the sad thing is I get that too, but no. Even if you say you don't want it to exist, does that take away from the fact that it exists? To the right? And so it's like these kids are still going through it. Whether you want to acknowledge the fact that it's happening to you or not.
[00:55:00] One of the things I wanted to do is, you know, whenever I had an opportunity or a platform, I wanted to use my platform to create awareness, but not only creating awareness is real to talk about what it really is. I think we have. I think we can do a lot there.
It becomes a kind of idolatry, if you will, where people get so excited because someone sees it on TV or sees an athlete talking about something. And then they look at her. Like I'm nobody when we're together As if I were just the vessel. I'm just a servant.
This is an attempt to raise awareness of seeing things that big. If you don't protect your children, what kind of world do you have? and so. This is one of those organizations that I really like and I really respect these men who gave their lives to travel the world and save these children, save these children, these little girls, these little boys, just like that .
These other, you know, young adults who [00:56:00] were trafficked and, you know, stolen from their land, in a lot of them, you know, during natural disasters when they were all displaced from their families and sometimes If your family died, or as I said, just please, you will be taken to another country and traded.
To the right. And no one ever heard from them again. And what a lot of people don't know is that sex trafficking is big business, one of the biggest businesses in the world because it's the only business where you can use the product over and over again. And it's a very sad thing, but it's real.
And I think if more people were educated it would help them see certain things in today's society that don't necessarily make a lot of sense. but he also had the opportunity to be able to have this other conversation with his children of this kind.
You also don't see anything that says anything. So this is how underground operations work. I think anyone could go to Underground Rail Operation or Rescue.org and get more information because it really is a phenomenal organization, but [00:57:00] more than that, I think it's a conversation that we're having should I think a bit more of a focus conversation, I think, if you will, for lack of better words because so many people think.
I don't want to believe the way you said it, but you also have to get over it, and you have to just accept what it is and, you know, do what we can to make it go away, and it is, but then also bringing these people to justice, but also keeping our feet in the fire of our politicians and our local and city officials.
In fact, we're not just paying lip service, we're actually going out and doing something about it.
Casey:Yes. Yeah man it's scary. Not long ago there was a case less than half a mile from where we live near one of these and the interstate that runs from Memphis to Atlanta. So we're kind of in the middle. AND,
Casey:Started following this van, [00:58:00] The van eventually exited the interstate and drove right past my house.
Casey:They ended up chasing the guy who left. but they had a young lady in the car in the van with him.
Casey:it was. It wasn't brought up that much, you hear stuff like that. You never think about being like yours
Jeans-Richards:community or in yours
Casey:Home, in this terrifying.
Jeans-Richards:To the right.
It's going to be very tight, isn't it? As if you wouldn't just read that in the local newspaper or on TV. It's like, no, it was like on the street. And, you know, and a lot of these other countries, that's the reality for them, but also here in America.
You know, and I think it is, you know, because there are so many children who are displaced and there are so many children who are vulnerable. You know, it's really really sad, but I think you know that somehow you get where you are. I was a big deal where it's like, you [00:59:00] you know people like to play this, you know, political tennis all the time, but it's like, you know, kids before sex trafficking rescue and human trafficking in general should not be a political issue.
and if it's a political issue, then you kind of know you're not on the right side of history. To the right? If you don't like it the way it is, we have to discuss that. You know, and unfortunately a lot of this is just lip service, but that's why I think so.
You know, if we can raise a little bit more awareness and at least support them, like these different organizations that are really actively going out and doing things. I think you know, pouring resources into it when people don't want to leave, and you know, you know, blowing up politicians or phones or their sheriffs or the place stays, you know, even though they don't at least don't want to.
Well, a dollar here, at least $10 here, or for the organizations that are actively going out and doing these things, at least move the needle forward. Instead of just being like that, I just don't want to do anything because I don't want to believe it exists. Oh,
Casey:Yes. [01:00:00] Denim, thank you for doing all this.
It's something you don't hear often unless it's on the news and I'm so glad people like you are trying to do something about it. And let's put a link. Subway operation in the show notes.
So if someone listens to this episode, they can call it up and go straight to the website.
Anything else you'd like to talk about? I don't want to take up too much of your time. I'm awake. I'm sure by the end of the day you're exhausted.
Jeans-Richards:Oh no. I mean, you know, I always have, I've always loved to come in and talk over the edge of the guys like it's some sort of open book.
I think it's really, it's always interesting. To be able to talk not only about the acting of anything but other things because I think it's like my dad always says my dad wasn't mine and vice versa you know what I'm doing is not necessarily who I am, and who I am is not what I do.
and to be able to go out of that active [01:01:00] mode and talk about other things that I think are way more important, it's always great to be able to do that. Because I think it is. You know, I think that's one of the greatest things I was put on this earth to do, you know, it was, you know, you were given talents, you were given skills, to do things in their own unique way do , but it's also, what seed do you want to go to?
So what righteous seeds do you intend to plant with these talents? And I think whenever we can go out and talk about bigger issues that really focus on things and people that nobody speaks for, I feel like it's an opportunity. That's why I appreciate being able to be here and.
Being able to converse and really cover a variety of topics.
Casey:Jeans. Thanks again, whenever you would like to drop by please give us a call we would love to have you back because I really had so much fun talking to you man.
Casey:Good luck with your training.
and all materials for the next season. I really enjoyed the show and I know a lot of [01:02:00] other people do too. So I can't wait to get this out there so people can hear from one of their favorite guys on the show. So thanks again man.
And I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks.
Casey:Everything's ok. same two minutes.