Allen Moldonado is a writer, performer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, currently co-writing and co-starring in The Last OG, playing Cousin Bobby opposite Tracy Morgan. I interviewed him for The Credits and he talked about his “Netflix for short films,” Everybody Digital, creating the character of Cousin Bobby as actor and writer, and surviving the “actor’s Olympics” of daily soap operas.
Cousin Bobby is so much fun. He’s kind of the lovable idiot at times. Then there are also moments where he can be very dramatic and vulnerable and there are also times it can be intense. It’s the perfect role for an actor because you are able to explore so many different levels from drama to comedy. It’s a dream come true for me as an actor and just the type of direction I want to go in my career. I want to follow behind actors like Bruce Willis, Mark Wahlberg, and the Rock as far as being a funny tough guy. Cousin Bobby is the perfect meld of that direction. Being able to play alongside Tracy Morgan, Tiffany Haddish, Cedric the Entertainer and these comedic legends is a dream come true. It’s been a great opportunity big time to just grow and watch and perform with them.
For example, take the Katherine Heigl/James Marsden film “27 Dresses.”
After telling her therapist the story of how she met Kevin, Jane comes to the understanding that he may be right about the mindless consumerism of the wedding industry (and he’s definitely right about the markup on wedding cakes), but stealing someone’s planner and stalking them under a fake name is not charming, no matter how amazing his cheekbones are. Files a restraining order.
Ant-Man and the Wasp’s treatment of disability will go under the radar. But in a landscape where disability remains marginalized, particularly for women of color (and people of color in general), a character like Ava could have helped opened the door. Chronic pain remains a hot-button issue in the disabled community, and having Ava live with it could have presented something relatable. Instead, Ava is stripped of her problem in order to make her rational, quantifiable, and controllable.
I was interested to see how she would react to Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of a disabled character in “Skyscraper.” While I prefer to see disabled characters played by disabled actors, I also recognize the idea that any actor should be able to play any part. Until ordinary characters — teachers, accountants, doctors, scientists, parents, children — are shown with disabilities that are not central to their identity and are played by actors with disabilities, I think we should be careful about putting able-bodied people in those roles. And no body is more able than The Rock.
First, she says, “the adversity is the building itself, not Will’s disability….By not making a big deal of his disability, Will is a character who represents a marked improvement in representation. People with disabilities don’t want their disability to define them, and Will’s doesn’t define his character. It adds to it…. His character doesn’t walk away a changed man appreciating being disabled. He gets his family back and seemingly ends the film the same way he started. It’s just a facet of his personality he deals with in order to overcome this great challenge.”
But, she has some concerns as well. “The character is also written to fall into the “able-bodied buffer” category, a term I use to describe any character shown as previously able-bodied before a traumatic event. This ‘buffer’ is created as a means of helping the able-bodied audience bond with the newly disabled character, under the belief that disabled people are so mysterious that there’s no point of entry for the audience short of reminding them the character was one ‘like you.'”
I wasn’t the only one who appreciated this review.
Wow. I am officially verklempt. @TheRock thanks for taking the time to read my piece! Disabled representation has a long road to travel, but I was happy to see movement being made. pic.twitter.com/KvhPq5MvlR
Sara Benincasa wrote on Longreads about great reviews of movies she hasn’t seen. I was delighted to see that she included my recommendation of the hilarious, NSFW, and stunningly accurate review of Fences by Dustin Rowles. It’s a great review, as are all the others on her list.