Little Fish, Big World: Modest Start for gmc Original Movie, Brother White

By Jenny Bennett | managing editor,
Posted: Wed, 03/07/2012 - 11:22

From the primary school playground to the high school lunchroom, the office board room or even the church, we’ve all felt out of place at one time or another. That was certainly true for David A.R. White, star of the gmc World Premiere Movie: Brother White, when he moved to Los Angeles to follow his dreams at 19 years old. How did the common human experience of feeling out of place became a full-fledged motion picture? Read on to find out, and don’t miss Brother White this Sunday, March 11 at 7, 9 & 11 pm et. Be sure to log onto Sunday at 7 pm et for a live chat with David and Anna Margaret, who plays the teenage daughter, Emma.

Video: Watch Expanded Interview with Producer, Stars

In Brother White you play the part of someone who is totally out of place. How was this similar to your own experience?
I moved to LA when I was 19 from a small very "white" town in Kansas. I was raised in a very conservative Mennonite upbringing, so when I arrived in LA, needless to say, I was quite shell shocked. My first apartment was living off the boardwalk on Venice Beach so you can imagine the different types of people. Then after six months I ended up renting a room and living with an all black family, so a lot comedy came out of that.

What was it like living with the family?
They are the sweetest family. I started out rooming with my friend Nancy and her brother. Then her mom moved in, then her Aunt Nita, and her other brother, and last was her nephew, Jr. It became quite a full house and we all stayed together for about six years – one big, happy family!

What were some of the funny moments?
This isn’t that funny, but I remember the first time I walked into the kitchen and there were greens being cooked. I had never seen or smelled them before. I was 20 years old. Over the next several years I grew to have a fond appreciation for them (and grits)! Of course then there was the “white men can't dance syndrome” – which I truly couldn't being raised Mennonite – that came out lots of places where we went. They had a lot of fun laughing at me. But all in all, people would always respond and kind of joke... the white boy living in the back room. But it became my normal and was just home to me.

You work with some pretty funny people in the movie (Jackée, Victoria Jackson, Reginald Veljohnson). There had to have been some pretty memorable bloopers during the filming. What are some of your favorites?
Well yes, they are all great and funny. Victoria Jackson we’ve worked with a few times and just love her. The scene at the dinner table, we were all crying laughing during that whole scene. Vicki just kept flubbing her line. I loved working with Jackée. The last scene with her I did something she wasn’t expecting and she responded while laughing “That’s soooo stupid,” which we actually kept in the movie because it came out so funny. It wasn't derogative at all, especially if you know Jackée. There were lots of those moments. 

Did you ever have any slip-ups acting opposite your wife? Like you forgot you were playing a character and said something that relates to real life?
Oh sure, lots of times, but I’m not allowed to repeat!

What do you think about humor’s power to uplift? Is it just as powerful as a tragic story that gets redeemed?
Yes, I love comedy because people lower their guard. They allow movies to take them where they wouldn't normally let their best friend. I find it can be so healing.

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