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Dannon G. Green: “Respect and Responsibility”

If I could start of movement it would be called Respect and Responsibility. One can’t have respect without responsibility and with responsibility comes respect for others. I feel we have lost that in our culture, we want everything but we don’t want to have respect or be responsible for what comes with it. I had the […]

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If I could start of movement it would be called Respect and Responsibility. One can’t have respect without responsibility and with responsibility comes respect for others. I feel we have lost that in our culture, we want everything but we don’t want to have respect or be responsible for what comes with it.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Actor, Comedian, and Filmmaker Dannon G. Green. Dannon is a versatile actor/comedian/filmmaker born in Manhattan, New York and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Known for his signature stand-up comedy line “I don’t want no trouble,” he is a talented comedian and actor who is known for his roles in various films, television sitcoms and commercials, including Girlfriends, Everybody Hates Chris, and Real Husbands of Hollywood, as well as Baby Boy and Nappily Ever After, among numerous other credits. His current project, the powerful boxing documentary film The Executioners — We All Had A Chance, written, directed, narrated and produced by Green, is scheduled to screen at the upcoming Manhattan Film Festival, opening August 28, 2020.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?

I grew up in Philadelphia, PA, I am a foster kid from New York. I was adopted and moved to Philadelphia by the age of 7. I’ve always been interested in the arts. I went to Marycrest College in Davenport, IA and The Ohio State University in Columbus, Oh where I was the first African American to ever get an undergraduate and a master’s degree in the area of Computer Graphics and Computer Animation. During this time, continued to be involved with boxing which I had started doing at the age of 13.

After graduating college while looking for work I eventually got involved and started doing standup comedy. This would lead me to Los Angeles where I would pursue a career in entertainment and I would start doing standup comedy, plays, commercials and film. I would soon start writing screenplays which led me to do this documentary about this boxing gym I use to belong to as a child.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your filmmaking career?

I think one of the funniest moments in my film making career is when I did a short film and had to use a toy baby doll to emulate a human baby. The most interesting story or event in my film making career is traveling back forth to and from the East Coast to shoot. Just exciting to travel and shoot a movie.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I would say that my current project “The Executioners” is the most exciting project that I am working on at this moment. But I am currently writing my one-man comedy standup special and during the Pandemic I wrote my fifth screenplay called “Heart Break Hotel”.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I have worked with a lot of people over the years. I worked with Kevin Hart before on his TV show, which was real fun. Our scene was funny and it was a great look for me. I have also worked with Michael Madsen, Anthony Anderson, and have done many commercials.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

The people who have inspired aren’t your big name people. They really are your everyday people who I have watched and taken things from them. I am a big Lebron James and can relate to him because I’ve been on my own since the age of 17. I really never had heroes or people I look up to because those people can and will let you down. But if I like your style or how you conduct yourself or business I will admire you. If there was one person though who I felt was there for me that would be my late Uncle Norman.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I think it is so very important to have diversity in Film and Television but unfortunately, it’s not where a lot of people think diversity should be. The three reasons I do think it’s important has more to do with how our country and how people of color are perceived domestically and internationally.

One reason its’ important to have diversity represented is that it can help bring truth and cure fears that people have by only seeing people in a different light when presented by the news media. If I can see someone that I don’t interact with a lot on a daily basis on show or films living an everyday life, it will allow them to have a different few other then what the news media want to show or print.

Another reason it’s important, it allows people to get their stories out not only to people that don’t look like them but to people who do look like them. The more we have stories, films and shows that deal with people of diverse backgrounds the more we can get information out to the masses about different cultures, feeling and beliefs. But this only works if the shows and films are speaking truth and not trying to be politely correct which to me is the biggest problem we have when putting out projects.

The third reason I think is important to have diversity in film and television is so that people of color have a chance to be part of the creative, information process being share and teach to our younger generation.

Now with saying that I believe the biggest problem with television and film in Hollywood is not only the lack of diversity in front of the camera but mostly behind the scenes. I’ve been on commercial and film shoots that might have been all African Americans or black actors, but everyone in the background from the director, first, second AD, craft services to your grips are all white. If Television and Film really want to make changes and open up the playing field they must allow people to have those jobs that will allow more diversity to be seen on these platforms. If the producers and all the people behind the camera are non-people color how can the public and the viewing audience know they are receiving true stories and feelings about that particular subject. Also, how can people make a living behind the cameras without opportunities and believe it or not diversity can only be truly shared if we have more people in positions of the business decisions.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could start of movement it would be called Respect and Responsibility. One can’t have respect without responsibility and with responsibility comes respect for others. I feel we have lost that in our culture, we want everything but we don’t want to have respect or be responsible for what comes with it.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

It’s funny when you first get started in the business or when you get ready to start a project you very seldom will have someone around to tell you the do’s and don’ts. A lot of times if you do have those people around you are already knowledgeable in the business. But my top five things I wish someone had told me are the following.

I wish that someone, in the beginning, would have told me about keeping my ideas to myself till it’s written down and protected. I wish someone would have told me about copywriting and registering my project with the Writer Guild as well as with the Copy Write Office in Washington, DC. In 2007 a movie that I had written was stolen and came out in movie theaters. We did sue and won but we didn’t win the amount that we could and should have won. That was a life lesson of protecting yourself and your project.

The next thing I wish someone would have told me is not to be honest with my feelings. We always tell kids to be honest, tell the truth or its ok to express how you feel. What I have found out that in Hollywood if you do that and you show how you feel about something someone will take it as being either cocky, arrogant being aggressive towards them and it can cost your work. The biggest problem I see is people really don’t get to know who you really are as a person and this can cause problems if you are an emotional or talkative person.

The third thing I wish someone would have told me is that having a degree or educations doesn’t mean you are going to be successful in Hollywood. Matter of fact you don’t have to have one to make it in Hollywood. I think if I would have known that I might have come to Hollywood sooner rather than finish my education. I remember going to auditions early in my years in the business and trying to talk to the casting directors about my education. Over time I could see that some of your biggest stars never walked one day in a college some never even finish High school.

The fourth thing I wish someone would have told me when I got into this business it’s not all about talent, but who you know but who knows you. After being in this business for so many years I see now how networking and knowing people are half the battle. Coming from the East Coast and having an educational background we are taught an education will talk you far but in Hollywood, it’s more about who you know, who likes you and who owes favors that will get you to the table and maybe a part. Talent I hate to say isn’t the main reason people get roles in Hollywood.

Number 5 to me might be the number one thing I wish people would have told me when I first came into the business as well as working on projects. People will lie to you. People will make you feel you are the best thing since sliced bread and you still won’t get the job. I’ve been told many times how good my audition was or we will have you back and it hasn’t happened. In some cases they will look at your project tell you it’s great but scared to tell you the truth because they are either worried about your feelings or just don’t care about the project anyway.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

As an entertainer especially being a comedian and an actor there are certain people who you wish to work with, I always wanted to do a movie with Joe Pesci or Robert De Niro or work with Dave Chappelle. Working as a writer and producer I want nothing more than to get my screenplays made into films. If I could sit down and have breakfast with any individual of financial wealth with that would mean the world to me more than them being famous. I would love to tell them my story and see if I could get them to trust and invest in me as a filmmaker and person. Now to answer the question of breakfast, if there were two people I really would like to sit down and talk with, that would be Lebron James and Jeff Bezos.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The interesting thing about this question Is I have a few life lesson quotes. So If you don’t mine I would just like to share them.

Don’t worry about what you can’t control but control what worries you. I always felt that if there is a problem that you didn’t’ cause and you can’t change it then don’t let it get you down or control you because you have nothing to do with it anyway and you can’t change it. But if something is bothering you and you can get in or out of the situation then get out of it.

Play the hand you dealt just through back what you don’t need: Being a foster child and then losing my foster mother at 15 years of age and then being on my own since 17, I know I wasn’t dealt the best hand in life. But there was something my older sister told me one time, she said Dannon you weren’t dealt the best hand in life but you played the hand. That’s all any man or woman can do play he hand you dealt and make it work for you. That’s what I am trying to do in Hollywood play the hand I am dealt and throw away what I don’t need.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can find me on social media at

FaceBook: Dannon Green

Instagram: DannonGreen66

My instagram page for my documentary movie.

@theexecutionersdoc

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