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2016 Sundance Trading Card Series: #1. Charles Brice (How to Tell You’re a Douchebag)

Charles BriceEric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2015 discoveries”…
Charles Brice: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. Ta-Nehesi Coates’ Between the World and Me. BoJack Horseman (Netflix).

Lavallee: You play lead role in How to Tell You’re a Douchebag. On paper Ray Livingston appears to be a product of his time or perhaps his environment with an ego that is spread out in the written word and wired world. Firstly, what attracted you to the role and how does comedy address some of the key issues at hand?
Brice: I was initially attracted to the role because of how different it was from myself, but I found it very relatable to my demographic. I was drawn to the fact that it wasn’t a stereotypical depiction of black youth in the ghetto, or on the corner slinging dope. He isn’t running around calling women out on their names nor is he concerned as to whether he is perceived as hard. He is a writer, not a rapper. He is flawed and misguided although it has nothing to do with the law. I felt that people could come away with a glimpse into what life is really like for educated young people, minorities, and millennials dealing with dating, city life and social media.

Lavallee: This is both yours and Tahir Jetter’s feature debut. Could you describe the working process you had with Tahir and how you ultimately crafted/fleshed out this character.
Brice: Tahir had written these articles for Ray’s blog, called “Occasionally Dating Black Women“. He advised me to read them after I had read the script. Taking that advice really helped me flesh out Ray’s character. He also mentioned that much of the script was loosely influenced by his own experiences so I made it a personal actor task of mine to observe him and use a few of his idiosyncrasies for the role … (shhh).

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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