Interview with Marcellus Cox


When long years of verbal and mental abuse, a young sketch artist visits a psychologist, he discovers hardcore truth about life. This is a journey of a youngster with a history of suppression for a long time.

Director Biography

Marcellus Cox is one of the directors from California who raised his voice about class, race, and religion. His narratives deal with the dark alleys of the human soul. He likes to portray the exploitation that his clan has been suffering for ages. All his characters are representatives of tortured black lives in the United States of America. With a zeal for passionate movie-making, Cox has proven him as a true auteur. His camera's different language tells a lot of hidden stories.

Director Statement

I always wanted to portray such a story that talks of my race. Mickey Hardway is purely based on actual life events. I tried to convey to my audience how years of oppression have muted those voices that should be heard aloud.

Hello Marcellus, you've told the audience that Mickey Hardaway is your own account. Does the psychiatrist's story resemble yours?

It’s my own personal story in terms of the feeling of no one believing in my Art and dream of becoming a Filmmaker. That’s my pure connection to the story and in many reasons why I wrote it but in terms of the Psychiatrist perspective no..... Those were mostly accounts of folks who I had the privilege of interviewing who were in the same space as Mickey who dealt with physical and verbal abuse on top of failed visions that never came to existence, I took those stories and wanted to make it feel as personal to myself.

What are the significance of the sketches by Mickey?

There Mickey’s mindset and view of the world. Showcasing his Love of Black Culture but his intelligence and stance on what’s not only taking place in the world but his own day to day life. Mickey’s sketches are more of a Safe Haven, a escape from reality but a world in which he wish was present around him.

You never showed whose match was going on in the TV but the sound was there. What is the reason? Any specific significance of that?

LMAO nobody has ever asked me that question lol that’s the best question I’ve been asked. Okay so originally it was supposed to be a UCLA College Football game playing in the background and I was going to show it in a over the shoulder shot of Randall played by the great David Chattam. But I couldn’t get the rights from the NCAA and I didn’t have the budget to get any other football footage or add in any footage in Editing so in Post Production my Sound Editor Chris Orsi had a few ideas and he had the football sound track and it worked perfectly and we went with it and I just stuck with the Medium, Close Up’s and Wide Shots of Randall. It worked out better than I honestly thought it would too lol so I got blessed.

Why did Mickey gulp the whole humiliation on the first hand?

I disagree with the viewpoint of Humiliation, it can’t be Humiliation if it’s a real feeling of hurt that so many people can unfortunately relate to. Humiliation is when you trip and fall, or when you get a answer wrong in class. That’s when you have a embarrassed moment. There’s nothing embarrassing nor humorous about abuse or mental illness whatsoever. It’s a tremendous serious problem in our society that bare a real ugliness that seems to have no cure accept the people we keep in our inner circle and around us. If anything that’s the humiliation Mickey gulp and I won’t put that on him or any other individual who has had to deal with those unbelievable circumstances.

What is the significance of the ahow piece car in the psychiatrist's room?

It’s a way of showing just how hard it is to survive as a African American, Black Men in general. In a Nation that continues to mow us down over it’s on insecurities and flat out hatred towards people of color. Dr Harden who’s played by the Brilliant Stephen Cofield Jr, use it as a teaching tool for his clients in the form of: American is design for you to lay down and die, but if you stand up and thrive no one can demolish your strive.

What do you want to convey with the bull's portrait on the wall?

It’s two different messages in which I want to Convey with the portrait of the bull.

For Dr. Harden it’s his way of showcasing he’s willing to fight as much possible to help his clients overcome there issues, he’ll deliver all of his strength in every single conversation to relieve Mickey’s tension and get his mind focus back on the right track and on his goals and dreams going forward no matter what outside news is thrown in his direction.

For Mickey unknowingly it’s use as a symbol that he’s Will to fight the death grip of heartache and sorrow that’s been dumped upon him.

Isn't Mickey Hardaway a story of all black people in America? Do you intend to give a hint of that as well?

I give hints of issues that affects Black People in American for sure but I look at the bigger issue at hand of Mental and Physical Abuse that everyone no matter your race, religion, sexual orientation can relate too. Not even just in the world of Art but just life as a whole. I feel there are issues that anyone watching this can understand and relate too no matter who are, this is a film and multiple universal themes that just showcases are world.

Generally, we don't see the psychiatrists share their personal account. Here, the psychiatrist does. Have you done it on purpose?

I met with Several Psychiatrist who would agree with this for sure but I talked to three of them who told me personally there only willing to discuss personal accounts of there own livelihood if they believe they share the same issues from there own background. So it was something I went with on a creative side. I never looked at Dr. Harden as a shut up and write Psychiatrist, I’ve always viewed him as someone who genuinely wants to speak with you, learn from you and hope that you’ll learn from him.

Mickey's character looks confident yet fragile. Any detail justification of such depiction?

Mickey who’s played by Rashad Hunter. Is a confident especially when it comes to his Art but is Fragile, a Loner, someone who in many ways just doesn’t fit in with the fabric of life around him. But my main justification of his characterization is he’s honest and bold. Mickey’s not afraid to stand up for what he wants and believes in, no matter the consequences and there are plenty of them that unfortunately hunts and hurts him only helping lead to his demise psychologically.

What is the justification behind the black and white shades?

Black and White brings a certain real ness, boldness, truthfulness to the screen that color just doesn’t present especially dealing with a character who’s life is so constricted. Black and White won’t glamorize Mickey’s situations, it’ll only bring you into his world more, investing you into his story.