(Photo by A24 Films)Is there an actor or director or a screenwriter whose work you always love? Regardless of what they make, you know you re going to watch it.Barry Jenkins has just consistently done such gorgeous work. Wong Kar-Wai has such a lovely aesthetic… And then when I even think about it one step further, I m like actually, and then Barry Jenkins was really influenced by Wong Kar-Wai. I m sensing a theme here.Do you binge watch TV?I definitely do. And ever since coronavirus, I ve been watching a lot of Asian dramas and things.What have you been watching lately?I just finished Triad Princess on Netflix.Do you do most of your screenings from your couch or in theaters?Definitely not in theaters now. In general, I do things from home anyways, other than film festivals. It s film festivals or home and lately, of course, it s just been home.What about a favorite screening snack?I m pretty boring with this one. Popcorn s good!(Photo by Miramax)What’s a Rotten thing that you love?The Rotten movie I love echoes the one I watched repeatedly, which is Velvet Goldmine. Because it s so experimental and unabashedly queer, I think it gets a bad rap from the everyday moviegoer looking for something more conventional.Do you go in cold when you re reviewing or do you try to learn as much as you can, spoilers be damned?I definitely do more research, especially because a Mediaversity review is different than other ones, which might be coming out earlier and summarize a plot and let people know about a movie. On my end, we dive pretty deep and a lot of our reviews have spoilers. I do a lot of research.How does that influence your perspective on how the story is told? Do you think that it does?Yeah, it definitely affects it. An example might be the movie Waves. If you re just looking at the trailer, it definitely looks like it s a Black movie – predominantly people of color in the cast. And then if you find out that, oh, the director is white, then there s more of a story there and it makes you wonder maybe like why this was the chosen subject matter. And then that just usually will lead to some interesting answers.Do you read other reviews before you write your own?Probably three quarters of the time, I ll read other reviews. It helps me understand what the general conversation is. And then that way, again, because my reviews come out later, I like to add something new to the conversation. I try to make sure I m not just repeating what everybody has already said.
You’ve spoken about your family’s military background. Over the years, you’ve played characters who’ve served. You also have a knack of situating yourself in wars from different time periods and still add a contemporary element to it. What’s the process of getting into the military mindset for wars of different periods?Jonathan: That s a great question. And thanks for watching all my s . There is a difference, and that difference primarily is what those characters see, that the opposition is different.For [Corporal Henry Woodson in 2017’s Hostiles], his opposition looked very much like him; the people were in bondage like his people had been in bondage. That war is different. The conqueri