Interview with Montae Russell

12-31-2013 Audio Interview

Actor, writer Montae Russell always knew he had a sensitive, emotional, artistic nature. As a small child he would stand by the radio and listen to the “slow jams” (the ballads) his mother loved. Without knowing what he was doing, little Montae indentified with the singers, understood what they were feeling, and was able to feel it himself; it was perfect training for an actor. His friends teased and harassed him for his sensitivity, but he was a “rebellious sort of fella” and responding to a dare from his civics teacher, he auditioned for the school Xmas play. He was cast as Ebenezer Scrooge and knew that he had found his path. Today he is brilliantly starring in the Florida Studio Theater production of Thurgood by George Stevens; the story of the remarkable life of Thurgood Marshall – the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court. This is second time Montae has played the role and he is the only actor (following Lawrence Fishburn on Broadway) that Mr. Stevens has allowed to play it. . Although he knew he wanted to be an actor, he didn’t know exactly what that meant; listen to how this sensitive young man found his way to the “noble” life he is thankful he discovered at a very early age.