THE NURTURING OF MEN ARTIST PROFILES
By Fabiola Cineas
Kamel Goffin, the film’s lead actor, believes movies like The Nurturing of Men are important for starting dialogue around important issues. He made this belief clear as he worked to understand and accurately portray Camden’s struggles. His sense of humor, charisma, and positive attitude on set fostered the set’s familial energy. Read more about Goffin’s experiences below.
You play the lead in The Nurturing of Men. Talk about your path as an actor and how you got casted as Camden. Even before I got into acting, I was in basketball. I played ball a lot, and that is still my passion. But I prayed to God heavily about my next move. I’m not the type to just go to work and then go home so I knew that I would give my all with my next move. I knew that acting was the way to go and God showed me the person I should speak to. Marlo from The Wire went to my church, and I kept on seeing him over and over again. I took that as a sign. When God gives you something to do, you do it. I had to swallow my pride to approach him for counsel. I wasn’t looking for a handout. When I told him about my interest in acting he gave me a list of schools I should look into for acting and he told me about his experiences. Long story short, I ended up going to one of the schools and ever since then, I’ve been acting. And for The Nurturing of Men I didn’t know anything about the project until I got a call from someone who told me about the role and helped me get an audition. I went into the audition as a cop in full uniform and I got the role.
How did joining the cast fit in on your path and mission as an actor? And did you identify with Camden? Joining the cast let me know how big God is, and it let me know how far I’ve come in my manhood. Acting out the script brought me back to what it was like to grow up without God. I was exposed to a lot. I was exposed to sex very early, so this character is spot on for me. I was able to identify the old me. Some of what I did in the scenes I never had to do on camera before, so it was a great experience that allowed me to see what I’m capable of.
How did being on this set differ from other sets you’ve been on? It felt free. I didn’t feel suffocated by the fact that I was the lead. It was easy to trust what they were doing. Lionel and Devon knew exactly what they wanted me to do, so that let me stay in my lane as an actor. And in terms of the cast size I’ve worked in situations with a larger cast, so this set wasn’t overwhelming and it wasn’t small either.
What do you look for in a director? I look for them to actually direct! Too often in my career I’ve been around directors who will say, “Kamel, you’re doing great,” but they’d never actually give me a clear depiction of their expectations. Lionel gave me freedom, but he also grounded me in the background of the character--who he was and what he was dealing with. In the past it was rare for me to really get the underlying factors that made the character who they are.
What films have influenced you? Antwone Fisher impacted me because I faced what the character went through with his mother, with my dad. It healed me and allowed me to forgive. I once used some lines of that film for a monologue.
Once The Nurturing of Men is released to a wider audience, what do you hope it will do? I hope it allows men who are facing the same challenges as Camden to realize they aren’t alone. These are issues that a lot of people are facing but they don’t want to have a conversation about it. It’s for women too.