A conversation with Christian Gnecco Quintero, lead actor of The Sound of The Wind
Interview By Harper Kennington
Photography By Neeraj Jain
I loved playing make believe, but I wasn't really thinking about the future and doing it for a living.
Harper: Did you always know that acting was your passion?
Christian: Since I was a kid, I loved playing make believe, but I wasn't really thinking about the future and doing it for a living. Once I started taking classes, I discovered that acting was a craft and became very interested in it. It became the one thing that I enjoyed doing no matter what. I began doing plays, and after highschool decided to go to college and become more serious about it. After graduating college was when I became very passionate. The ups and downs, the creation of content, the preparation, the paths acting has taken me, the understanding of storytelling and entertainment in our society. Acting went from being something fun to do to a way of growing in life and experiencing the world.
Harper: So far in your career you have brought to life a wide range of unique and deeply moving characters. When you look to take on a role, what is the driving force behind your decisions?
Christian: The story and the people involved would be the most important. I feel that the story needs to resonate with me so I can give the best of me to the project. When I’m intrigued by the themes that the project deals with, when I can find the importance of the message that project is trying to portray, that gives me a reason to do something. Also the people are important. I’ve always thought that acting, theater, filmmaking at its best is about collaboration.
I’ve always thought that acting, theater, filmmaking at its best is about collaboration.
Harper: In The Sound of The Wind you tackle the important topic of mental illness. As an actor, do you feel a sense of responsibility to use your craft for social change?
Christian: I don’t think I necessarily focus on using my craft for social change, but for The Sound of The Wind, I definitely felt the responsibility to use my craft to portray someone with a mental illness as honest as possible and to try to honor the character’s story and message. It was important for us to tell that story as authentic as possible. To focus on the suffering and the resilience. To show the humanity of the character. I think if any social change would come from that, it would be a result of telling the story in a truthful way.
Every single project, no matter how big or small, was an opportunity to learn and explore
Harper: Your career has been marked by various collaborations. How important have those collaborations with other creatives been to you?
Christian: The collaborations I’ve had in the past have formed everything about me as an artist and creator. Because of those collaborations I’ve learned a way of working. I’ve grown immensely from my peers. Every single project, no matter how big or small was, was an opportunity to learn and explore. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that a good collaboration is not always about how big something is commercially. Sometimes it is all about if you were able to create something: from the paper to the final product, if you were able to put your ego aside and you were able to learn something from others. If you were there for your peers and they were there for you. If you pushed each other in the right direction, if you explore, if you took risks. I think in the end of the day it is all about how proud you are of the project you created. Because then you know you found a team and along the way you grew as an artist.
Harper: At what point did you team with JDG Entertainment?
Christian: I started to work with Jared [Douglas] when we were in college. We did a lot of exploration together, him as a director and me as an actor. We were always very passionate about the craft. He had already created JDG Entertainment at that point and would invite me to collaborate on some of his short films. That’s also where I met Neeraj [Jain]. I think since then it felt like we were a team. I would say though that after our first feature film “The Sound of The Wind” things became more official. Hope [Bello LaRoux] also came in during post production and when we finished the film, we recognized that as a team we had the chance to create something special.
Harper: How did that partnership impact your career as an artist?
Christian: You have a team of people where you can create, workshop and develop any ideas you have. It is a team that supports each other. A team that is hungry and that focuses on the growth of the company and its members. As an actor it has meant a platform where I can explore my craft. It’s also been a place where I have learned about producing, directing, and writing. Being a part of JDG Entertainment, I have felt like it’s a company that really helps its members to grow and develop artistically.
Harper: Looking ahead, what excites you about the future of JDG Entertainment?
Christian: I think what excites me the most is to see where the company will be in the next couple of years. To see the new people that arrive and see how much we grow as a company and how much we grow individually. I would love to see many generations use JDG Entertainment as a platform to develop and express their talents.
Harper: Lastly, you are in an industry that has many ups and down. How do you stay resilient?
Christian: I think you have to focus on your personal journey and growth. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, to compare our careers and lives. I just try to enjoy the stage I’m at. I think it is important to develop the skill of being content with the journey and the present. To enjoy the people you have around, the projects. To me, if I am still moving forward, no matter how fast or slow, it is a good sign.