Catching Up With Cuba Gooding Jr. On His Directing Debut Of Louisiana Caviar

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Cuba Gooding Jr. at Louisiana Caviar screening at iPic Cinema, NYC
Cuba Gooding Jr. at the Louisiana Caviar screening at iPic Cinema, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan

On Monday February 26, 2018, Cuba Gooding Jr. celebrated his directing debut with a screening of Louisiana Caviar alongside The Cinema Society, Avión, and Watchbox at the iPic Theater in the Financial District of Manhattan. Not only is Cuba Gooding Jr. the director, he also stars in the film as former boxing legend Rodney.

The movie co-stars Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss, Famke Janssen, Katharine McPhee, Lia Marie Johnson, Gregg Bello, and was produced by Hilary Shor (Lee Daniels’ The Butler).

Famke Janssen and Cuba Gooding Jr. celebrate at the after party hosted at The Mailroom, NYC
Famke Janssen and Cuba Gooding Jr. celebrate at the after party hosted at The Mailroom, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan

We had a chance to speak with Cuba as he made his way down the red carpet to learn more about his experience as he embarked into this new and exciting territory.

What was it like directing for the first time?

“Surreal. I ran into an actress I admire who’s a director/writer and it’s truly what she said, “it’s the control box, isn’t it?” It really is a control box because all questions stop with you. And any indecision or insecurity makes the person working the person working with you insecure. That’s the trick of directing: making the decisions.”

Did you enjoy it?

“I enjoyed it, I craved it. I would rather direct than act right now. I hope that doesn’t say too much about my ego right now, but it’s one of those things where, you know how many times I’ve been in a movie, as an actor you shoot a movie, you leave for a year, you come back into a dark theater like tonight and sit and you go ‘Oh, that’s the take he used? Or, no, that’s not how I pictured that in the script.’ There’s no control, you just have to hope that the director got it. When you’re in the editing room and they ask, ‘Okay, what take do you want to use?’ You’re like really? Of mine? And hers? Oh this is crazy, you get to manipulate everything. Well until a studio exec comes and says no, no you have to change it but we had the freedom to really make a statement.”

So would you say control is the biggest difference between acting and directing?

“Oh yeah because you control your performance as an actor; you influencer everyone’s performance as a director.”

Would you do it again?

“I hope so!”

Where does the title come from? Can you tell me?

“Yes. No. Yes. No. If I tell you then it’ll give it away but it has reference in the movie that should be properly disturbing when you find out.”

How do you think the audience is going to react?

“Properly disturbed if it works!”

Gregg Bello, Famke Janssen, Cuba Gooding Jr at the after party for "Louisiana Caviar" at The Mailroom, NYC
Gregg Bello, Famke Janssen, Cuba Gooding Jr at the after party for Louisiana Caviar at The Mailroom, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/PatrickMcMullan

Louisiana Caviar, which releases in the fall, is a story of lost souls trying to find a better path for their lives. Rodney (Cuba Gooding Jr), a former boxing champ, after a deathbed visit to his coach and mentor, is launched into reclaiming victory for his now simple life as a nightclub bouncer that sets off a chain of events that threaten to bring down an empire.

Packed with double crosses and unintended consequences, Louisiana Caviar winds its way across ethnicities, ages and industries, providing an inspiring authentic take on the values of our time and the media that broadcasts them to the rest of the world.

Modi, Gregg Bello, Cuba Gooding Jr., Maxx Tsai join The Cinema Society with Avion and Watchbox at the screening of "Louisiana Caviar" at iPic Cinema, NYC
Modi, Gregg Bello, Cuba Gooding Jr., Maxx Tsai join The Cinema Society with Avion and Watchbox at the screening of Louisiana Caviar at iPic Cinema, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/PatrickMcMullan

Fans, friends, and celebs alike came out to celebrate the screening at an after party hosted at The Mailroom, NYC by Cinema Society Andrew Saffir. Guests were treated to Avión tequila cocktails named The Comeback, Double Cross and Video Vixen, in keeping with the film.

From the film guests included: Cuba Gooding, Jr. (director, co-writer, star), Famke Janssen, Modi, Gregg Bello and executive producers Peter Toumbekis and Maxx Tsai. Other notable attendees included: Chris & Cristina Cuomo, Mark Margolis (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad), David Krumholtz (The Deuce, The Good Wife), Chaske Spencer (Sneaky Pete, The Twilight Saga), Michael Gelman (Live with Kelly & Ryan), Nikki M. James, Bryan Terrell Clark (Hamilton), Lexi Lawson (Hamilton), Joanna Jones (Hamilton), Ari Melber (MSNBC), Seth Herzog (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon), Daniel Benedict, Sam Shaffer, Jamee & Peter Gregory, Gretta Monahan & Ricky Paull Goldin, Jeremy Carver (Empire), Cathy Fedoruk, Louise Vyent, Catherine Roberts, Nichole Galicia, Ashley Haas, Kelly Bensimon, Jayma Cardoso, EasterXSunday, Aluad Anei, Dale Moss, Antoine Verglas, Ben Watts, Tara Westwood, Lynne White, and Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir.

Ashley Haas at The Mailroom, NYC
Ashley Haas at The Mailroom, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan

Famke Janssen at The Mailroom, NYC
Famke Janssen at The Mailroom, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/PatrickMcMullan

Cuba Gooding Jr. and Victoria Hilton at The Mailroom, NYC
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Victoria Hilton at The Mailroom, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/PatrickMcMullan

Nichole Galicia at The Mailroom, NYC
Nichole Galicia at The Mailroom, NYC

Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/PatrickMcMullan

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