What do you say about Shavar Ross?
You could call him that kid who grew up in my (ex)husband`s hometown, Bronx, NY, but nobody knows my (ex)husband that well. You could call him the older “Michael Turner” (Ike`s son), from What`s Love Got to Do with It?, ” and you could also call him little Dudley Ramsey, Arnold`s (Gary Coleman`s) best friend from the old school hit television series, Diff`rent Strokes, for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award. But none of those things would do him any real justice.
To say it with a different stroke, Shavar has a string of successes and successes-to-be following him around Hollywood, most recently the soon-to-be-released and already-out-for-sale (May 2007) DVD, Lord Help Us, starring Margaret “Shug” Avery and Kacie Borrowman, with appearances by Omar Gooding and Al Jarreau. It`s a story about a recently-widowed minister who finds himself embroiled in a rumor that he plans to elope with a woman 45 years his junior. When two young misfits come to the pastor`s rescue and try to help him regain his lost (and confused) sheep, the fun begins.
I asked Shavar a few questions about his current projects, and dug deeper to get into the essence of the man Shavar, married to Jacqueline Ross for more than 15 years, and which marriage has been blessed with two children, Seven and Chelsea Lynn. His answers were as quick as my questions, but he`s a busy man. I understand.
Q: What was your source of inspiration for the movie, “Lord Help Us”?
A: Wanting to see more inspirational films and touch on some real life issues in the organizational church.
Q: Have you personally known of any ministers who were caught in church scandals and subsequently vindicated?
A: Yes, heard of, and know some ministers caught in scandals. I don`t know about the vindication part though, lol.
Q: Are you, as this moment, living a life of self-actualization at the crux of life`s pyramid?
A: That`s deep, sister, where you learn to talk like that? That`s not New Age, is it? Just kiddin`.
Q: How deep is your own faith in God?
A: Deeper than the sea.
Q: Where do you (or do you) attend church in California?
A: Good question. Sorta on hiatus right now after eight years of vigorous ministry. (Was a pastor once…) Have a few church homes, but don`t usually attend at least for right now.
Q: Why was Lord Help Us released on DVD, rather than as a premier on the silver screen?
A: Lord Help Us had a DVD distribution deal before a script was ever written. It was made exclusively for DVD. It was also more beneficial for me financially (and as the film’s sole investor) not to invest in the millions necessary to market a film for the big screen”on my first project. I have been enjoying the festival screenings in theaters, though, and the movie will also be screened at the AMC/Loew`s Theater in Boston in June.
Q: Is the direction you have taken in life what you might call a calling?
A: True calling, went through four years of ministry school just for this. Our film production company is actually an auxiliary of the church I had “The Alive Church (“La Inglesia Viva”) in North Hollywood, California.
Q: Overall, without giving us any spoilers, what is the one-sentence take-away value of this film for your viewing audience?
A: God is moving in Hollywood.
Q: Nosy Question–Are you a Tyler Perry fan?
A: Yep, sure am. Tyler (through God, of course) opened up doors for brothers like me. I think inspirational films are here to stay. It`s gonna be kinda like how hip-hop started and Tyler is like the RUN/DMC of things. Hopefully, I can be like the LLCOOLJ, lol! (licks lips)
Q: What is the very next project you have coming up and what can we look forward to in your future endeavors?
A: I have a dozen ideas for the inspirational market rolling in my head. The next key goal for me is to make an inspirational film without a church setting ” and without having a Reverend or Pastor ” involved. My next project will be something very innovating. How “bout some inspirational thrillers and/or adventure/fantasy films?
What do you really say about Shavar Ross? That he is a also a professional photographer with a keen sense of clean humor; much needed in this day and age of abundant and youthful audiences who believe that being offended is the synonym for entertainment.
He`s absolutely positive about his belief in God and leaves no room for doubt about it, though he seems to politely question the depth of meaning of organized religion. And, last but not least, he has plans for the future that he hopes will lead others, Hollywood included, into a deeper walk with the God in which he believes.
What more is there to say? If you`re looking for Hollywood scandals, “tell-all” wives, and people who don`t live the lives they sing or write about, you won`t find it here.
Want to know more? Visit Shavar`s website at http://www.shavarross.com/.
Writer’s Note: This interview was done in 2007.
So — For the latest happenings with Shavar, see also: