Vibe With: John Wayne S. III talks Houston movie scene, new film ‘Ebony Hustle’ premiering this month
Written by Nakia Cooper on December 1, 2021
When you hear the name “John Wayne,” you think of “The Duke” from the legendary old Westerns, right? Well not so fast, Houston resident John Wayne S . III is making big Hollywood moves in his own right, and helping to put Houston on the map. He took a moment to “Vibe With” us, telling us about a new movie, “Ebony Hustle,” which was shot right here in H-Town and premiering this month. The film has already been blazing a trail, winning several honors at film festivals across the country.
Vibe Houston: Tell us about “Ebony Hustle” and how you all came up with the concept …. synopsis of movie, who stars in it, etc.?
John Wayne: Ebony Hustle is a bout an ex-stripper turns private investigator. It stars Michelle Lamb (Ebony), Andrew Chandler (Caleb Truth), Jessica Mitchell (Cal) and Kennetra Searcy (Felicia). This film is a creative partnership between my company Londyn Town Pictures and the distributor Maverick Entertainment. They wanted to do women lead film, like Foxxy Brown. Between myself, my writing partners Frank Ovelton and Nia Kayse, Ebony Hustle was born.
[WATCH TRAILER: Ebony Hustle]
Vibe Houston: Tell us about yourself? Where are you from, what do you do?
John Wayne: I’m originally from Chicago. Been producing television, film and media for about 28 years. I have worked as a publicist, music A&R director, artist manager and record label president.
Vibe Houston: What brought to Houston?
John Wayne: I came to Houston to work on a TV series for FOX called Texas Justice. Once I realized that I did not have to be cold, I never went back to Chicago.
Vibe Houston: Ebony Hustle deals with a lot of tough topics, including domestic violence, sex trafficking or kidnapping, abuse, manipulation, stalking, etc.
- Do you think that was “too much” trauma to deal with in one movie?
No, it’s a slice-of-life film. Many people experience those elements everyday, if not all of them simultaneously.
- How did you keep it light, at times?
Sometimes in life, you have to laugh to keep from crying. It’s a as simple as that.
- During this #MeToo era, what is the takeaway message?
I would hope that this film would give someone courage to speak up or save themselves.
Vibe Houston: How do we make a Houston a major player for big budget movies?
John Wayne: The state, local and private industry have to make the investment in filmmakers and infrastructure.
Vibe Houston: How has it been shooting during the pandemic?
John Wayne: Not easy. You have to be diligent and follow protocol. It’s becoming the new normal.
Vibe Houston: Will Ebony Hustle be seen on streaming platforms or in theatres?
John Wayne: Ebony Hustle has a digital release in the US set for December 1. It will premiere on FOX TV’s streaming channel Tubi for two weeks. On December 14th, it will be available on Amazon, Vudu and other major streaming platforms. It also had a successful limited theatrical run in parts of Europe.
Vibe Houston: Do you think the movie theatre industry will fully bounce back?
John Wayne: Yes, I believe so in time.
Vibe Houston: Do you think the streaming revolution will remain in high demand?
John Wayne: Yes, it is here to stay.
Vibe Houston: What’s next?
John Wayne: We have two features and a TV series we are looking to bring to production next year.
Vibe Houston: What do you tell anyone who has a dollar and a dream?
John Wayne: Stay focused and determined.
Learn more information about Ebony Hustle and connect with your favorite actors on IMDb