Blood Brother is a fast-paced thriller, set in a Gotham-esque city rampaged by crime, where a group of four childhood friends plots to rob an armored truck with horribly violent consequences.
When only one (Jake, played by Jack Banning) is caught and forced to serve a 15-year sentence, he emerges from jail with a vendetta to make the others pay for leaving him. Trey Songz, (who plays Sonny) is a standout in the movie with a surprisingly nuanced take on the role of a cop whose internal struggle leads him to an internal emotional gray area that he must deftly navigate in order to stop a Jake from his murderous rampage. Blood Brother was directed by John Pogue, written by Michael Finch, Karl Gajdusek, and Charles Murray, and stars Trey Songz (Sonny), Jack Kesy (Jake Banning), China Anne McClain (Darcy), Hassan Johnson (Joe), Tanee Mccall (Megan), and Fetty Wap (Emilio).
The Knockturnal caught up with Songz at the NYC premiere and panel discussion to find out how he was able to deliver such a nuanced performance. “We all have a persona from childhood that we may or may not grow out of but our childhood friends may still see us as, but we no longer be. That’s the issue with Sonny, he never really reflected on his past but he knows he doesn’t want to go back to being that person.” Songz continues “But Jack is trying to force him to return to the Sonny that he thinks he knew from childhood. Sonny kind of discovers himself and deals with his demons while he’s trying to stop Jack.”
In the Q&A panel discussion, Songz also credits the director (John Pogue) with also helping him stay in character “Kudos to John, without him I wouldn’t even be in the film, he wouldn’t let me anyone call me anything but Sonny. The crew, my mother, my friends, it spilled over into my life. It really helped me stay into character.”
Pogue complimented Songz for taking a leadership role and setting the tone for all the actors in such an intense film. “He knew the hard work it took to get through this movie. Every second was planned out, we filmed in 18, maybe 20 days. So without Trey’s work ethic, and the rest of the cast work ethic) this movie could not have happened.” Pogue recounts the time Fetty Wap (who plays Emilio) was on set for only one day and Songz took him under his wing to run through his lines and make sure he was ready to film every scene “That’s the type of heart and dedication this guy has.”
“John also told me not to focus on the lines so much which really threw me at first. He had rehearsal spaces set up, in the exact scene we were going to film in later. This was so I could connect to the space and the feeling, in addition to the lines, so when it was time to film the actual scene and John would help us work in a pressure-free environment, so we could create and deliver. I was surprised at how good my performance was but John is the reason for that.”
In a separate chat, Songz mentioned he also did all his own stunts in the movies. “I did most of my own stunts, there was maybe one or two crazy ones that they were like ‘You’re gonna kill yourself.’ It was really intense. But I loved it.”
Songz also stayed on set even when he wasn’t filming because he was interested in the behind the scenes perspective. “I loved the whole art of analyzing the scene, analyzing the movie. I was really into learning more about that perspective. I’m really proud of this movie. I loved it.”
Blood Brother was directed by John Pogue, written by Michael Finch, Karl Gajdusek, and Charles Murray, and stars Trey Songz, Jack Kesy, China Anne McClain, Hassan Johnson, Tanee Mccall, and Fetty Wap. Blood Brother is currently in theaters and on demand.