You’ve heard him on the radio on KJLH 102.3 FM. You’ve seen him on KTLA News Channel 5 as an on-air personality. He has appeared on various television shows such as “True Detective,” “Murder in The First” and HBO’s “Barry.” Avi Bernard will continue his acting abilities in his upcoming film, “Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them.”
The film, which Bernard will produce, is based on a play written by Tony Award winner Christopher Duran. The Venice native spoke to the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper about his upcoming project.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL NEWSPAPER: You are known for working in radio and acting. How did this all begin?
AVI BERNARD: In college, I took a couple of drama classes just for fun. I figured out at the end of college that acting is something that I wanted to do. After college, I worked on an Internet radio station. Then I met Dominique DiPrima at KJLH and asked for an internship. I worked my way up from there while still auditioning for roles.
LAS: What sparked your interest in making the play into a movie?
BERNARD: It happened years ago at a theater bookstore. I saw an interesting title called “Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them.” I read the first scene and was immediately hooked. After a few years, I decided I wanted to make this into a film. I started doing the research and reached out to the writer, Christopher Duran.
LAS: How did Mr. Duran jump on board?
BERNARD: I eventually got him to do an interview at KJLH. That’s how I started to build a friendship with him. I never thought I would become friends with the actual writer, especially a Tony Award winner.
LAS: What makes his writing appealing to you?
BERNARD: My interest sparked from his over the top comedic style. He does far out dark comedy, but with a message. It’s all political satire.
LAS: Speaking of dark comedies, what is “Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them” about?
BERNARD: It’s about a White woman who marries a Muslim man. The father is a right-winged Republican who believes his new son-in-law might be a terrorist. From that point, he starts to interrogate him about a non-existent terror threat.
LAS: Wow that sounds intense. Why do you feel this story needs to be told now?
BERNARD: Look at our current political climate. Though the story is satire, some people today truly have prejudice against other minorities. It is all happening right now because of fear. That amount of fear can lead people to hurt others.
LAS: On your social media, you use the hashtag “#MakeAmericaLaughAgain.” Where does that saying stem from?
BERNARD: It’s just a play on the ridiculous “Make America Great Again” slogan. I often ask, when was America great? What America are you trying to go back to? It has never been great for minorities.
The upcoming film is currently in production. Anyone can donate by visiting startengine.com/makeamericalaughagain. All donations are tax deductible.