This afternoon, I had the opportunity to view the film Gun Hill Road by Rashaad Ernesto Green in which a man named Enrique returns to his home in the Bronx after being in prison for 3 years to find his son is a transgender and his wife hasn’t been loyal. Throughout the movie, the struggles of the characters come to life and add an overwhelming sense of humanity the audience can truly resonate with.
However, I’m not writing to discuss the plot and character development of the film itself in this post. I’m more interested in sharing information shared by Robert Salvman, a man of taunting size and strength, who played a minor role as “Sugar” in the film.
During the Q&A, when asked about his experience in the film as an ex-prisoner who is brutalized by Enrique, Salvman replied by saying his role of being the beat up man helped him to understand how everyone else feels who is bullied. Further using this as a segment into his personal background, Salvman continued in his vulnerability by telling the audience of his past in prison, juvenile detention centers, foster care facilities and mental institutions. He described his casting process in that director Green approached him on the subway in New York as he was on his way home from his job of bouncing at a night club.
Salvman provided an inspiring story that is such a testament to the American dream. In his story, he said, “You know, I came from nothing, but now I’m something. And you know, life is never over.”
How simple. Yet how beautiful. Regardless of his minor contributions to the film through the limited involvement of “Sugar,” Salvman reminds us all to never shoot for anything less than the stars. To continue pushing ourselves to our fullest potentials. To take advantage of opportunities handed to you, even if they’re on the subway of the Bronx.
In short, thank-you Robert Salvman for providing me with a refreshing reminder to not take life for granted. Because just as you said, it is never over until we allow ourselves to say it’s over.