Dean Devlin was the guest speaker at FilAm Creative’s April potluck. Devlin saw an opportunity to raise awareness for the Filipino-American creative organization.
“It was very touching to be part of that event,” Devlin said while speaking about his new movie Bad Samaritan. “I am Filipino. I’ve been involved with several Filipino causes in my life.”
As one of Hollywood’s leading producers, and burgeoning director, Devlin understands why some from the Philippines are hesitant to give money.
“It’s very difficult because Filipinos in general, they’re very generous and they’ll send money back to the Philippines ever week to their family,” Devlin said. “But, if there’s an organization that’s looking for their money, they’re incredibly skeptical because they’ve experienced such corruption in their lives that they just don’t trust organizations.”
FilAm works to empower Filipinos in the industry via education and community resources.
“This organization, which has earned the trust of the community, is really building something very, very special,” Devlin said. “I’m very hopeful that that continues to grow because I would like to see the Filipinos both creatively but also politically start to create power blocks that don’t exist.”
In his own films, Devlin has been breaking diversity boundaries for decades.
“When we did Independence Day it was the first guy that a black guy and a Jewish guy saved the Earth, but we didn’t set out to do that,” Devlin said. “That wasn’t the plan. We weren’t saying we should cast this part black. We said the part is the ultimate all American boy and at the time that really was Will Smith.
“It had nothing to do with him being black. And Jeff Goldblum was just the guy you wanted in science-fiction more than anything else in the world. It had nothing to do with him being Jewish, but it worked out nicely that way.”
Now, with his company Electric Entertainment, Devlin will continue to direct. Any filmmakers of any origin are welcome to join him.
“Our number one concern is supporting filmmakers who are doing the stuff we want to do,” Devlin said. “I’d like to hope that we’re absolutely color blind and that we don’t care about what sex they are. To me, it’s really who’s got a project that we want to do? Who’s got an idea?”
The next Independence Day will come not from trying to check boxes, but by being open to unique talent.
“I’d like to think that if I continue to be color blind, those opportunities will arise,” Devlin said.
Bad Samaritan is now in theaters. For more on FilAm visit their official site.