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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Sean Stone, Actor and Director @WatchingSean Our Coverage Sponsored by Cosmopolitan Dental, Official Dentist of Whom You Know @GaroNazarianDDS #cosmopolitandental #loveyoursmile

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Sean Stone has grown up in the film-world, having acted since childhood in his father Oliver Stone’s films, including The Doors (1990), JFK (1991), Natural Born Killers (1994), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) and Savages (2012), before making his directing debut with the documentary-style psychological horror Greystone Park (2012).

Stone majored in American History, studying at Oxford and Princeton University, graduating from Princeton in 2006 after completing his thesis on the New World Order, which he converted into a book in 2016, now available from all major booksellers. 

By the time Sean Stone finished with college, he was fortunate enough to have worked with such organizations as Save the Children in Somalia, and the gang prevention program Unity-One for Jim Brown's Amer-I-Can group in Los Angeles. 

Stone is currently the co-host of the RT news show Watching the Hawks, which airs internationally. He also hosts the interview program Buzzsaw for Gaia. Stone’s shows investigate the real world’s ‘X-Files’, taking an unflinching look at the esoteric and hidden agendas behind world politics, popular culture and news events.

In November 2016, Stone released the documentary A Century of War on RT America, featuring interviews with John Perkins, Nomi Prins, Catherine Austin Fitts, Senator Mike Gravel, Catherine Austin Fitts, and Ramez Naam. In 2018 he directed a TV Special for RT America, Hollywood, D.C., featuring interviews with Oliver Stone and Greg Palast, about the relationship between politics and cinema. 

As an actor, Sean Stone has trained at the Baron Brown School in Los Angeles and has starred in the films A Star for Christmas(2012), with Corey Sevier and Briana Evigan; Don’t Pass Me By(2014), with Jeremy London and Keith David; Union Bound(2016) with Randy Wanye; and Paranormal Activity Security Squad(2016), with Bianca Van Damme. Stone wrote, produced and stars in the upcoming feature film Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece (2018), with Danny Trejo, Michael Dudikoff, Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson, Bill Goldberg, Richard Grieco and many other cameos, to be released May 25 by Comedy Dynamics.  We are thrilled to present Sean Stone as our latest Mover and Shaker!  Peachy Deegan interviewed Sean for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What is your first acting memory? 
Sean Stone: I vaguely remember throwing strawberries as Gordon Gekko’s son in Wall Street, but I’d say my first distinct memory was playing ‘war’ in the opening of Born on the 4th of July with the other kids.

What motivated your intrinsic passion for acting? 
I honestly wouldn’t call it intrinsic. I was very shy as a child and worked to open myself up throughout high school and college. I think I’ve only recently embraced acting in the last few years.

What have you enjoyed the most about each of your acting ventures and why?
Well Greystone Park was fun because we were shooting in these abandoned mental hospitals, and they were genuinely haunted which allowed for a level of spontaneity to the performance. Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece provided me with my favorite character, The Fist, a stereotypical 80s action hero. And I’m on set now in Morocco for a little film called Night Walk. The locations alone make it a worthwhile venture.

What directors would you like to work with and what do you think you would learn from them? 
 I’ve had the privilege of watching one of the best directors, Oliver Stone, all my life. Sometimes I’ve worked with him, and mentored under him, but it’s hard to ask for other directors to work with when I’ve been so fortunate to have learned from the best. 

What are the biggest misconceptions about being an actor and the world of acting? 
I think people generally believe Hollywood to be this make-believe place where we live magical, glamorous lives. And there is glamour and magic and excess, but mostly it’s work and studying. Actors are not just hanging out on red carpets and partying. It takes a huge amount of courage to put yourself out there for the world to see- that level of self-exposure, from any of the creative artists involved in telling a story, is much more demanding than can be understood from watching E or Access Hollywood.

What do you attribute your acting success to? 
I don’t know that I’ve had success yet, to my own expectations, but I do believe in pursuing my creative outlets and projects through the course of my life. And if you don’t give up, that’s success.

Do you enjoy the stage or the screen more and why? 
I haven’t done much on the stage. I enjoy the screen for now but who knows...

When you're not working, how can people tell when you're acting and when you're being real? I feel like we all act. We put on personas and behaviors that aren’t necessarily from our heart and soul. But the core of acting is sincerity, so maybe that’s the point, whether working or not, searching out my truth.

With a name like Sean, are you Irish? 
Partly, on my mom’s side. But I’m named after Sean Connery, or so I’m told.

How did you like studying in Princeton and Oxford and what did you like most about each of them? 
Princeton had this beautiful, insulated atmosphere that was totally conducive to studying. I relished my intellectual side at that time, devouring as many books and classes as I could. Oxford proved even more insulated and intellectual than Princeton, and for me it was colder, with less of a sense of college community. I don’t think of those years as the most enjoyable of my life, but I appreciate the challenges they offered.

Please compare and contrast studying in Princeton and Oxford specifically and the US and the UK generally.
 Princeton was ultimately much warmer than my Oxford experience. At Oxford, I interacted mostly with a tutor, and per the custom, he would assign me a list of a dozen books and a question, relating to history. I would then have to read the books on the list to come up with a weekly essay answering the question. So most of of my time was spent alone at the library. Whereas at Princeton I at least interacted with my classmates in lectures and classes taught by TAs.

What are your favorite moments of American history and why? 
That’s a unique question. When we study history, we tend to focus on the wars, which is a sad thing to say about the human race. But the revolution is certainly a monumental time period, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of the Federalist Papers and the Constitution. Of course, there have been so many tragedies since then, as America rose to the world stage by conquering the west, often with broken treaties and conquest. America’s engagement in the First World War was an outright fraud perpetrated on the American people, much like Vietnam and later unnecessary wars we’ve been sold on. So I think of the great moments not in terms of America’s wars but it’s innovations, from the telegram to the light bulb to radio and television to the internet. We are at our best as innovators and entrepreneurs.

Do you consider yourself a patriot/proud to be American? Why or why not?
I don’t think of it as pride insofar as fortune of birth to be an American. I do love America as a promise of freedom and democratic principles, though I believe an oligarchy has derailed the constitution and put us into more of a military-industrial-national security state. The deep state of interlocking financial interests controlling America is extremely harmful to our future, and I will do my best to fight it because I believe monopolies and corporate control structures are anathema to freedom. So yes, I love my country and want to see us all thriving in it.

Who have you enjoyed interviewing the most and why? 
There have been so many. The Buzzsaw collection alone on YouTube is fascinating for any open-minded individual. But I’d say I’m most proud of my documentaries which feature very informative interviews - from Beyond Nixon to Century of War and Hollywood, D.C. most recently.

What should the world know about your dad that they might not know yet? 
I’d recommend people watch my documentary Fight Against Time: Oliver Stone’s Alexander. It gives some remarkable insights into the way he sees the world. I tend to think of my father as a man who has been deeply wounded and yet, because he has a warrior’s heart; he perseveres. 

And your mom? 
I’m the son of Elizabeth Stone as much as Oliver Stone. She’s an angel. 

We believe our friend Mover and Shaker Geoffrey Bradfield has worked with your dad;
Have you worked with Geoffrey also and do you have an opinion on his designs? 
I loved the work he did for my dad’s apartment, giving it a maritime feel, but I’ve not had the pleasure of working with him directly.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
 I think that comes from my own soul.

What are you proudest of and why? 
I’m proud of my lineage, and grateful, that I come from ancestors of good stock, as they say. It’s not just that my father has had success in his career, but he and my mother raised me to value the non-material things in life, like ethics and moral values. That all speaks to their ancestry and traditions. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
I’m just beginning my careers, so everything! Lots of movies I’ve written that I intend to make.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession? 
I can’t claim any yet.

What one word best describes you and why? 
Stubborn! But that really just means I never give up.

What do you take your sense of identity from? 
Past life memories.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
Central Park

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
La Maison du Chocolat followed closely by Strand Books.

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?
 An assistant. 

What is your favorite drink? 

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
I wish I could say something outrageous, but all that comes to mind is in China, at the Beijing film fest a man approached and said, I loved you in the Matrix.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
That’s the toughest question of all. I’ll play it safe and say Barbounia. 

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? 
 It’s ironic that Manhattan is so renowned for cinema but doesn’t seem to compare on the literary front to cities like Paris and London. I’ll go with Holly Golighlty. 

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
I think I’d like to be a cosmonaut for a day. Doesn’t matter which one as long as I got to go outside the earth’s atmosphere and look down upon it from that point of view.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
 A park. I’d love to see more greenery in the city.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
 Watching the Mets play in the 2015 World Series.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
 Go to the Met museum!

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
That’s so hard but I’ll say Howard Hughes, mainly because he intersected Hollywood, the military-industrial-aerospace complex and big business. Plus his whole disappearance / kidnapping mystery- the man had a fascinating life. He would have held a lot of secrets, and probably wouldn’t share them all over a dinner, but I’d probe as best I could.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
I love the arts, from museums to musicals to opera, but it really all began on Broadway when I saw Phantom of the Opera at 4 years old with the original cast. 

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
I think true charity is discreet. But I feel that my work, as a TV host and interviewer, I seek out truth and give platform and voice to subjects and topics that help raise our awareness and consciousness as humans. If I can contribute to the elevation of consciousness in any capacity, I feel that is the best service I can offer.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan? 
The people are underrated, too often called rude. The apartments are overrated, judging by the price!

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite​ column and what do you like about it? 
Peachy Deegan cocktail cause it’s got a great name and who couldn’t use one!

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
That I’m accessible through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter so please feel free to follow my activities there.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 

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