Actor Jeffrey Wright on Art’s Power to Heal | NowThis Entertainment

I loved how the documentary was all about the power of art to heal So how has art helped you get through some tough times? What we as actors do despite the nonsense that suggests what we do is frivolous is we try to use these experiences ourselves that we've had

They may be painful, they may be celebrations, for ourselves and ideally for the audience That's exactly what this group of veterans has done through this work and they are and they are also wonderful, wonderful celebrants of art What was it like watching that transformation firsthand? Seeing how their own words, kind of, opened them up and made them feel something? It was an incredible journey for me to be able to witness them blooming in that way, opening up, That was extraordinary but also it's been extraordinary since the performance, which was two years ago, to see them further evolve and they point to this work as playing a role in that And I caution people when they watch the film to remember that I look forward to bearing witness to them as they carry on from here, not only toward healing themselves, but also that needs to take in their stories and their voices because, I think, right now there's a desperate need for that, too, in our society President Trump loves to say that he appreciates the vets and all they do for the country

But do you think the White House is working hard enough for them? I don't see any change in the statistics relative to veteran suicide We heard a lot about that from him during the campaign Once the campaign was over, the election was over, we don't hear anything more We hear more about how the press is treating him But still the need for our veterans remains

that is only self-serving for the politicians We need to hear from these people if we are going to understand, if we are going to begin to work toward what they need, and if we are going to begin It's dire—it's a real need—and the manipulation of our troops, our vets, I find to be abhorrent What can the average American do to help this cause? The Joe Smith in Idaho watching, what can he do? Well there's an organization called Community Building Artworks that we feature in this documentary led by a poet named Seema Reza who's worked for the last seven years, I think, on projects such as this, working with veterans every day, veterans suffering from PTSD Their desire, and one of the things that I was so struck by in working with them, is And so the desire from this group of veterans is to continue this work and Community Building Artworks is one foundation that's doing that, and hopefully we can expand it across the country to serve the need