By Jerry Del Priore
Be careful, you could get whacked soon.
There’s a new TV episodic mob series in the making called “Mob Mentality,” which centers around Carmine “Car” Ponte Jr. (played by Jack Spiegs), the son of a reputed mobster who sets out to rebuild his life after his release from a federal prison. But a chain of events thrusts him back into a life of crime soon enough.
The creator of the show, Isis Djata, along with cast members, held a pre-launch party event at Legends Bar & Grill in Marine Park, Brooklyn, on Thursday to talk about “Mob Mentality,” feature an exclusive preview of the series’ newest trailer, and discuss an announcement about the “Let’s Make A Mob Show” crowd-funding campaign. The goal is to raise $50,000 to finish filming the pilot episode.
Djata, a New York native and law school graduate of West African descent, also wrote and directed “Mob Mentality,” which is set in Staten Island, New York. She said the timing is perfect for a new mob show, and the public will devour what the program has to offer.
“This is the time for Mob Mentality,” Djata exclaimed. “We waited over ten years for the next great American mob show, and Mob Mentality is that show.
“What makes Mob Mentality different,” she continued? “You never seen a show where you have the lead actor as a psychologist by day, and a mobster by night. I’m the first one to do it.”
The show’s storyline was so compelling to co-star Mike Taverna — who’s also a promising professional wrestler by the name of Mike Verna — that he couldn’t resist auditioning for it.
“I found it one day on the BackStage website; it was called untitled Locked and Loaded Films,” Taverna explained. “And I said to myself, ‘This sounds interesting. What the hell is it?’ When I scrolled through the character bios, I noticed that it was a mob show. I’m an Italian-American kid, and I love mob shows. So I applied for it, I had my audition with Isis, and I got a call two weeks later, telling me that I was cast for the role of Anthony Sorentino, which is the right-hand man of the lead character, Carmine Ponte Jr.”
Taverna, a 27-year-old Brooklyn native, went on to say that he’s relishing in the show’s fledging effort, and is thrilled of the great things to come for “Mob Mentality.”
“Right now, we came from nothing, and were here,” he said of the show’s humble beginnings and the packed house at the event. “I’m really excited for the future.”
As for Spieges — who said he’s garnered the nickname the “Revlon Don” due to his long, blonde locks and steely good looks, from the show’s cast — he’s in awe of how barebones “Mob Mentality” all began, to where it presently stands and the upward direction it’s heading in.
“To see where the show’s been and where it is now, it’s amazing,” said Spieges, 29, who works in construction by day and lives in Yonkers, New York. “The show is only going to get bigger and bigger. The writing is good, and the characters are great.”
The uniqueness of Ponte Jr., who counsels adolescents at an alternative high school while partaking in heinous acts on the so-called side, is something that makes him a walking contradiction.
“He’s dealing with a lot of his own things, and it feeds into the plot,” Djata said. “I thought it was really ironic to put someone in that kind of situation. But isn’t that people in real life? We’re all perfectly flawed. So you have a guy moonlighting at night as a killer, and by day he’s talking to troubled teens. I think this is something viewers are going to want to see. They’re going to think it’s interesting.”
For more information on Mob Mentality, its crowd-funding campaign , and to view its preview clip, click the link at mobmentality.tv.
Special thanks to Ms. Penny Saintil and her publish relations company, Music Speaks Power P.R., for organizing a smashing event.