Founder and CEO of Brother Film, Antoine Morgan, sits down with Kontrol Magazine to share his road to redemption from a prison cell to rising success.
Recent tabloids have been buzzing about Antoine Morgan’s alleged relationship with rapper Bow Wow’s ex-girlfriend, Kiyomi Leslie. The two can be seen cuddling in Kiyomi’s new music release, “Die Young”, where Antonie plays a Chris Brown-type character with domestic violence as the main theme. While Kiyomi and Bow Wow quarrel on social media, Antoine is, relatively, calm. Why? This actor, film creator and former NFL prospect is no novice to controversy. He sits down with Kontrol Magazine to share how the power of redemption shaped him into an immovable force and rising star.
The Resistance Before Redemption
Antoine was 20-years-old when he went to jail on a federal indictment around illegal drugs and money. Four and half years later, Antoine reemerged as a black man with a criminal record. On paper, he was a typical offender, and that’s how his parole officer treated him. “I told my parole officer that I wanted to get a decent job through a temp service,” Antoine said. “He laughed at me. The guy told me all I could get was a job at McDonald’s or Burger King.”
What the parole officer didn’t realize is that Antoine was worth more than his mistakes reflected. While he was in prison, Antoine paired his love for football with his appreciation for information and began studying everything about the sport. “I had time to learn about the ins and outs of football in a real way,” he said. “But I dug deeper. I did research on muscles, tissues, and bones to see how they function. I wanted to learn how to stay healthy and become stronger.”
“I wasn’t coming home with no plan. After getting to my mom’s house and eating some great food,” the young actor said, laughing, “I was ready to chase my dream of the getting in the NFL.” Antoine had ambition and hope. He just needed someone to believe in him.
The Prerequisite to Redemption
Right when Antoine needed support, he met a beautiful woman who changed his life. Coming from the East Side of Pittsburgh, PA in an underprivileged neighborhood, Antoine had a distinct way of living that, if re-engaged, would land him back in prison. His girlfriend pushed him to believe in his dreams. Together they researched more about the football industry, and she became his agent, sponsoring his training with some of the best trainers in the league.
“Because of her belief in me, in 2014, I was able to become the first person to go from prison to getting an NFL tryout and becoming the shortest player to ever compete in the NFL combines at 5’1”.” Love pushed him forward in the tryouts. Antoine was getting the attention of NFL scouts. “Right when I was trying to make my dream come true, I sustained a career-ending injury.” Sitting at the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Center, Antoine didn’t know that the injury to the ligaments in his ankle would end his career. “People in the industry started pulling away,” he said. “I just wasn’t healing fast enough and got released.”
During his grief, Antoine’s girlfriend stayed by his side and encouraged him to do acting on the side. “I knew the Atlanta film scene was big, but I never considered being an actor,” Antoine said, pausing for a moment. “In fact, my girlfriend is the reason I went on this acting gig to be an extra on Bounce TV’s Saints and Sinners. “I went as just an extra and ended up with a speaking role.”
The Reward of Redemption
What followed as a series of opportunities for Antoine to act in movies and on TV shows. “I was able to work with Benny Boom on All Eyez On Me about Tupac,” Antoine said, sighing lightly. “Then things hit a dry spell. I wasn’t getting any callbacks or new opportunities.” Antoine discovered why in a conversation with an industry connect. “People said I was too short. It wasn’t anything new. I heard the same thing when trying out for the NFL.”
Realizing doors would keep closing to him in Hollywood, Antoine decided to create his own path and make his own films. “I started Brother Films and quickly became an internet sensation, hitting millions of views--after 6 months--from my comedy skits on social media. I turned my comedy skits into short films, and every film I created has hit a major platform.”
From Amazon Prime to DirectTV, Brother Films has been expanding its reach. “I learned to do it all: the filming, editing, etc. I learned about the industry. Now, the sky the limit. I’m building a team that believes in my vision and getting ready to make bigger moves in Atlanta.”
The Simple Truth
Life is about choices. Let’s be honest. We often make the wrong ones. That’s because life is as much about learning from our choices as it is the actual choices we make. Antoine Morgan may have started his journey with poor choices, but he learned some valuable lessons that are securing his seat of success. “I’m excited I can bring people’s vision to life through Brother Films. I am most proud that my company has been successful from the beginning.”
This year, Antoine set his eyes on his next achievement. “I am in the works of opening my own film studio in Atlanta this year.” The excitement in his voice is evident. “Things don’t come easy, but I learned to crawl before I walk.” Walk on, Antoine Morgan. Your road to redemption can only take you higher. I’m certain Antoine would love for his old parole officer to read this now.