Traveling with MTV might sound like a constant party, but Andrew Jenks doesn’t stay in swanky hotels. Instead, he moves in with fairly ordinary people and immerses himself in their frequently extraordinary worlds — which means he occasionally needs to run for his life from illegal slaughter farms. He tells us a little bit about his new show, “World of Jenks.”
You’re best known for your film “Room 335,” for which you moved into a nursing home. What was that like?
It turned out to be incredible. We didn’t concentrate on any of the nursing home facility problems — you know, Michael Moore-type stuff. It was much more an opportunity to humanize that generation.
What’s the premise of “World of Jenks”?
I move in and live with someone. I embed myself in their lives for a good period of time and really try to understand what their world is about. A lot of times it’s a learning curve because, for instance, with the [cage fighter episode], I thought it’d just be this bulky guy. It ended up being a humble 23-year-old whose father had been brutally murdered. You realize that the reason he is a cage fighter is to keep fighting for his dad.
How has your life changed since you started this project?
You lose your family, my friends. You sacrifice a personal life. Not to be cheesy, but these are 12 short documentaries that go out to millions of kids who can
really be inspired or changed by watching other kids doing incredible things.