As he tells ET’s Nischelle Turner, the idea and his interest in the production of energy came about when he was adding solar to his own home. In the documentary, Scott speaks to senators, coal miners, solar panel installers, and everyone in between, to learn the obstacles and opportunities for achieving energy freedom.
“I really didn’t know a lot about it other than it seems like the right thing to do for the environment,” he shares. “And I was met with so many strange rules and how it could be done with the local utility delays and frustrations, and then when I started digging in I realized there is this consorted effort from the fossil fuel utility to basically stifle innovation in solar renewable energy, and in some areas in the country it’s straight out of the tobacco playbook.”
It took Scott three years to shoot the film, which he also co-directed with Edward Osei-Gyimah, and he says researching for the film “was a journey of discovery.”
“I didn’t realize here in America where there are tens of thousands of homes who do not have access of what we take for granted,” he relays. “They have no power, they can’t flip a switch and turn on the lights.”
The topic also hits close to home for Scott, who shares that his grandfather was a coal miner. “He died of black lung and cancer,” he recalls. “And it’s heartbreaking because there are parts of the country where people are struggling and they just want to do a good job and so it does, it hits hard for me.”
What he hopes viewers get out of Power Trip, is for people “to realize that if they take for granted what their rights are, those rights will be taken away.”
“Because there are very powerful, very well financed organizations who are actively trying to take your rights away,” he expresses. “So use your voice, use your head. I created a website, powertriptruth.com, so people can go and figure out if I do want to use my voice, where do I start? If I do want to look at solar, where do I start? Make sure you know where you’re getting your information, because a lot of the information, particularly surrounding elections, a lot of the information is bogus. It’s meant to confuse you.”
His documentary also features his new single “Being Honest.” “It doesn’t just touch the subject of the film, it also touches, I think, where people are politically today,” he states. “The political environment out there, maybe in their relationship.”
Meanwhile, Scott’s famous girlfriend Zooey Deschanel also is known for her singing chops. When asked if they would ever write music together or do a duet, he replies, “I wouldn’t even try to be at the level of what Zooey is.”
“We’ve got so many instruments around the house and she can play almost everything and I’m dabbling,” he shares. “So there is always music in the house. And so for fun, maybe we’ll do something but for me I love being in the audience and watching her work her magic.”
Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip premieres Nov. 16 at 10/9 on PBS.
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