It’s undeniable that we are in tense times surrounding racism in the United States, so Taraji P. Henson‘s new movie co-starring Sam Rockwell, titled The Best of Enemies may be exactly what we need. It tells the story of no nonense civil rights leader Ann Atwater and KKK President C.P. Ellis and the development of their friendship during the course of a charette to decide whether Durham schools should be desegregated in the 1950’s.
HelloBeautiful had the opportunity to speak with Bill Riddick, who actually came to Durham from Raliegh to set up, organize and oversee the charette and encouraged Ann Atwater (played by Henson) and C.P. Ellis (played by Rockwell) to co-host it for full representation. Riddick discussed that a charette is designed to solve one specific problems, we joked during the interview that we need a charette right now in the United States.
Henson was passionate about playing Atwater who was undeniably a strong character, “She was up against all these men, all these powerful men.” If you wonder how Henson was able to channel this for the character, she added, “I feel like that in this industry.” Rockwell stated he read the script and knew that this was an important film to make.
As someone who has seen the film (and actually lived in Durham for four years), I highly recommend it. You’ll walk out feeling hopeful for a new future and re-energized to make change.
Check out the interview above and go see The Best of Enemies in theaters Friday, April 5th, 2019.