Black women continue to shine on the glossy covers of fashion magazines this month.
“I think Euphoria taught me a lot about myself. It made me more confident in my own abilities because I doubted myself a lot.” Zendaya says that before the show, she didn’t have any work that pushed her or allowed her to be creative. “I was looking for something to prove I can do it,” she says.
“Euphoria served as that, in the healthiest way. I never want to plateau as an actress—I always want to be able to explore and push myself. [Being an actress] brings me to places and makes me do things I’d probably never do because I’m such an introverted person.”
Zendaya is also joined by Queen And Slim writer Lena Waithe, director Melina Matsoukas and star Jodie Turner-Smith. The film, which drops on Thanksgiving, is a modern-day Black Lives Matter, Bonnie & Clyde drama starring Daniel Kaluuya and Turner-Smith.
It centers on an Ohio couple who, on their first date, get pulled over by a white cop and end up shooting and killing him in self-defense. Soon after, the two are put on America’s Most Wanted list, go on the run, yet find allies that empathize and understand the all too common plight of police brutality and racism.
In their interview, the ladies had this to say:
[Lena] On how writing Queen & Slim was a way for her to rebel and gain agency: “I didn’t truly experience what it means to feel like a second-class citizen until I sold my first TV show. Because out of five people, I was the fifth most important person in the room. During the first season [of The Chi], I didn’t have any real agency, so that’s when I started working on the script. It was almost my way of rebelling and reminding myself I do have a gift. They can’t appreciate it now, but they will.”
[Melina] On being a woman of color, and feeling pressure to be perfect: “In our success comes other black people’s success, so there is a lot of pressure for us to do well—for the culture. It’s hard to create art with that weight, and I feel it every day. It’s one of my greatest fears, failing. I just want to make my people proud.”
[Jodie] On the message behind the film: “The act of committing that type of violence is not something that is glorified, but it’s really a comment on how black people are put in this kind of life-or-death situation way too often. These people make the radical choice to survive, even when it means doing something so horrible that there’s no coming back from it. Even thinking about the concept raises the hairs on my arms, because it really is a film about black survival at all costs.”
The sistas continue to dominate 2019 y’all!
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