We’re back with something special for you this fall. For our first cover of The Indulge in Fashion Issue we have the beautiful Sanaa Lathan. Sanaa needs no introduction. By now, most of us have been raised watching her movies and instantly recognize her from name alone. If you are like most of us, you first fell in love with her in Love & Basketball. This film became a legendary love story, becoming part of the essential New Black Movie Renaissance—a set of films that ushered in a new age of quality films for African-Americans. Love and Basketball¸ alongside films like Love Jones, Soul Food, and The Best Man. There have been talks of a sequel to the film, but Sanaa dismisses them. “Well you would have to speak to Gina Prince-Bythewood, the director of Love & Basketball about that officially. I’ve heard the rumors and I feel like that [Love and Basketball] was a story to itself…I mean how could you go about making a sequel to it? I feel the ending was pretty finite.” The latest rumors state the film would be about a new couple who are directly inspired by the original couple in the film and have a love story of their own. The premise sounds nice, but can the love really be as real and as believable as the story we first fell in love with?
Thankfully, Sanaa continues to make amazing films. Her latest project, The Perfect Guy, has everyone crazy with anticipation. Sanaa stars in it alongside Hollywood heart throbs, Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut.
Needless to say, The Perfect Guy is a movie you have to see! If you haven’t seen it yet…The film is near and dear to Sanaa, not only as a star but an executive producer as well. “Yeah a lot of people don’t know that. Michael Ealy is too. When you come across a project you really believe in it’s thrilling to actually produce it as well…We’ve been hands on with it, making sure it is something everyone will really enjoy…”
As aforementioned, our starlet runs in some pretty impressive circles in Black Hollywood. In fact, she counts Gabrielle Union, Regina King, and Essence Atkins as a few of her good friends. She admits to love working with and hanging out with them, but believes that Hollywood still has a ways to go with roles for Black actresses. “There have definitely been some advances, I mean never before have we had so many shows led by African-American actresses…I support and congratulate Taraji P. Henson, Tika Sumpter, Kerry Washington, and Viola Davis, but at the same more of those opportunities are needed…The solution can be to produce our own projects, as we did with Perfect Stranger, and then we need audiences to support them. At the end of the day Hollywood is a business and numbers do talk. They are going to go with what’s successful and making money.”
Another issue troubling Black Hollywood seems to be typecasting. At times it seems like we see the same actresses playing the same role over and over in different films. Thankfully, Sanaa is no victim of that. Each of her characters are unique and it is truly a different experience each time you see her in a film. Perhaps this comes from her screening any project presented to her by reading the script. “Reading the script is the first thing I do. If I’m sold on the script I’ll feel more inclined to do the project, but more importantly I can screen what I’m accepting” As for her characters; “… that really just comes from knowing the craft and putting in the work.” Interestingly, there is a rumor she will playing a love interest for Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix. “Really? You heard that? Well [she laughs], I would have to read the script first and know who’s starring in it. Then you never know…”
Check out more of what Sanaa had to say in The Indulge In Fashion Issue Of Kontrol on stands at your local Barnes and Nobles November 23rd.
Written By: Michael “Hero” Fanning
Shot by Chad Finley, Styled by Julian R. Lark, Makeup by Motoko Honjo and Hair by Marcia Hamilton