I think a film is a failure if it doesn’t have an emotional effect. That’s the film’s failure. Not if it doesn’t deliver a message, but if it doesn’t have emotional effect or visceral effect.
Pain doesn’t have a face and pain doesn’t have a certain way of adjusting. Pain is universal.
Black women are supposed to be ‘strong,’ but the burden of carrying our race and carrying our families adds the pressure.
Every role is a potential lover. I ask: Are they someone I want to wake up to in the morning and go to bed with at night? Do they question my assumptions about life? Consume me to distraction? Make my cry, then clown to make me laugh again? If I say yes, then it’s all I need.
I think that when a film does its job, it poses questions rather than gives answers. It should act as a frustrating counselor who, at your bidding for advice, says, ‘What do you think?’ I think that’s some of what the culture critic Greg Tate meant by art leaving a ‘metaphysical stain.’
Too many people I’ve loved dearly have left this earth. And some I’ve lost are still here breathing the same air. That grief can be comparable if not worse in its consumption.
The roles that I feel I get, or handed to me, or whatever, are not that interesting. I don’t think it’s a problem that’s specific to black women. I think it’s a problem that’s specific to movie-making in America.
Sitcoms are incredibly limiting. When you do a sitcom and it becomes a signature part for you, it’s harder to do something else; but if you do a drama, you can get lost in it and have a role to do other things.
I don’t think that a vote for Barack Obama is a symbolic thing. I think it’s much more than that. It’s not just a black man. It’s not just a feel-good vote. It’s the idea of electing someone who really does want to make a difference.
I love playing different characters and things that are challenging. I’m not interested in safety at all. That’s what makes me get up in the morning.
I’m not married, nor do I want to be. I’m the loving kind but not the marrying kind, though I am romantic.