Photo by Chris Mitchell
Last night RLJ Entertainment, Urban Movie Channel, and V103 Atlanta hosted a private screening of the upcoming film ‘BLACKBIRD,’ directed by Patrik-Ian Polk and starring Academy Award winner Mo’Nique, Isaiah Washington and Julian Walker. A mix of VIP’s, press and influencers packed the theater at Midtown Art Cinema to preview the much talked about film and sit in on a Q&A with executive producers Mo’Nique and Sidney Hicks, as well as cast members D. Woods, Torrey Laamar and Nikki Jane. V103 personality Ramona Debreaux moderated the discussion.
As Ramona led the Q&A following the screening, cast members touched on what it was like getting into character for the film and what they hope people take away from it. Mo’Nique said it was an honor to work with a young cast and watch them be fearless. Mo’Nique also stated that she prepared for her role by just knowing her character.
“I know that woman, and I know so many young men trying to be themselves,” said Mo’Nique.
She stated that she wanted to bring the rawness and honesty of her character to the film in hopes that some mothers see themselves and perhaps make the change to be more understanding. Actress Nikki Jane and D. Woods stated that it wasn’t hard to get into character as Crystal and Leslie because they had friends who went through depression and teenage pregnancy. They also had friends who wanted to be accepted for their sexuality, and the two actresses have helped these friends get through their challenges.
Mo’Nique stated that society often gets caught in a Black story when in actuality anyone can relate. She wants the film to be an American classic not a “Black classic”. She also stated that she believes it’s the “gay’s turn”, and that she hopes that one day children will not be able to conceptualize that there was a time when same-sex marriage was an issue. She believes it is now the gay community’s turn for equality. She also shared that one of the taglines that emerged from the movie is “Be who you had no choice in being.”
BLACKBIRD’ opens in select theaters on April 24. Visit www.Blackbirdthemovie.com for theater locations.
Check out more photos from the event below. Photos by Chris Mitchell.