There’s a huge, high-decibel construction project going on outside her modest L. home, and she keeps interrupting herself to giggle, sigh loudly, or apologize for the noise. “This is when I wish I had a 9-to-5.” Much of her early chatter is like this: funny, warm, but a little impersonal.
In interviews, Lathan is traditionally guarded — many of her answers pour forth politely and fully formed, like she’s given them hundreds of times, and she evades questions about her internal and personal lives.
The film, she says, turns the crazy, scorned-ex-girlfriend trope on its head, and instead allows Ealy to slowly lose his shit onscreen while Lathan gets to play the sympathetic protagonist.
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Ask someone when they fell in love with Lathan, and they’ll likely point to Gina Prince-Bythewood’s 2000 rom-dram Love & Basketball, which cast Lathan as Monica, a flinty but deeply vulnerable young ballplayer lusting after her smooth-talking, similarly hoop-dreaming best friend Quincy (Omar Epps).
Though Lathan grew up adjacent to the entertainment biz, guest-starred on sitcoms like Moesha and Family Matters, and dutifully gazed into the eyes of Epps and Taye Diggs in late-’90s hits like The Wood and The Best Man, Love & Basketball was her cinematic cotillion — the bildungsroman upon which she built the sturdy base of her early career.
And when love comes totally unexpectedly, Kenya's dilemma is with the barriers that exist within society when she falls for a white guy. This is the second time you have worked with Alfre Woodard, where she has played your mother. Did you reconnect with her prior to shooting the film and did you talk to her about the racial subject since she is married to a white man. Alfre has been in an interracial relationship for years and she said that you just have to be strong within yourself and I think that's the journey that Kenya takes, of getting to that strength. We've always talked about working together so I was really thrilled that he agreed to do this. Kenya has that list, that IBM, that Ideal Black Man, and Blair's character, Mark, was that. Outside of the urban films that you have done, there's "Alien V. Just recently, Fox executive Tom Rothman was heard stating that the studio has a script for a new film and the 2007 would be a release date. If they don't want me, they can hire somebody else, so we shall see.
In speaking with blackfilm.com, Lathan talks about interracial romance, working with the cast, a first time filmmaker, and if she will come back to the sequel to "AVP". SL: The thing I love about this movie is that if you think about it, there hasn't been interracial relationship movies that deal with this from a black woman's perspective. The other thing about it is that it's usually the couple against the world; or the couple against the family. He's handsome, he's educated, he has nice teeth, and he makes money. When she experienced him, she realized that she didn't feel anything, and that was crushing.
It’s the film her fans rhapsodize about most, says Lathan, and, apparently, it still brings grown men to tears.