2013 marked the comeback for good, quality Black films and “Essence” magazine is showcasing them in March 2014 issue. Gracing the cover is “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, Chiwetel Ejiofor “12 Years a Slave” and “Fruitvale Station” standout Michael B. Jordan. The magazine released a video that gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at the cover photo shoot and what the stars had to say.
Mama Oprah dished on how she desires Blacks to be portrayed in movies:
I always just wanted when I was growing up, just to see stories and movies with black people where we were just normal people because that’s what people do in their real lives. We make meals for each other. We have parties. We play cards. You come over to my house. We have these conversations. We get into arguments. We call each other names. We forgive each other. It’s just about life. I think the more that we can tell stories that normalize and actualize the African American experience, that’s really is how you break down the barriers of racism.
She also talked about how she had to sex it up for her role in “The Butler.”
“I don’t think of myself as being sexy and I’m not even sure how one is sexy,” she admits. Her acting coach instructed her: “Every time Gloria walks, pretend that she has a tail. And when Gloria sits down, she doesn’t sit without making sure there’s room for her tail.”
Chiwetel Ejiofor also confessed that he tapped into his “12 Years a Slave” role so much, it took him months to recuperate.
“[It was a] fine line in between sanity and insanity.[…]Even though there were emotional moments to shoot, overall I think every member of the cast and crew was there for one reason: They felt it was a tale that deserved to be told.”
While Michael B. Jordan revealed what it’s like to be the new guy:
It’s so much out of your control, and that’s not why we do what we do. Concentrate on the word. That’s what it should be about. Being in some great company like Forest Whitaker, it’s kinda cool. I’m like the rookie in a locker room full of veterans.
The newest issue of “Essence” hits stands Feb. 10 to see full interviews and women like Lupita Nyong’o, Ava DuVernay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs honored as Black Women in Hollywood!