The first animated African American princess movie is ready to leap into homes across the country. Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” is available Wednesday on DVD. Tony-award winning actress Anika Noni Rose — the voice of the character Princess Tiana — talked with Suite 411 about how the movie could affect future generations of children.
by Allison Horton
Filming a movie in one of the most dangerous and violent places in the country, Brooklyn’s Van Dykes Houses, wasn’t easy, said Antoine Fuqua, director of “Brooklyn’s Finest,” which opens March 5. Not due to crime or violence, but politics.
“Police and government officials told me if I go in there I am on my own,” he said. “I had to fight the system to get in there and to bring [the actors] into the hood so the kids can see and be a part of a positive experience like making a movie. It was challenging.”
Fuqua said he was happy to cast hundreds of the housing project residents in “Brooklyn’s Finest,” which follows the lives of three Brooklyn police officers who are involved in a massive drug operation. The cast is comprised of notable veteran actors Wesley Snipes, Don Cheadle, Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke. Fuqua previously worked with Hawke when he directed the 2001 film, “Training Day,” which actor Denzel Washington won an Academy Award for best actor in a leading role.
Fuqua and co-star Wesley Snipes recently visited Chicago to promote the film. Fuqua said he was impressed with the script written by first-time African American screenwriter, Michael Martin, a former construction flagger in the New York subways. Martin was born and raised in the Brooklyn projects.
By Allison Horton
Fighting to save humanity from an apocalyptic end is just another day in the life of Tyrese Gibson. The singer and actor stars in the movie, “Legion,” which opens this Friday. Gibson plays the character Kyle, one of the strangers trapped in a diner taking a stand to save mankind.
Gibson said he related to his character Kyle who is a divorcee and drew on his own life experiences for the role. The performer’s 1½ -year marriage ended in divorce last summer and he shares custody of his two-year-old daughter, Shayla.
“I went into my real feelings on Kyle,” he said. “He’s on his way to court dealing with a nasty divorce and dealing with custody issues. This guy just falls over because he’s lost. He needs directions to where he’s going. He gets sucked into the matrix.”
After an eight-year hiatus, Maxwell released Blacksummers’ Night in 2009 and garnered six Grammy nominations. Check out this extensive interview with the sexy crooner.
by Allison Horton
In “Armored”, actor Columbus Short’s first action film ever, he was excited to be able to do all of his own stunts such as running, jumping and crashing armored trucks.
“It was pretty crazy and intense,” he said. “It is like a kid being able to play cops and robbers and shooting it up. It was fun.”
“Armored,” which opens this Friday also stars veteran actors Laurence Fishburne and Matt Dillon. Short plays a young armored truck driver who is coerced by his co-workers to steal $42 million.
by Allison Horton
It all started when Chris Rock’s then five-year-old daughter asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”
The question set the comedian on a path to learn more about the importance African American women place on their hair, specifically what they will go through to have straight or relaxed hair. The result is “Good Hair,” an entertaining documentary opening Oct. 23 that takes a look at how women achieve that goal. From visiting beauty shops where perms are applied to traveling to India to see how weaves are created, Rock leaves no stone unturned in his quest.