‘Queen & Slim’ Star Jodie Turner-Smith Has Us Under Her Spell
BY SYDNEY SCOTT
When it was announced last year that Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas had tapped a relatively unknown Jodie Turner-Smith to star in their film Queen & Slim, playing opposite Daniel Kaluuya, fresh from his Oscar-nominated role in Get Out, the Internet began chattering about the striking British-Jamaican actress. Some remembered Turner-Smith from her star turn as Melantha Jhirl in SyFy’s Nightflyers and her appearance in Zayn Malik’s “Pillowtalk” video. But in Queen & Slim, directed by Matsoukas, written by Waithe from a story by James Frey, the actress is poised to make her mark as a leading lady.
In the flick, there’s a scene in which Turner-Smith glides slowly into frame after her uncle’s girlfriend-—played by Pose’s Indya Moore—takes out her braids so as to be less recognizable to the authorities chasing her. At Turner-Smith’s arrival, the audible gasp from the audience at an early screening dispelled any notion that the actress was someone who would shrink into the background. When the film hits theaters on November 27, viewers won’t be able to take their eyes off her.
Turner-Smith has a powerful presence. A captivating beauty whose sultry energy makes her a scene-stealer, she’s thoughtful when speaking. And while she began her career playing a siren on HBO’s True Blood and popped up in projects like TNT’s The Last Ship, it was only a year ago that she caught our attention in the adaptation of the George R. R. Martin novella Nightflyers.