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Straight from Lena on QUEEN & SLIM

from the LA Times

Why Lena Waithe fell in love with her leads while writing ‘Queen & Slim’

By LENA WAITHE

“Queen & Slim” screenwriter Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe took the idea for “Queen & Slim” and made it her own. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

“Queen & Slim” began at a party, celebrating my wife Alana Mayo. She had just been chosen as one of the Hollywood Reporter’s 35 under 35 execs. I was there gallivanting and having a good time when writer James Frey walked up to me and introduced himself. 

It was kind of funny, because I knew who he was, but I joined in the formalities anyway and introduced myself as well. I think he was aware I was a writer — but at that time “The Chi” hadn’t aired yet (we were still writing the first season) and the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None” was an idea that had not yet entered my mind. I say all this to say: He had no real reason to throw an idea — an idea that would ultimately change the course of my life — into my lap at a rooftop party in Hollywood.

He simply said, “I have an idea for a movie I can’t write.” I responded, “What’s the idea?” And he said, very cavalierly, a black man and a black woman go out on a first date and on their way home they get pulled over by a cop, things escalate quickly and they kill the cop in self-defense and rather than turning themselves in, they decide to get in the car and go.” 

I quickly said to him, “You’re right, you can’t write that.” But I knew I could.

He had another title and an outline in his back pocket, but I didn’t want it. I didn’t need it. That sentence was all I needed to go create a black odyssey that would ultimately become a meditation on blackness and what it truly looks like to search for freedom and joy that’s everlasting.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on December 20, 2019 by Editor

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