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A Dapper Forest Whitaker And Angela Bassett In On Set 'Black Nativity' Photos

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 31, 2013 10:27 AM
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Shooting is underway in NYC on Fox Searchlight's Kasi Lemmons' musical Black Nativity, and, as expected, fan cameras are out, snapping photos of the cast and crew on the film's Harlem set.

Check out these few of a dapper Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, who play father and mother to  father of Jennifer Hudson's character, in a work that's based on Langston Hughes' Broadway gospel musical.

The story centers on a young black teen from Baltimore, who is sent to Harlem by his mother to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged grandparents. The boy then learns the real meaning of faith and family when his grandfather delivers a Christmas Eve sermon and "a stylized, dream-sequence retelling of the classic Nativity story."

Tyrese GibsonLuke James, singer Jacob Latimore and rapper Nas round out the cast.

Lemmons is directing from her own screenplay, and Raphael Saadiq is writing the music for this musical.

The photos are courtesy of

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  • Micah | February 1, 2013 1:23 PMReply

    Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker sell this for me. What pushes it over the edge is Raphael Saadiq doing the music. This has a lot of great elements. Kasi Lemmons puts together interesting pieces with solid actors. If she keeps growing as a director maybe she'll get a some major awards nods. I would like to agree with several other people about the title needing to be changed.

  • ALM | January 31, 2013 6:45 PMReply

    Mrs. Bassett looks younger and younger as time passes. Mr. Whitaker looks nice.

  • Donella | February 4, 2013 4:28 PM

    I was just thinking it looks like Forest has been working it out in the gym. Play on, Playa.

  • CareyCarey | January 31, 2013 3:13 PMReply

    I have to do a 360 on this one. That's right, in an earlier post I sort of dropped a little salt on this project. Yep, I wasn't too enamored with the cast, and like Skirm, something about the title didn't do me. I mean, the whole sales pitched that it was a musical "based on" Langston's Hughes' Black Nativity gospel musical, didn't set well with me. Don't get me wrong, I love gospel music, and if we're going to go to church, or do Christmas, let's do it. And, it goes without question that most in the cast can hit some notes... that's for sure. But I wasn't sold on their acting.

    But my turn-around came when I noticed Kasi Lemmons was directing FROM HER OWN screenplay. Now that turned my head.

    First, it's my opinion that the best black directors do the best job of directing black actors. I know we've had many debates about that (Tambay just had a post on "what stories can/should white directors tell") but put my money on black. In fact, going back to Kasi Lemmon's Eve's Bayou, which she wrote and directed, I believe it's one of the best black cast films of all time. And, Talk to Me, with it's A-list black actors, gets my Kankol hat tip and two thumps way up. And Ms. Lemmons can act too! So she has been there and done that, and thus, has all the tools she needs.

    Having said that, I don't know why Langston Hughe is even being mentioned? Heck, his play wasn't a smash hit... although it was one of a small few that the critics did like.

    Anyway, if Jump The Broom with its 7 million budget can make 36 million with a director I shall not name, this could do the same. I mean, I don't know if it will make money, but it shaping up to be very entertaining. But, when I think about it, all Twinkie has to do is get Loretta Devine to sign on and it's sure to be a hit.

  • CareyCarey | February 3, 2013 8:30 PM

    What'sup Clayton, it has been a minute. I don't think we've talked since our conversation on the actor in "Nortorious". I believe he played the part of Suge Knight?

    Anyway, I'm jealous. I would love to have a conversation with Kasi Lemmons.

    But I did get a chance to view a couple of your shorts. I see you love working with that camera. Yep, you got skills.

    And, I love the way you dropped your music over the scenes in "Alone". It set just the right tone.

    I haven't been able to view Pro-Black Sheep, but I'd like to have that opportunity.

  • CLAYTON BROOMES JR | February 2, 2013 11:03 PM

    I'm with you careycarey. Eve's Bayou is one of the best black films ever made and Kasi Lemmons is a great human being, conversationalist, and a talented writer/director.

  • Skrim | January 31, 2013 1:10 PMReply

    I'm totally behind this assembly of talent. That said, the title absolutely annoys me.

  • Tracy Twinkie Byrd | January 31, 2013 12:02 PMReply

    My Cast Looks AWESOME!!! Great Work Tambay!!

    Wait until you see the REST of the CAST!!

  • CLAYTON BROOMES JR | February 2, 2013 10:51 PM

    I have to say, great cast Twinkie...

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