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Yolonda Ross, LisaGay Hamilton Will Headline John Sayles' New Drama "Go For Sisters"

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by Tambay A. Obenson
May 26, 2012 12:00 PM
18 Comments
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Yolonda-LisaGay

Thanks to actress Yolonda Ross for alerting us to this.

If I can just take this moment to say that I love it when talent (actors, directors, writers etc) take the initiative and keep us informed of any and all projects they are working on. It makes our job a lot easier, and ensures that readers are getting the info immediately and correctly. I don't have to go digging to find out what this actor is up to, or that writer is writing, or that director is shooting. Let us know! We all benefit from that I think.

But back to Ms Ross... :)

If you're not already familiar Ms Ross' work, you'll be soon enough. We've already profiled a few of her projects. She's appeared both in film and TV over the last decade, from a reoccurring role in HBO's acclaimed series Treme, to, most recently, Victoria Mahoney's impressive feature film debut Yelling To The Sky, which I've seen and later reviewed enthusiastically on this site.

Up next, we'll see her alongside Wendell Pierce of The Wire fame, in the indie drama titled, Four, an adaptation on an off-Broadway play by Christopher Shinn, directed by Joshua Sanchez. As noted in a recent post, that film will make its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival next month, and S&A will be there for your first look at the film.

She'll also appear in HBO's Phil Spector project, which stars Al Pacino in the title role. David Mamet is directing.

This morning, Yolonda alerted me to this new project from indie film maestro John Sayles, titled Go For Sisters, which she's starring in.

The details from Sayles' website read:

GO FOR SISTERS, a film written and directed by John Sayles, will shoot this summer in Los Angeles, Calexico, Mexicali and Tijuana. The director’s 18th feature will star Edward James Olmos, LisaGay Hamilton, Yolonda Ross and Hector Elizondo. The plot concerns two friends, Bernice and Fontayne, who grow up so close they ‘go for sisters’, but then lose track of each other for twenty years. They are reunited when Bernice is assigned as the parole officer for Fontayne, who is fresh out of prison and fighting heroin addiction. But Bernice has an even more threatening problem. With a budget well under a million dollars and four weeks to shoot, this will be a return to the guerilla style of filmmaking familiar to Sayles from his early 80’s films Return of the Secaucus Seven, Lianna and Brother from Another Planet. Production will begin in mid-July.

I've been a fan of John Sayles since Brother From Another Planet. I haven't loved every film, but I dig his unwavering indie spirit. He came from the same *school* as directors like Martin Scorcese and James Cameron - working early in their careers with Roger Corman.

Sayles penned a few screenplays for Corman in the late 1970s/early 1980s, and it's primarily through screenwriting Sayles has been able to survive - writing scripts (or sometimes rewriting) for higher-budgeted studios pictures, and using the money earned from those gigs to help fund his low-budget directorial efforts - films that often tell stories centered around the *under-represented* and marginalized, from all walks of life.

If anything, Go For Sisters should be a well-acted drama (as Sayles films tend to be) with this cast of actors. And I should say that it'll be nice to see LisaGay Hamilton on screen in a starring role. She also worked with Sayles in 2007's Honeydripper

I'll be watching the progress of this.

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18 Comments

  • Zeus | May 30, 2012 10:57 AMReply

    I remember Yolanda Ross from when she played the character Treasure. Ever since then anything she played in freaked me out. LOL!

  • CareyCarey | May 29, 2012 9:21 PMReply

    I can't be the only one who enjoyed John Sayles's Honeydripper? .I loved that movie for so many reasons. Personally, I'd take it over all the others. But check this, I remember Yaya DaCosta and all the other actors in Honeydripper except LisaGay's role. Really, I just can't picture her? But that leads me to Yolonda Ross. I knew I had seen her before but I couldn't remember where. So I googled her. There she was, I remember her now. 2 weeks ago it was suggested by Nadine that I watch Antwone Fisher, one more time. Well, although she had a small part, Ms. Ross killed the role of "Nadine", the evil step-sister that did the no-no to Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke). I remember hating that woman. Yet, I remember asking myself "where did that actress come from and where is she now?". It was obvious she had talent and Denzel must have thought so b/c he was the director. You know what, if a black woman aspires to be an actress, she better have a strong constitution, because good roles are few and far between. Heck, Antwone fisher had several beautiful black women, where are they now?Well, I googled them too. Joy Bryant... what's the last movie in which we saw her face? Well, I only remember her in "Get Rich or Die Tryin' with 50 cents, and "The skeleton Key" which I enjoyed and would recommend. And Salli Richardson was in Ava Duvernay's "I Will Follow" . And she was in "I am Legend" but I can't remember a thing about her part. Anyway, I guess I said all of that to say my hats off to Yolonda for staying in the game. And I look forward to seeing her in "Go For Sisters".

  • CareyCarey | May 30, 2012 12:29 PM

    Kelea, your comment sent me back to google. I didn't recognize the name Keb Mo, but yes, now I do. In fact I didn't know he composed most of the music for tv series Memphis Beat. But yes, his character and his music stood out. But you know what, there was many great actors in Honeydripper. How about Brent Jennings? He's the actor who played the black prison guard in "Life". Well, he wasn't really a guard (he too was an inmate) but he was allowed to carry a gun and jack with the other prisoners (I think you know who I'm talking). And Ruben Santiago-Hudson was also in the movie. Did you see his Lackawanna Blues? That's another one of my favorites. Now speaking of who didn't see it, yep, that's a shame. The movie didn't make but 1/15th its budget, and I don't understand why. Anyway, John Sayles has his work cut out with "Go For Sisters" b/c this budget is 1/5th that of Honeydripper.

  • Kelea | May 30, 2012 2:08 AM

    I enjoyed Honeydripper as well! Lisa Gay Hamilton played Danny Glover's wife didn't she? It's been a while since I've seen it. If nothing else it introduced me to the wonderful music of Gary Clark Jr. He did well for his first film. Loved the cast: Danny Glover, Charles Dutton, Lisa Gay, Stacy Keach, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Kel Mitchell! And the very talented Keb Mo. Wish more people had seen it. Good music. Love the scene with the boys "playing music"

  • Marie | May 29, 2012 9:28 AMReply

    I'm a fan of Sayles' films, especially Lone Star and Passion Fish (you MUST see these movies if you haven't!). One particular thing I've noticed about Sayles is that he CONSISTENTLY hires EXCELLENT black talent for his films (Joe Morgan, LisaGay Hamilton, Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett, et al) more so than probably any other director working today. Kudos to all involved and I look forward to seeing this project!

  • Ade | May 28, 2012 2:24 PMReply

    Both Yolanda and LisaGay are brilliant actors who always bring truth to all the roles I've seen them play. Excited about "Go for Sisters ".

  • Anton | May 27, 2012 4:09 AMReply

    "I've been a fan of John Sayles since Brother From Another Planet."

    Same here! I recently watched that movie on Netflix a few months ago and really enjoyed the social satire and the way he handled issues on race. I've always admired his work as a filmmaker before watching this film -- I love his novelistic approach to narrative, very similar to Robert Altman -- and Brother From Another Planet reminded me of the works of Ishmael Reed.

    Highly anticipating Go for Sisters!

  • Joe Doughrity | May 27, 2012 12:55 AMReply

    New John Sayles is always cause for celebration! As is talented Black folk working! Bravo!

  • Laura | May 26, 2012 9:26 PMReply

    Glad to hear about the very talented Ross and Hamilton in a Sayles film. He's old school indie. I always a fan of his work.

  • Shanea | May 26, 2012 5:22 PMReply

    This is awesome news. Both actresses are tremendously talented. And I've always been a fan of John Sayles. This is definitely something I am looking forward to.

  • Melissa | May 26, 2012 3:18 PMReply

    I love her broadway work as well as her role in an episode of New Amsterdam (shortlived series about a man who travels back in time).

  • Man-Over-Bored | May 26, 2012 2:59 PMReply

    Wonderful casting decision on the part of one of my favorite directors. Yolanda Ross? If you haven't seen her carry the Cheryl Dunye-directed "Stranger Inside"-- stop reading this and go get your hands on it right now! Can't wait to see this project -- I know it'll be worth the wait, considering the three major talents involved!

  • Ashley | May 26, 2012 3:52 PM

    Why do I have "Stranger Inside" on VHS tho? Chiiile! When that joint premiered my finger was on that 'record' button on my VCR. And Miss LisaGay Hamilton? Look...!!!!! Can't. Wait.

  • LeonRaymond | May 26, 2012 1:48 PMReply

    Forget it -please, these people do not even know how immensely talented Yolanda Ross truly is, she was captivating in almost every super small role she's done, and I would say she was using the Pinky finger tip of her talent so far. Just watch , soon when she gets that role , you going to ask WHO IS YOLANDA ROSS!!!!

  • JMac | May 26, 2012 1:42 PMReply

    Sounds good

  • bbob | May 26, 2012 1:27 PMReply

    Yolonda Ross is a phenomenal talent. She deserves to be front and center, esp w such directors as Sayles.

  • Ashley | May 26, 2012 12:31 PMReply

    I love it ALREADY!!!!

  • Cynthia | May 26, 2012 12:30 PMReply

    Nice!

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