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Nicole Beharie Will Play Jackie Robinson's Wife In Brian Helgeland's Biopic "42"

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 14, 2012 2:26 PM
46 Comments
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Beharie

We've known this for a little while, but it wasn't public yet, and now it is, so I'm posting it.

Nicole Beharie has joined the cast of 42, the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic announced a few months ago, that direcor Brian Helgeland and Legendary Pictures are developing.

The new film is based on the life of history’s most celebrated baseball figure, Jackie Robinson, made in collaboration with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson.

And that is exactly who Nicole Beharie has signed on to play - Jackie Robinson's wife Rachel Robinson, née Rachel Isum.

Beharie will join relative newcomer Chadwick Boseman (who's worked primarily in television on shows like Fringe, Justified and Castle) who will play Jackie Robinson in the film.

Also, Harrison Ford was reportedly offered the role of Branch Rickey in the filmthe Brooklyn Dodgers' manager who made history by signing Robinson as the first black player in the history of the Major League Baseball organization.

Brian Helgeland will direct from a script he also wrote, which will tell Robinson's story, as the first African-American to play in the major leagues.

Congrats to the young Chadwick Boseman and Nicole Beharie in what should be their highest profile roles yet, and largest paychecks!

I dig this casting; Helgeland went with young, promising Actors (emphasis mine). Neither is what you'd call an A-lister, or a *name.* A rarity when it comes to casting films with black casts. Helgeland could have gone with a rapper and a singer instead, but he didn't.

Kudos!

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46 Comments

  • Donella | February 16, 2012 12:39 PMReply

    "I dig this casting; Helgeland went with young, promising Actors (emphasis mine)." Me too!

  • GetDEM$$$ | February 14, 2012 4:29 PMReply

    Black people need to stop thinking that white studios will give them $$$ to make a movie about black people. It doesn't happen. Tyler had to use his own $$. Spike use his own $$. If the studio could have cast a white actor to play Jackie Robinson or put him in black face they would have. We need to write and tell our own stories. But we also need BLACK EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS. WE NEED BLACK $$$$$$$. And WE have it but won't spend it until the WHITE MAN DO IT FIRST. Hallelujah!!!

  • Pro | February 14, 2012 4:03 PMReply

    Chad is a great actor. Hard work and developing your acting craft is priceless. Actors continue too dream and don't give up. Opportunities will come. :)

  • misha | February 14, 2012 3:53 PMReply

    Love Nicole! Congrats to her!

  • DownPat | February 14, 2012 3:47 PMReply

    More history dramas. Thank you, White People.

  • Curtis | February 15, 2012 8:31 AM

    LOL! Pooch Hall and Tika Sumpter? Really? Um, no.

  • Downpat | February 15, 2012 2:07 AM

    Did you just put Pooch Hall and Tika Sumpter in the same line as the words A LIST? Been watching too much BET homie.

  • Alex | February 14, 2012 6:51 PM

    There are bigger Black actors who can be considered as the 'right age' though...

    Two hands worth that would have been (in Hollywoods eyes) plausible choices and safer options...and they are actors NOT musicians / actors. Pooch Hall, Joy Bryant; Meagan Goode, Sean Patrick Thomas; Hell they could have gotten away with Thandie Newton and Coby Bell if they wanted - or Hosea Chanzez and Tika Sumpter !

    The point I'm trying to make is I doubt the casting director was that clueless (maybe the casting director is Black?) So fair do's to the Director on choosing two relatively unknown actors who can act and are not from the normal small pool of young black actors they think we only know or think would be a safer bet.

  • Downpat | February 14, 2012 3:49 PM

    And there ARE NO A-list Black Actors who are the right age. So Mr. Director didn't make a righteous, good for him choice. He made the only choice possible short of Lil Wayne suiting up to go to bat.

  • Larry Doby | February 14, 2012 3:41 PMReply

    Wow...I guess that nix's one of Spike's dream projects. He too, had a Jackie Robison biopic he wanted to direct. I hope Helgeland doesn't get carried away with green screen and special effects. Not to mention tackle Jackie's battle against racism in a straight up/honest way...

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 3:03 PMReply

    Hmm...I wonder if anyone hates Nicole for playing a felonious single mother with multiple babies from different men, for which her performance was lauded (she did tear it up) & put her on the map in AMERICAN VIOLET? Just wondering...

  • Laura | February 15, 2012 10:47 PM

    @Jug. I don't get that she is being attacked for playing a maid. That is not what I get from the comments on S and A threads. I get that people's main gripe is the film itself or why a film of this tone is getting made this day and age. Many can not articulate as such but I get that was always the thrust of the arguement.(at least for me. I for one will not see the film. I have no interest whatsoever.) I don't issues with her taking the role. Roles are limited for actors such as herself. It is no surprise she would take roles as a maid. I get that people have problems with her comment pertaining to Black screenwriters. I have not seen the clip so I won't comment. But I never got that people have problems for the role she's taken. If anything people (at least on this blog) are happy for her "overnight" success. They just have issues with her alleged statement(s).

  • Jug | February 15, 2012 9:38 PM

    @Nadine-LOL You are right, I'm the one who brought it up because most people didn't know who Nicole was after AMERICAN VIOLET. But it's not unfounded because I knew there would be comments about "Way to go!" "Congratulations Nicole!" And I asked a simple question, I wondered if she would be hated on for a role she had played the same way Viola is hated on for one she played. I guess the answer is-Yes...because her name reeeally got the "spotlight" in SHAME. I was just saying it's "interesting" how this DAMN GOOD actress hasn't gotten the same kind of vitriol for playing a broad stereotype like Viola did. True, many people had their fill when THE HELP first came out, but it definitely has since reared its ridiculous head in light of Viola's comments. Seriously, you're a trooper-you actually read my "Bible Passages" LOL But go back and read the other, shorter & more snarky comments from readers. They have lambasted Viola the same way they lambasted Nicole for SHAME. Both are just as fucking ridiculous. But I remember the threads about AMERICAN VIOLET on S&A before it joined Indiewire. Folks LOVED it! Couldn't get enough of this "beautiful", "wonderfully talented" actress. The movie was "excellent!" But I'm thinking, ain't this just as stereotypical as THE HELP, I don't give a damn if one is fiction and one is real-is STILL puts images out there that some folks have issues with? OR am I watching the wrong movies? My whole point, is that is SHOULDN'T matter unless the piece is degrading in it's stereotypical depiction-that's #1. #2, why can't these actresses play these roles just as well as scientists, attorneys & the like? And #3, it speaks more to an issue of there not being a BALANCE of roles, so if we're mad at that then we're mad the industry. And that is another conversation altogether. But to hate Nicole, or Viola..that's just guilty by association. I've always said Viola should seek stuff out because no matter how talented she is, WE-Black people & the general movie going audience-SEE her a certain way. And now that she's getting real press, the work she wants to do is "supposed" to be different than what she's been getting. And frankly, she's insulted. I can see it in her face. Insulted by how she's viewed & how people have received her work. Especially from people that look like her. It's down right depressing. So the "double talk" bit, at least from me, is not at someone in particular-Yet. But it is at the group at large on here & in the public that will hate one "negative Black image" but exhalt another! And even if you do, give me a better reason than the performer has issues. C'mon son...go head with that Bullshit LOL Oh & Donella-did you actually read my response? Good lord...but yes it was a good movie. I'm down with this discussion and the one about Viola. Till we meet again folks

  • Nadine | February 15, 2012 7:06 PM

    @JUG ...this is what is concerning. I did not think this conversation was about Viola "playing a maid". All those conversations, I thought, were said and done when The Help FIRST came out, right? I thought the current conversation had to do more with Viola Davis' take on the "Black Audience" and roles in Hollywood (see Tavis Smiley int. with Viola and Octavia). Also, to accuse some of, essentially of what BONDGIRL refers to as "double-talk", is, I believe, unwarranted. Wouldn't you have to point out specific posters and their previous statements against The HELP and the whole "maid thing" and then contrast that with their adulation for the movie American Violet and the single mother? I think most people on this board were acknowledging the actress Nicole Beharie. No one brought up American Violet. If this were a board regarding the actress Viola Davis and another interesting project of hers, I guarantee you the boards would be as, if not MORE, positive (certainly with more posts) than this one. Another point: although I can ALMOST understand how Viola could misinterpret the criticisms of the "role of maid" with HER DECISION to play a maid, I thought it was very clear that she has been getting an inordinate amount of "love" from the "Black Audience" as a whole.... honestly since DOUBT, so to bring it back to double talk... this post is pertaining to Nicole Beharie the actress and her role in the new Jackie Robinson biopic...again, no mention of American Violet which makes for an unfounded premise. ... and a LOT of people, on the boards have expressed their disdain for Nicole over the past year...kind of out of control with it...

  • Donella | February 15, 2012 6:33 PM

    I remember the truck, but I don't believe the criminal mischief was a felony. It was a fictional story inspired by events in Tulia, Texas. Good movie.

  • Jug | February 15, 2012 5:26 PM

    @Donella- Felonius doesn't just mean "pertaining to or committing the act of a Felony". It also means/ Involving or being or having the nature of a crime; "a criminal offense"; "criminal abuse"/...but I 'll change my wording if it makes it easier to digest. She had a record. She was guilty of criminal mischief because she busted up Darrell's truck. Go back and watch it again. She was innocent of the drug charges & had no drug record, but she was in the system. And isn't that what we don't like seeing..."single Black Mothers with multiple babies having baby daddy drama-in the projects?" But, it's okay because it's a "true story?!" Riiiight...I get it now. So as long as I slap a "true story" on it, I can tell any fucked up story I want to about Black people & y'all will eat it up. And this is to illustrate a point-Because I thought her performance was great. Again, we see what we want to see.

  • Donella | February 15, 2012 4:46 PM

    Nicole Beharrie's character in American Violet was not that of a felonius mother. She portrayed a woman accused of a crime she did not commit. She fights against a corrupt criminal justice system and and wins. Inspired by a true story in Tulia, Texas.

  • Jug | February 15, 2012 3:22 PM

    @Bondgirl-Well, damn! Thanks :-D But I'm serious, you can smell the doubletalk a MILE AWAY!! As I said before, I love acting-regardless of the role or the project. Now, are their certain projects & genres I hate-Of Course! Do they sometimes happen to be the same trite shit Blacks often get, Of Course! But that is is usually because the show SUCKS! Not the subject matter. I hated GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN', Pure "T" Crap. But I like JUICE, MENACE II SOCIETY & BROOKLYN'S FINEST (well it was okay). Essentially, the same movies, hood characters-definitely could be "stereotypes"-but those stories were told well & acted well. But I LOVE HOTEL RWANDA & SOMETIMES IN APRIL too. I could easily say "I don't like that because it shows Africans doing terrible things". But I won't because they are important films as well as Excellently done. Sometimes I think folks got their shit backwards, but whatever.
    @Curtis, this is why READING COMPREHENSION is a Must. I'm guessing you're one of the people who didn't FULLY listen to what Viola said, or what we're discussing here in reference, & focused on the "talking point" that 'Black Scripts Suck'. Sigh...I said if people are so upset about Viola playing a Maid, then why are they "not mad" that Idris is playing an "Angry Black Man" or Nicole playing a single, multiple baby having felon? And note-in AMERICAN VIOLET her character had effed up with the law before, it just wasn't THIS instance she happened to be innocent, but people "championed" her as a hero (and she was, just calling it for what it was). No matter how "nuanced" LUTHER is (which I DEFINITELY think it is) it is what the character is-Sorry, but dude is fucking crazy. Has all the standard criteria that meets supposed Black folks definition of what they DON'T like to see on film-same as THE HELP. And same thing with Nicole's role in AMERICAN VIOLET. But they are extremely attractive people & we LIKE extremely attractive...see where I'm going with this? If Wesley had done LUTHER, and people-especially Black women-don't like the dude now, I think things would be berry berry different! LOL It's not about whether or not the role was great & well written, Precious was a great role & damn heartbreaking..but Gabby is not a pretty woman. As far as society's GENERAL standards of Beauty. She's extremely Big, she's darkskinned & she has zero sex appeal on camera. Now, once she opens her mouth it's a different story-Funny, gleeful, extremely witty & has a deep soul...isn't that what we say we "want" in our characters-much less a Love interests, that sort of "depth" & "nuance"? Well, folks were HATING on Gabby & the movie as a whole. "She's Fat!", "She's Ugly", "I'm tired of seeing dark skinned women portrayed like that". There were just as many detractors of PRECIOUS as there were who liked it. Boyy folks were SPLIT on that one. Well, when you're that extreme & you want change, you go the other extreme & get sappy, watered down, ultra "positive" with decidedly stereotypical tropes (the ones we like, in the same way we like to believe that ALL Black Men have big dicks) heartwarming goo like TP's stuff. & Tyler's stuff is getting better, at least from a production standpoint but people don't like that stuff either. I could talk about how ugly Whoopie Goldberg is in THE COLOR PURPLE and how folks make excuses for that, but that's like slapping somebody's momma while she's making you grits-so I'll leave that alone. Point is, I think Idris' work in LUTHER AND Viola's work in THE HELP were both stunning and Nicole was great in VIOLET. It just so happens that two are beloved archetype/stereotypes (cop with issues, downtrodden black women stickin' it to the man) & the other is a hated archetype (blue collar worker/maid who is just downtrodden). And unfortunately, we HAVE seen Idris' character before-it's not new. Do you watch DEXTER? Sgt. Doakes? Yeah, the American LUTHER. Danny Glover in PREDATOR 2. Denzel in VIRTUOSITY. Ice-T in just about everything he's in, EVERY Jim Brown movie LOL It's not that it's been done before or even whether it's done well or not. It's that there are certain roles "we" are SENSITIVE about-pretty much anything set from 1609 to 1970 LMBAO. And then afterwards we make a decision to embrace or dismiss it based on who is playing it & whether or not we "Like" them. And I've seen CAROLINE OR CHANGE & guess what....great musical....wasn't nothin' but THE HELP without Minny. Matter of fact, there really was no "from the Maid's POV" at all. It was all about the little white boy-oops I mean Tony Kushner (a fucking BRILLIANT playwright). But then again, that's the stage & folks who go to theatre KNOW that that is A "character" and THAT actor, THAT performance is SINGULAR & there is another idea-another theme which is different-is to be presented next week...like TWO TRAINS RUNNING, CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY or THE DUTCHMAN. Film, well I guess since we SAW it, so THAT is what it IS & only THAT :-(. And hey, if you want to make a movie about the Maid being pissed & homicidal & takin' it to her bosses to satisfy your thirst for retribution-by all means. Just own up & say "I don't that because X, Y, Z". Don't cover that bullshit up with the person in the movie has issues or they sucked, okay? Next time, I guess I'll have to simplify my statements for you to understand-which I'm not going to do. You either get on board or get off the bus.

  • Vanessa | February 15, 2012 8:30 AM

    @Curtis - I'm curious on your thoughts about "American Violet". I have no idea why that film is being compared to "The Help". Yes, Nicole plays a single mother in the projects with four children. The film is based on a true story about a black mother on welfare that people, especially the racists cops, lawyers and District Attorney could care less about. What's astonishing about that story is how this woman fights back for what's fair and doesn't give up. Yes, she's not perfect and has four children by three different men; but she was facing 25 YEARS in prison for something she didn't do! Nicole brought so much fortitude, maturity and integrity to that role; she was also beautifully vulnerable in it. It's not a perfect film by any means; it's a little heavy handed, but I respect the intent and the performances. The real life subject of the story, Regina Kelly, is a much better person today because of all that she has persevered through. Today, she's a speaker and activitist against prison system injustices. By the way, that film barely got any recognition! Nicole sure didn't besides critics and an African American Film Critics award, which she gave back because of some voting controversy. The comparison to "The Help" is absurd.

  • Curtis | February 15, 2012 7:11 AM

    Seriously Jug to compare the multidimensional characterization that is Idris Elba in LUTHER to the simplistic depictions of the black maid/white mistress Civil Rights era relationship is disingenuous and I call bullshit. Luther is just "an angry black man?" Really? That's what you reduce the character to? Come on son.

    As for Viola Davis playing a maid, some of y'all just keep missing the point. Let's go back 50, 60, 70 years ago. How often did you see roles like Luther played by black men or women on film or tv? Now how often did you see roles like Aibileen and Minnie played by black women or black men on film or tv?

    You see where I'm going with this right?

    There's other factors to consider like whose voice is really telling the story, how atypical the depictions are, how complex or multidimensional the characters are.

    I remember a post on this blog about Viola Davis playing a serial killer and folks were so much more excited about that than Aibileen because why? Because it's so atypical. It's not a "positive" depiction but it's a kinda role she's never really done, or that black people are rarely seen in. So that makes it fresh and interesting. We've seen black people in domestic roles for 100 years now. Nothing wrong with the job. It's real. My mother was a domestic. My uncle was a janitor for many years. But we've seen that over and over and over and over and over again.

    Luther we haven't. So I'll take that over THE HELP in 2012.

    I've never watched AMERICAN VIOLET. But I will tonight. But something tells me it won't change my mind.

    Although I'll tell you this, if CAROLINE OR CHANGE or BY THE WAY MEET VERA STARK became feature films (black women play maids in those) I guarandamntee you the general reaction would be different for a lot of reasons.

    If BLACK GIRL, the 1960s Senegalese film about a black domestic's life in a white household I only recently saw after reading about it on this blog, was remade (hope not but let's just say it is) for a contemporary audience, I also strongly believe the audience will react much better to it than THE HELP. I know white folks won't be all over it like the are with THE HELP. I know it won't have done $200 million. And if you've seen the film you'll know there are good reasons for all of that.

    THE HELP is what GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER was in the late 60s. I say it's worse. But SWEETBACK was right around the corner and we saw how black folks reacted to it even though the character wasn't "positive." No SWEETBACK equivalent around the corner in 2012.

    So I don't get all these comparisons that are so simplistic.

  • bondgirl | February 15, 2012 3:19 AM

    Thanks Jug for calling the BS when neccessary. The double talk is always astounding, but never surprising. Don't forget about shows like The Wire and Misfits that people love to herald as must-see tv...Chappelle Show, etc. Seriously, Antonia Thomas is just Lil Kim with a Briton accent! LOL Point is, I could turn anything people watch into a bad sterotype for blacks. And you know how I felt about Beharie as cuckoldee in Shame...but I'm glad she got a better role this time, so I'm going to move on from that:-)

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 7:35 PM

    @Nadine-It really is good. Damn good show in fact & Idris is killing it. Best thing since Stringer Bell. BUT, if I say it because everything that makes it great AND interesting is everything Black people say they are tired of seeing. He's not down on his luck, but his life is in serious disrepair & dysfunctional-Check. Divorced-Check. Interracial Relationship (Wife is Indian)-Check. Punches holes in walls & scares his wife to the point where he's banned from the home-Check. Breaks the law while he's doing his job-Check. Associates with not just criminals, but has a growing affection with a murderous psychopath-Check & Check. Just might be a killer himself-Check. But it's all so brilliantly done, and people LIKE Idris right now, that they forgive it. Just call stuff what it is & move on. I have no illusion what I'm witnessing or interacting with...I just don't want it to be the end all, be all of what I witness or interact with-one of my favorite movies is Charlie & the Chocolate Factory-Gene Wilder is a beast! :-D

  • Ali | February 14, 2012 7:30 PM

    @- Nadine - I'm not really arguing much about merit or the material in the films LOL. I'm just saying that I think Nicole Beharie would have been put into a similar position with many black audience members and film scholars if her film was bigger and she was up for awards. Nicole Beharie would have to defend her choice of appearing in the film before some people would even be up to seeing it. And, as I'm sure we all know, simply seeing less than desirable images at the forefront of a film is enough to rile some people up. That's all. I agree with many of your points, though. And we can agree to disagree on Viola's reaction. Whether or not Nicole Beharie would respond similarly to Viola Davis is something we'll never know. But I do think some would take issue with her character. Even if that is a foolish thing to do.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 7:19 PM

    @JUG - I'll definitely check out LUTHER... I had a bad feeling about it so I never checked it out...

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 7:18 PM

    @ALI - I don't really care whether the story was written by a White woman or not, but if we want to be real, given the history of White womanhood in relationship to Black womanhood in the U.S., the lack of substance and depth given to the characters in question, I'm not surprised. I have, at many times, likened the movie to a Lifetime movie and I mean it. It's like watching second-wave White feminists write about the experiences of Black feminists in the very same movement - not thorough and selective with which stories to tell. Is that what concerned you most about my statement given you used it as a "closing"? Hopefully that was not intended to shame, cause that is not going to happen, not over here...over that... hah! If we want to get comparative, though, we can look at Ordinary People, well-frickin' written and talk about DEPTH! dammit. Mary Tyler Moore's character had more depth in ONE scene than in 7 viewings of The Help, in part because it was written by the real-life incarnation of that character, a White woman ALI (if you're still on that)... Look, people can like The Help, my husband did, and I never claimed to dislike the movie because Viola was playing a maid... that was never my argument. Do you know how many Whoopi Goldberg maid movies there were? Some were quite enjoyable. Anyway, I was open to the movie from git, because I understood that there could be depth to any character, those who are often forgotten, maids, those in subservient roles a la the butlers and maids in Gosford Park (which I also thought sub-standard compared to Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens brilliant Jane Eyre or Anne of Green Gables or anything on public television) who had MORE depth than the characters, again, in question. BTW, I stated that the "racism' was systemic, but how could you say that the story of the young lady in American Violet having children by multiple men could have nothing to do with SYSTEMATIC racism when systemic problems were clearly played out for us on-screen to illustrate only a portion of what the people of her neighborhood had to overcome when compared to other Americans. We know that education goes hand in hand with the number of children you have and more... It is also VERY important and CLEAR that The Help was not a true story as it DID NOT HAVE DEPTH. It was actually insultingly shallow, but movies in general these days are formulaic and lazy... I thought I was going to FREAK OUT if I didn't immediately see Black Swan... What a disappointment. Does a movie have to be deep, heck no! Some of my favorite movies are NOT DEEP, but this inability for VioDav to look outside of herself to understand, beyond her personal hurt, what a high profile role such as this WITHOUT DEPTH means to some and to not even anticipate and prepare for these questions just makes her seem like she is in denial. - rant... I'm off...

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 5:02 PM

    And Nadine I'm serious about LUTHER. If you get a chance to watch it, please do. Idris won a Golden Globe for being an Angry Black Man, a lousy husband & a very suspect if not dirty cop. Great Drama, Excellent Acting but pretty bad on the "Image" front.

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 5:00 PM

    The comment was posting faster than I was typing. It was in reference to you saying that it was a generational thing of how Viola & Nicole handled the situation and, what I took from your statement, was that it was better the way Nicole handled. Could be wrong about that Nadine. But in regards to Nicole-I wouldn't know, I've not seen her statements on casting, the scripts she gets, McQueen etc.. I've always said tho, the problem with what Viola said, and what Mackie & Morgan said-is that altho true it isn't Qualified. It will ALWAYS be taken out of context because in a talk show/interview format & to not seem "crazy & rambling", you talk in short sentences. Folks laugh at me on this site with my loooong ass posts but one thing you can NEVER accuse me of is being unclear. You don't get me mixed up. And that has happened on more occasions than I can name with Black Celebrities, Actors & the like who get asked a question-even one as simple as "Chris Brown & Rhianna-What are your thoughts?" Death Trap waiting to happen.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 5:00 PM

    ...Yeah... Olivia... I've had Octavia on the brain since watching Tavis' interview.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 4:54 PM

    ...I'm not upset at all. Wait... What happened? Why am I upset? What were you citing? I'm not upset at all. I'm not sure what it was that I wrote that gave you the impression that I was upset. "Nadine R U Serious?!? So are you more upset A) that it may be true B) that it was put on blast OR C) that is was blanket?"... Can you tell me what your statement is referring to if you're still around... I'm trying to figure that out.

  • Ali | February 14, 2012 4:52 PM

    Yes, Nadine, I have seen the film. It was a very well made film and Nicole Beharie gave a tremendous performance. I've known she would be successful since I saw her in a performance of Intimate Apparel at Juilliard. But on a shallow level, it doesn't matter if it's a true story or not. The image of the character is not any less "negative" than a maid. As important as the story was, it still dealt with a single, young, black mother of children from different men. And the systematic racism had nothing to do with that. It was still dramatized. I could tell you where. If Viola Davis feels she brought a humanity and dimension into her role of a maid, that's her belief. How is it different? But it isn't a true story? Or because it was written by a white woman?

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 4:51 PM

    LOL I'm glad they amuse you. You like that little "one we shall not name" bit. Yeah, it makes me smile on a Tuesday :-) But I agree with everything you just said. About Viola & Beharie....maybe not Oprah LOL What self-hate are you talking about & who is Octavia Wilde? You mean "Olivia" Wilde?

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 4:47 PM

    ...oh please, your rants are hilarious "the other person", lawdy... no apologies, please! BTW - I always thought Viola a beautiful woman in a mature kind of way, she kind of reminds me of Oprah, and I've seen her in her other works (she was the only thing I liked about Eat, Pray, Love)... for me, it just seems clear that she has gone through a lot in her life, BUT this board is about Ms. Beharie, so yeah... she's beautiful, has African features, a game changer... a la Lauryn Hill, yeah... I said it... We weren't hearing half the self-hate when it was abundantly clear in the mainstream the one of the most beautiful women out there didn't look like Octavia Wilde... , but that's another conversation.

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 4:39 PM

    BUT, like I said...this post is about Nicole & her good fortune. Congratz Nicole!!

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 4:38 PM

    Yes Nadine, I have seen the movie. She was great. That is EXACTLY why I'm shocked that folks are mad at Viola for playing a maid, but folks were on S&A & other blogs falling all over themselves about Nicole & her performance in the movie, to which they should have been. But Viola...a MAID?!? OH HELLL NAW!! It's total bullshit. Hypocrisy. Not to mention the love & adoration Idris receives for LUTHER, when Luther-LITERALLY-is an Angry Black Man who lies & breaks the law to get the job done. He's a British Vic Mackie-he just hasn't killed anyone yet. But many people close to him died because of his borderline psychopathic behavior-namely his wife. But nobody is loving Idris for his geeky turn on THE OFFICE...or on THE "C" WORD. And when he made the comment about TP, folks raked him over the coals, but it was true as well. And sorry it DOES happen often in fiction, Not sure what movies you are watching. Was THE COLOR PURPLE a "true" story? Or LOVE JONES Hmm not sure...LOL And to make it even more plain, THAT story for AMERICAN VIOLET has been done a MILLION times on Movies of the Week and on Lifetime. I've been watching them for over two decades, How is it all of a sudden different? Because she had a bunch of kids instead of one? So you're stuck on the fact that it wasn't real? It has to be "REAL" to make an impact with you? Why go to the movies? Why not stay home & watch documentaries on Netflix...much cheaper & less hassle LOL

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 4:31 PM

    Whoa whoa whoa, Nadine R U Serious?!? So are you more upset A) that it may be true B) that it was put on blast OR C) that is was blanket? Be specific. Cuz if anything, Viola is from a generation of calling shit out-her contemporaries are Denzel, Paul Winfield (RIP), Spike, Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Bill Nunn, Roger Guenveur Smith. Nicole's contemporaries are Lance Gross, Nate Parker, Michael Jordan David Oyelowo. Young Cats who can't AFFORD to call some shit out, bcuz they're building their career. Look at Shia LeBouf-he called out how bad Indie 5 & Transformers were & his star has dropped DRAMATICALLY-tho it was ALL true. I thought we wanted our "heroes" & "icons" to lead, hmm? The hardest thing to do-ever-is tell the Truth. Especially when it's about yourself. Just seems like folks are being disingenuous about what they're mad at...especially when they've ripped Tyler Perry up one side & down the other for exactly what Viola is talking about (and she had to work with him btw, because as she said "I had to eat").

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 4:24 PM

    ..@ALI - Also, the film was based on a true story, not a White woman's fictional account of the life of a Black maid (not that there is anything wrong with that ;). The film, American Violet, brought dimension to the typical "Black young mother" with a million babies and exposed real-life systemic racism that most of us outside of these neighborhoods were not aware. I learned about something in that movie that helped me understand the experiences of real people in this country. It could be shown in classrooms... from middle school to Law School. Have you and JUG seen the film? It's available on Netflix now... It was not fiction... big difference. It also showed the heroism of this young woman, Regina Kelly... real life heroism... not fiction. It showed the humanity of this young Black mother... possible in fictive pieces, yes...happen often? Nope...

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 4:21 PM

    Sorry for the rant :-D This comment section shoulda be "Way to go Nicole!" So, Congratulations Nicole!!

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 4:20 PM

    LMBAO And isn't that a problem Nadine? Not only was Nicole EXCELLENT in the movie but it put her on the map! It literally put her in a position to play Jackie Robinson's wife. Cuz best believe if it wasn't her it woulda been Niki Minaj LOL I joke, but it's that sort of thinking that says she SHOULDN'T play the roles. People should've seen that movie just like they "should've seen RED TAILS" which by all accounts was shit, but had "Positive Images" of at least Black Men (cuz the Black Women were nowhere to be found). It is about BALANCE & PERSPECTIVE. And let's be honest, people think Nicole is hella attractive. Most don't say the same thing about "the other person" we're referring to. So do you think a majority of the scripts that came Nicole's way (aside from being Black-we can all agree you're gonna get 'em) were for "unattractive" women? Be Honest. I can tell you a little story-Paula Patton didn't want to do a little movie called GLORY DAYS for Paramount Vantage because "it was a Black film". Didn't want to be labeled or stereotyped. How do I know?...I was there. Heard it myself. And guess what movies folks were loving her in that put her on her way to star with Tom Cruise in MI:4...yeah. And I can guaranteed you she wouldn't have been cast as the "undesirable" friend. And as for "defending it" Viola..whoops, there it is-my bad...did so because it's True. It hurts to accept but it's true. No, it's not EVERY Black project, but it's True-we see her a certain way, regardless of her TALENT, and she gets a script of what we THINK of her based on how she LOOKS (think about the comments of how folks were SHOCKED at how beautiful her photoshoot was). Yeah, I could only show you the Breakdowns (how agents & managers submit their clients for projects) of role after role, project after project, that is exactly what Viola is talking about. Made by Black folks. The first project Latifah is doing with the Flava Unit Studio space in Miami is....wait for it....a Black Gangsta Pic! I'm really shocked y'all aren't more up in arms that this thing happens from US. It seems that, yes while Viola played a "maid", that there are these projects made by white people that are more nuanced & non-stereotypical roles where Black actors can just Act. Adrian Lester on HUSTLE, David Oyelowo in RISE OF THE APES & on MI:5 (SPOOKS in UK), Daniel Kaluuya on THE FADES, Dennis Haysbert on 24, Anika Noni Rose on GOOD WIFE, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Boris on UNDERCOVERS, Al Hodge on LEVERAGE, Ving Rhames in MI 1-2-3 AND 4...hell even Han Solo was originally supposed to Billy Dee Williams! I'm not saying "white people are our saviors", Hell No! Lotta fuckin' work needs to be done. But what I am saying, is why are WE so blind to the fact that WE do it to our own! And when they get mad & call it out, they're labeled as haters, confused & the like. If this is the case, then I am wrong. I have been living in a dreamworld, and Black people do no wrong & commit no crimes. We are pristine, angelic & the chosen Ones-ordained by God Himself. My Bad....

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 4:13 PM

    @ALI - I don't know what Nicole would have said had she been in the same position as Viola, but Viola's statements were just so "off" and disturbing (I was shocked) - to blame "Black audiences"? That's, as my mother would say, "out-of-order". I think that their upbringing (definitely cultural) and generational differences would have made it LESS likely for a Nicole, who is pretty savvy, to say those things. She has also made statements regarding the casting issue in Hollywood - noted their problems, and of course she expressed how proud she was of her director, Steve McQueen when McQueen made his statements on how ridiculous casting is in Hollywood films...

  • Ali | February 14, 2012 4:01 PM

    @Nadine - If the film had hit the mainstream(and it would have gotten significantly more negative buzz if it did) and she was constantly asked about her "stereotypical" role and choice, we don't know what she would say.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 3:56 PM

    @JUG - Look at you causin' trouble over here! I see you! Nicole didn't lose her mind, like certain actors defending certain roles, by blaming black audiences for asking for "more" than a maid, abusive single mother with obscenely obese daughter, whorish wife of an inmate grossing out the audience with an insanely savage "love scene"... basically mammys, jezebels and sapphires... and a lot of people didn't watch American Violet for the reasons you stated above.

  • Jug | February 14, 2012 3:04 PM

    And this is NO way indicting Nicole, she WAS & IS a great actress. Just pointing out our "druthers' when it comes to certain roles & certain actors (referencing silly ideas & statements on another Post). Just sayin'...

  • aswilliams | February 14, 2012 2:54 PMReply

    It looks to be like it`s going to be a great cast with Brian Helgeland as the title role of legendary baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson and with Harrison Ford. But this new comer Nicole Beharie is a fantastic actress I loved her in American Violet and The Express. Both she and Mr. Helgeland were in the Express with great performances in that film. It is good to see them come back to the big screen with this film about Baseball.

  • Nicole | February 14, 2012 2:48 PMReply

    This sounds great and I like the casting too. Sometimes big names and "a-listers" cloud the story and the movie becomes about them instead of the subject. Although it won't hurt to have an A-lister like Harrison Ford sign on to play Rickey. I think his presence will be just enough to boost the profile of the movie but not too much to overtake it.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 2:40 PMReply

    LOOOVE her... now...getting a LITTLE tired of the historical flicks, but they could make this movie everything RED TAILS was not. One of my favorite movies was "A League of their Own". Outside of Gina Davis, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, of course, Tom Hanks and Lori Petty, the cast was stellar and I couldn't tell you half of their names. New talent, fresh talent, old talent... it's all talent. I will VERY MUCH look forward to a film with lesser known ACTORS featuring Chadwick (whose work I'm going to check out)...

  • Vanessa | February 14, 2012 2:36 PMReply

    wohooo!!! Congrats Nicole! :-)

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