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Watch Nicole Beharie in Q&A After McQueen's "Shame" Premiere in France

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by Vanessa Martinez
November 23, 2011 2:13 PM
22 Comments
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Steve McQueen and Nicole Beharie

This is the first Q& A video with Nicole Beharie since Steve McQueen's critically acclaimed NC-17 Shame has been making its rounds at Film Festivals this year. Michael Fassbender was also present for the session in front of the French audience after the film's premiere in Paris last night.

Poor thing, Beharie seemed nervous and very shy, kinda funny actually; although there was no need for her to be; she answered the questions wonderfully. Film opens in select theaters December 2nd.

Take a look.


Michael Fassbender à Paris : Avant-première Shame by cloneweb

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22 Comments

  • wordup | November 27, 2011 10:59 AMReply

    @ Nadine. It is in my belief that a better Black Hollywood CAN exist and THAT drives me to support "a Nicole", because it is when less talented or less introspective players get into the game that an entire population is diminished.
    This is so true. To many black actors who just want to be famous with no talent and directors who just because they can afford a camera believe they are directors worthy of attention. It hurts to admit it but thats what it is.

  • Nadine | December 12, 2011 8:33 AM

    @wordup - It is a battle, isn't it. We've got a mountain to climb, but the Internet is starting to level the field. Let see what we can do with it.

  • CareyCarey | November 25, 2011 8:11 PMReply

    @ BICOASTAL, you've ushered in a very interesting argument. In fact, a similar argument of "Why The Seemingly Over-hype Of Nicole & Shame?" has drawn evil-eyes, scorn and disgust from a plethora of commenters. So much so that one of the questioners changed her name/handle from BondGirl to ??????. Now you've dropped by with an excellent and eloquent argument that I believe gives credence and validation to a question that many have been pondering. Oh, and sometimes, sometimes when people just aren't listening (for whatever reasons) I believe it's necessary and appropriate to use lines line this---> " As for me, supporting "a Nicole" simply because she is black is as imbecilic as supporting "a Michelle Bachmann" because we both have a vagina". :-) Yeah, funny but true, I too have always wondered why Nicole and the Black Director from England were receiving so much ink? Maybe it was - and always has been - the uplifting and positive subject matter (Sexual Pervert, male and female full-frontal nudity.... and some.... graphic depictions of straight sex... and some.... gay/three-way sex... and some... masturbation & urination and a gruesome suicide attempt) - could that be the reason? Then again, maybe Nicole deserves the hype because of her HUGE role? I don't know, but Bi-coastal, Adam, Ronnie (Ricky & Mike), I am here to tell you guys that you're walking on a very slippery slope.

  • Nadine | November 26, 2011 3:30 PM

    I responded to @BICOASTAL below...I think that's where I should have posted my response, but it ended up posting above his/her post. IDK...

  • misha | November 25, 2011 2:34 PMReply

    Excellent post, Nadine!

  • Nadine | December 12, 2011 8:34 AM

    :)

  • ForeignBlackChick | November 24, 2011 12:39 PMReply

    IMO, what ShadowAndAct is doing with Nicole Beharie is great and necessary. It is an interesting insight into how far a black actress can go if one website at least pays her mind. It is also a good case study in PR and Marketting, something black actors(male and female) sorely lack. They lack the support and 'hype' some one in this thread so bizarrely complained about.

    If this website hadn't promoted her or certain other aspects of Black Cinema, surely it would not be any different from all other movie sites reporting on the same people, all the time? What would then be the point of us converging here, as opposed to the more mainstream blogs? Thank you and ShadowAndAct for being truly unique!

  • Nadine | November 24, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    You're on Shadow and Act. If they didn't pay her any mind, it would literally be psychotic (for example complaining about her getting "hype"). This country is shot to hell.

    Guys, I'm not even going to ask you all to ask yourselves why it is so important to keep this young talented actress down while she tries to make it in a Hollywood that has no intentions of advancing her career. This Julliard-trained young lady needs support. Why this would be anathema to the dudes of this comments section is shocking, yet not giving where this society going... Lisa Gay Hamilton mentions that in her four years at Julliard, she was never granted a leading role. LGH had to struggle. When you're in this field, and when male roles are somehow more open to "color-blind" casting, yet female roles and near holy and cannot be "stained" or "stolen" by a Black woman, there is a problem. Not supporting "a Nicole" is becoming endemic and is saddening.

    There are a dearth of roles for Black women, in the US, unless they weigh 300+ pounds and are sassy. Uplifting a young actress, a beautiful young actress, a beautiful young talented actress, a beautiful talented young actress with African features who needed an international director and co-writers to get her closer to the American mainstream is something of which Shadow and Act should be proud and never second guess.

  • Nadine | December 10, 2011 11:29 PM

    I'm all late with this reply. I'm just going to number them in order of importance since I don't have much time (kind of rushing), but would like to honor you with a response.

    @BICOASTAL
    1. "bring it on S & A" - I never made that statement. I stated "keep it S&A".
    2. No prob confusing with the other poster with the "N" name
    3. I do not believe that even if we saw "Shame" or Nicole Beharie mentioned every day for the two months prior, that S&A should wait another 30 days before mentioning her again. My point was that within the last month, a reasonable snapshot in time given that this is a website that will have new and "sometime" visitors pop in and out of its sphere, Nicole Beharie was not overwhelmingly present - in fact the opposite. My thinking is that Shadow & Act is not only for its die hard daily readers.
    4. You stated, "It's easy for you to say 'bring it on S & A' because she is your perfect image of a black actress, by your own definition. How would you feel if she weren't? As a poster's pithy observation revealed recently, there is no love for Cassandra Freeman & the Kinyarwanda team. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing you chiding others for 'downing' Tyler Perry...you wouldn't be playing to a bias would you? Yes, I believe you are." ---- Actually, I'm not. I did not "chide others" for downing Tyler Perry because I do not feel like there is a point in reading or responding to comments regarding Tyler Perry, ever. I will read a post regarding Tyler Perry, but will never "scroll down". I have no idea what people on S&A are saying about Tyler Perry. I've not read one comment thread regarding his work here on S&A, so that statement, accusing me of bias (to which I take umbrage) is false. When it comes to Tyler Perry, my husband's words come to my mind. A staunch anti-censorship advocate, my husband has always said the only way to combat negative imagery is to create positive imagery, not censor the negative. There are no statements to be made to change the mind of Tyler Perry fans, so I am determined to support films and products that show the positive not spend my time dwelling on the negative which could offend those who take his work personally. That's not me.
    5. You stated, "I sat in a small theatre in 1991 and listened to the men whistle and cat call when Halle Berry came on the screen for 30 seconds during a preview of Strictly Business. Black women across America were chopping off their naturally long hair (and weaves) to obtain the 'Halle Berry' haircut in the 90's, including myself. THAT, my friend, is a leading lady! She is our Jennifer Aniston, love her or hate her. No one is getting a weave like Nicole's. Nope, sorry, not in a million years would I do it". --- Mercy, men whistling and cat calling does not a talented actress make, a stripper, yes... The dudes thought she was hot...that is all. Halle was no match for Robin Givens in Boomerang...she was an atrocity in Monster's Ball (shiver), Catwoman, Their Eyes were Watching..., that Oprah movie set a "Oak Bluffs", I mean, wooo... all this yet I advocate for her because she appears to be a very good and kind person with a good head on her shoulders (and issues, as we all have). It sounds like we are somewhat close in age. You were Halle whereas I was Poetic Justice (though I was rocking those braids before the movie over on the East coast).
    6. Does not breaking into Hollywood and working the Indie circuit means an actor does not have talent?
    7. You stated, "You say, 'Missing the point' begins and ends with the 'deliverer' of said point(s)." If so, then why are college students expected to be responsible for interpreting a professor's lecture?" --- That is why lectures are typically paired with "discussion classes" or the discussion occurs within the lecture "Socratically". When framed correctly, there can be little room for discussion.
    8. You stated, "Also, according to S &A she [Nicole Beharie] has gotten rave reviews from Hollywood, so I wouldn't exactly say 'she is working in an industry that successfully ignores her presence to the benefit of another group of women SOLELY based on race.' I don't believe Variety could care less about Parker Posey either, and she's not exactly Nigerian like Nicole is." --- My original closing statement should suffice, "a beautiful talented young actress with African features who needed an international director and co-writers to get her closer to the American mainstream is something of which Shadow and Act should be proud and never second guess.". She needed an "outside player" to get her closer to the American Hollywood mainstream. Her father is Nigerian; her mother Jamaican.
    9. You stated, "Finally, I'm really at a loss as to what you expect from a black blog reader; to either say, "Great!" or "excellent post" like the rest of the herd, or keep quiet about what is irritating. Neither is ever going to happen." -- I agree and could say the same to you. That's why we can have these little back and forths! If we dish it, I guess we all have to be able to take or defend it. No prob.
    10. All of my answers were rushed and messy, but I'm ready to put a bow on this convo. (again, not proofing - too lazy).

  • bicoastal | November 26, 2011 10:00 PM

    Nadine, you have given me another thing to be thankful for this holiday weekend. You have managed to keep on subject and keep it classy, which is a rarity. I respect that view and hope that in having a differing opinion, we can each serve our meaning of "Blackness". In addition, I may have mistaken you for another poster with a name beginning w/ "N"; I pride myself on my ability to remember names, but if I've made an error I apologize. With that said, I'm not quite sure if the facts you presented were comprehensive enough based on my statements. Surely you couldn't have thought I was referring to Beharie being promoted in November? October alone has 6 posts (the 4th, 6th, 14th, 24th, 25th, and 27th), September has 3 (the 4th, 8th, & 21st), and August has 3 (the 22nd, 26th, & 31). What also makes a reader view it as "many" is the fact that these posts are so close together; days apart. That's a lot to take in, when people like diversity. 3 of those posts in October CERTAINLY should've been used to showcase a brother or sister who have films/tv shows in pre-production. It's easy for you to say "bring it on S & A" because she is your perfect image of a black actress, by your own definition. How would you feel if she weren't? As a poster's pithy observation revealed recently, there is no love for Cassandra Freeman & the Kinyarwanda team. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing you chiding others for "downing" Tyler Perry...you wouldn't be playing to a bias would you? Yes, I believe you are. To paraphrase a frequent reader (Jug), Nicole's "down with us" and Cassandra "ain't". I simply have to agree with Adam; she is not leading lady status and is not worthy of the hype. That is not invalidating her; it is merely expressing a thought frankly shared by others. It is incumbent upon Nicole to legitimize herself; the minute an actress requires external authentication is the moment they will cease to hold their career in their hands, and will join Taraji at the C-List table. You & I definitely have a different list (and definition) of leading lady potentials. I sat in a small theatre in 1991 and listened to the men whistle and cat call when Halle Berry came on the screen for 30 seconds during a preview of Strictly Business. Black women across America were chopping off their naturally long hair (and weaves) to obtain the "Halle Berry" haircut in the 90's, including myself. THAT, my friend, is a leading lady! She is our Jennifer Aniston, love her or hate her. No one is getting a weave like Nicole's. Nope, sorry, not in a million years would I do it. Small of her Back, Women Thou Art Loosed, and The Last Fall are all small, indie films that Nicole has taken on. If she isn't getting offered studio films, then you cannot blame Hollywood because Keke Palmer, Halle Berry, Zoe Saldana, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Hudson, & Joy Bryant ALL ARE. You say, "Missing the point" begins and ends with the "deliverer" of said point(s)." If so, then why are college students expected to be responsible for interpreting a professor's lecture? Or employees responsible for a boss's instructions? One must either ask enough questions to get a full understanding before responding, or the assumptions make you look foolish in front of your contemporaries. Also, according to S &A she has gotten rave reviews from Hollywood, so I wouldn't exactly say "she is working in an industry that successfully ignores her presence to the benefit of another group of women SOLELY based on race." I don't believe Variety could care less about Parker Posey either, and she's not exactly Nigerian like Nicole is. Finally, I'm really at a loss as to what you expect from a black blog reader; to either say, "Great!" or "excellent post" like the rest of the herd, or keep quiet about what is irritating. Neither is ever going to happen.

  • CareyCarey | November 26, 2011 5:47 PM

    WOW! Nadine, if I ever need a defense lawyer I'm calling your name. That rebuttal was tight ass hell! And, it was so smooth. Your point was loud yet soft and clear.

  • Nadine | November 26, 2011 3:21 PM

    @Bicoastal... I'm not sure if there is another Nadine that posts to this site, which is quite possible, or maybe I posted something (like ONE thing) a VERY LONG TIME AGO that I just don't remember, but as far as I'm concerned, this was my first posting this year (or really any year) ...so... I don't know to whom you are referring, quite honestly. I then made another posting on the Milk+Honey page as well after this post. I just did a Google search to see other postings by "a Nadine"...nothing. I MIGHT have a total of 3 to 4 postings on this site (2 to 3 of them having occurred in the past 2 days). I rarely post on the Internet as it is... so your "you have totally missed the point like you do every time this subject comes up." quote regarding my statement in support of Nicole Beharie getting significant face time on Shadow & Act, is not correct... and at best, an honest mistake.

    In the past month, Nicole Beharie has barely been mentioned on the site. The movie "Shame", directed by a Black Briton, Steve McQueen, seems to be more the focus (as well as its director). Counting back from this article, this posting we will call posting #1, there was not another posting regarding "Shame" or Nicole Beharie for 21 postings. Posting #22 had a still of Fassbender and Beharie, but no mention of Beharie in the text. It was just a listing of theaters where one could see the film, given its limited release. We then see "Shame" again featured in posting #56 - the trailer. Nicole Beharie is mentioned in two sentences. Postings #63 and #67 are "Shame" related, but focus more on, again, the Black director McQueen and his statement on casting in Hollywood and how THEY should be ashamed and a video interview with McQueen and Fassbender - no mention of Beharie. We will not see another posting on "Shame" let alone Beharie, for almost 70 posts. If you were to conduct the same experiment, you would have to ask yourself why so much Idris Elba, Kinyarwanda, Lance Gross, Tyler Perry or the African Diaspora Film Festival, but why would you? I think, if not for Steve McQueen's presence as the Black Director of this near-mainstream film (NC-17), we would hear much less about Beharie and much less about this film in general. I have no problems with it...keep it S&A.

    Also (sidenote) - "missing the point" is not apropos. Points can be made by "a person" and interpreted in a myriad of ways. That is why people must take care, if their point is important to them, to not loosely frame their arguments or scaffold carelessly. "Missing the point" begins and ends with the "deliverer" of said point(s).

    The Internet and media is ALL ABOUT SATURATION and there are charitable ways to state one's point without invalidating an actress who is trying to succeed in "a Hollywood that has no intentions of advancing her career." I'm still trying to understand why you specifically pointed out Adam & Ronnie D., had I mentioned them? Adam, yea...Ronnie D. nay. I was addressing Nicole and those who mentioned her presence on Shadow & Act. I thought that was clear?

    Your statement, " As for me, supporting 'a Nicole' simply because she is black is as imbecilic as supporting 'a Michelle Bachmann' because we both have a vagina." - is completely off base. I say this to you as a person who is not a big fan of many Black actresses who have been "allowed" to make themselves known in the Zeitgeist. It hurt my heart to admit to myself that Angela Bassett can be "hit or miss" and I'm NO FAN of Halle or that Tasha Smith set, and have been disappointed by others, etc... I mean the LIST GOES ON, whereas I am in awe of Kim Fields (that woman is NO ... JOKE), little Journee and many more. Those "many more" are the "a Nicole's". It is counter intuitive for me to support someone or something just because there is a Black component since that practice actually harms that community - it does not help. I became dizzy when I heard Tyler Perry was going to take on "For Colored Girls"...imagine Sanford & Son, "Elizabeth, I'm comin'!": That practice is just not me and was not my point, so I apologize if I did not tightly frame my argument. I thought it was understood that Nicole Beharie was a special talent.

    Defined: "a Nicole", to me, is a Black actress in the U.S. with a natural talent who is multi-faceted and intentional in her art. Her E.Q. is high and life experience varied better enabling authentic and intelligent interpretation of text - Julliard training not necessary.

    It is in my belief that a better Black Hollywood CAN exist and THAT drives me to support "a Nicole", because it is when less talented or less introspective players get into the game that an entire population is diminished. I'm saying, Shadow & Act should never second guess supporting "a Nicole" (see definition) when she is working in an industry that successfully ignores her presence to the benefit of another group of women SOLELY based on race.

    ...and yes, my original statement was RIDDLED with hyperbole. "Absotutely". My question is, why is that a problem? We are on a site for and about artists, methinks. Hyperbole is not the opposite of truth or fact. I'm not proofing this so...good luck! Hope it's intelligible!

  • bicoastal | November 25, 2011 6:35 PM

    Nadine, you have totally missed the point like you do every time this subject comes up. In addition, 90% of your comments are hyperbole; not rooted in a scintilla of fact.The sentiments expresed by Adam & Ronnie D. were in regard to the oversaturation of press in relation to her role. As for me, supporting "a Nicole" simply because she is black is as imbecilic as supporting "a Michelle Bachmann" because we both have a vagina. Get real. I have embraced many actresses featured on this site, so you're not in a position to ascertain my cultural loyalties. Everybody gets tired of seeing the same people featured on websites. If I was white, I'd be asking why Olivia Wilde or Amber Heard is the blogger's pet. My issue is that there are other actresses to cover who aren't get the "ad space" she is; actually the same ones listed in the "20 yr old actors" post. There was a missed opportunity in this moment to put out a "10 Questions of a Screenwriter" or "10 Questions of an Actor" or give a young up-and-coming actor or actress who didn't go to Julliard some promotion. It would be refreshing to see what answers Collins Pennie or Gary Hardwick has; Gary has seen how the studio system work, why execs shoot down ideas, and would be a great person to interview. No one has "downed" Beharie, but trust me I could go in. I'm certain Kat Graham is looking at Beharie saying like Halle Berry did in Boomerang, "I may not have weave all down my back, but I have heart." What Shadow and Act SHOULD be proud of is their ability to be objective and diversify the talent pool they showcase so that more actors and writers get a chance, but they're not ready yet.

  • Vanessa | November 24, 2011 12:11 PM

    Thank you Nadine. Nuff' said. :)

  • Adam | November 23, 2011 6:25 PMReply

    I don't understand why Shadow and Act is hyping Nicole Beharie? Beharie has a very MINOR role in the movie it is extremely small. Beharie has a long way to go before she will ever be considered a leading lady in Hollywood.

  • bicoastal | November 23, 2011 9:36 PM

    hype /hīp/ Verb: 1.Promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits. Yeah, she's being hyped. No one but you is denying it. It doesn't matter though; she can get posted here every day all day long, Nicole is the next Rae Dawn Chong. A talent whose career will be like a revolving door. Seen it a million times.

  • Sara | November 23, 2011 8:36 PM

    I don't think "Shadow and Act is hyping Nicole Beharie" up. They are trying to support a talented young black actress, and who has the potential to do bigger and better things.

  • mec | November 23, 2011 5:53 PMReply

    I'm surprised Carey Mulligan is not making festival rounds w/ McQueen & Fassbender. She must be really busy with other projects.

  • Ladybug | November 23, 2011 10:55 PM

    Carey is in Australia shooting Gatsby remake with Leo & Toby

  • Ronnie D. | November 23, 2011 5:13 PMReply

    @keyshantel Why? She plays such a minor role.

  • KeyShantel | November 23, 2011 4:04 PMReply

    It is about time she started doing some press, with them.

  • Nia | November 23, 2011 5:18 PM

    I agree. I haven't seen many interviews with Carey Mulligan either.

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