I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there's nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.
I don't condemn anyone for making their choices. If someone chooses those roles, fine. But not for me. When someone stops me and says, You're the reason I became an actress, that lets me know I made the right decision.
Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.
You never know what motivates you.
I was in California when this journalist made a blanket statement about the fact that she did not think that black men and women had the kind of love relationship that Rebecca and Nathan had in Sounder.
The choices of roles I made had to do with educating and entertaining. And as a result I found myself working only every two or three years.
My mother was an introvert and quite religious. And we were brought up in the church. And when she learned that I wanted to act, she simply said: 'You cannot live here and do that.'
We have to support our own films. If we don't, how can we expect others to support them?
One lady told me that before she saw 'Sounder' she didn't believe black people could love each other, have deep relationships in the same way as white people.
Ali... we should have gone to see that movie. Malcolm X was another one.
When I attack a role, be it TV, film or stage, the first thing I say is, I don't want to know anything. If it's good I don't want to hear it; if it's bad I don't want to hear it. The only thing either thing can do is distract me. I like to stay focused.
In my early years, there were a number of experiences that made me decide I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress. There were a number of issues I wanted to address. And I wanted to use my career as a platform.
When I told my mother that I wanted to be an actress, she said, you can't live here and do that, and so I moved out. I was determined to prove her wrong because she was so sure that I was going to go astray. And that's the juice that kept me going.
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