“Early on in her career, she had about three films back to back that really put her on the map and endeared her to an audience, and people wanted to see more. She doesn’t work as much as some other actresses, but she and I actually talk a lot, and I [tell her], ‘Stay special.
“I remember I had a ’91 Honda Accord that I’d had for years.
And I was like, ‘Once I star in a movie, I just want to get a BMW.’ And I couldn’t get the BMW, even after Love & Basketball.” From 2006 onward, not only did Lathan star in mostly mediocre movies, she starred in very few of them, and primarily as some dude’s thinly developed romantic interest.
It’s the film her fans rhapsodize about most, says Lathan, and, apparently, it still brings grown men to tears.
Pal and frequent collaborator Prince-Bythewood laughs when describing what it’s like to go out with Lathan in public: “I’ve been with her when a guy came up to her and started crying.
By Wilson Morales The last time we saw Sanaa Lathan on the big screen, she was fighting monsters of all sorts in "AVP: Alien Vs. That was certainly a 360 turn from the films she had done previously, which basically were romantic and dramatic films such as "Out of Time" with Denzel Washington, "Out of Time" with Taye Diggs, and "Disappearing Acts" with Wesley Snipes. When you work with good actors, it makes your job a bit easier. I was really nervous about who they were going to cast. SL: I'm working on developing a movie with Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Sometime last year, Lathan found time to lend her voice to the animated film, "The Golden Blaze", which also featured the voice of Blair Underwood. I guess we had chemistry because all those scenes were really easy to do and I'm just happy it was him. Did you have an input as far as casting your male lead? They were guys who were capable of doing the role and kinda hot within Hollywood and Simon and I supposedly had the best chemistry. I got to spend five months in Prague, which on one hand was great and the other hand is hard to be so far away from your family and friends. All of the crew was English and German and they treated me like a princess, but it was hard work.
In the past, she reluctantly auditioned for roles she didn’t want, and sometimes she got them — like Donna Tubbs on Seth Mac Farlane’s The Cleveland Show and the lead in Alien vs. Predator on Saturday morning.’ And I was like, ‘No! “I’m like, ‘No.’ I’m not gonna read for this role when there’s been a million things I’ve done you can look at.
It gets emotionally exhausting to prove yourself over and over again. “I know a lot of white actors who would love to have my career.
The film, she says, turns the crazy, scorned-ex-girlfriend trope on its head, and instead allows Ealy to slowly lose his shit onscreen while Lathan gets to play the sympathetic protagonist.
Lathan also savored the lack of ageism inherent in the movie’s plot: “It’s just me onscreen, and I have two hot guys fighting over me and I’m not 20 years old,” she says.
From Tyler Perry morality plays to sad-sack indies to Soderberghian thrillers, she toiled in films of widely varying quality.