Sanaa Lathan has an acting career that spans 20-plus years. But her role as “Violet” in the new Netflix movie, Nappily Ever After, shows a side to her that was new even to the actress.
The film is based on the 1998 book written by Trisha Thomas. We are introduced to Violet Jones, a marketing exec obsessed with appearing perfect in all aspects of her life. We meet Violet waking up early on the morning of her birthday, while her Doctor boyfriend sleeps. She wants to put on make-up and have her hair flat ironed before he wakes up, so the first thing he sees is a perfect princess.
Through a series of hair mishaps, Violet embarks on a hair journey that includes a step further than “the big chop,” when Violet shaves her head. As we watch Violet develop via her hair, she also changes as a woman when she begins to rethink what she wants from life and her ideals about beauty.
EURweb’s Jill Munroe attended the red carpet premier and spoke with the cast plus actresses Gabrielle Union, Nia Long and Antoinette Robertson about the film and their own personal hair journeys.
Lathan spoke about how society has placed women, black women in particular, into “a box.” The beauty in Violet is that she learns that the box doesn’t necessarily bring happiness to everyone. It’s about stepping into your own terms.
The romantic comedy stars Lathan, Lyriq Bent (She’s Gotta Have It) Ernie Hudson, Lynn Whitfield, Ricky Whittle, Brittany Hall (HBO’s Ballers) and Camile Guaty.
Behind the scenes, the film enlists women in all the key areas. Not only was the book written by a woman, the Netflix script was written by a woman (Tina Gordon Chism) and produced (Tracy Bing) and directed (Haifaa al-Mansour) by women.