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On Claire Rosseau (‘Blackbird’) vs Mary Jones (‘Precious’):
Mary Jones was mentally ill. Claire Rousseau is emotionally distraught because her daughter has been abducted, her marriage has come to an end and now her son says that he is gay. She is a woman who is so deeply rooted in her religion that she believes everything from that Bible and everything that she hears from that pulpit. She believes that she is cursed with a child who is a homosexual. There is an emotion disruption with the two women—that is the common denominator.
Wanting the role after reading the first page of the script:
Isaiah Washington sent me the script, and I knew on page one that I wanted to do the movie. It was a scene that has never seen in cinematic history and it is one that we need to see because it is happening; it is what our babies are going through. Patrick is fearless. He wasn’t willing to sugar coat it; to dress up or make it comfortable. He made it very uncomfortable.
Blackbird is a universal story:
For a long time I thought that it was only the African American community that got it the worst was black gay men. I saw that pain and that misery. Until we started taking this film to festivals around the country and we started to hear from the Italian community, from the Asian community, from the Jewish community. And they were all saying the same thing: ‘this is my story. When I came out my family threw me away. When I came out I could no longer go to my church.’
Homophobia in the black community and the church:
“Blackbirdâ€ impacts the black community and it impacts the LGBT community within the African American community. What would I like to see come out of this movie. If told well it will become a movement. I think it is time that people stop making an announcement about who they were born to be. So, we are hoping that people walk away with acceptance of who people are and not having to be apologetic. We are hoping that those little boys, and those little girls, those mommies, those daddies, those church members, those pastors are able to say nothing is a mistake. When you say God is Love there is no but after that.
Blackbird breakout star Julian Walker:
Patrick said that he went the standard route which is Hollywood but people were afraid of it, would people think they were really gay, would it hurt their career. So the question was who is going to be brave enough to play this character? Â This is Julian’s first role (he’s a college student). He doesn’t know to be afraid. The same feelings that I had about Gabby Sidibe (“Preciousâ€ actress) are the same feelings that I have about Julian. He is so courageous. He gave himself fully (to this role), because he said ‘I want to be the guy that a little boy can look up to because he had no one to look up to when I was a little boy.’
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