Underappreciated Actress of Color #38: Nicole Beharie

Abagond's recent post just turned my attention to the 2009 film American Violet, which in turn drew my attention to the stunningly beautiful Nicole Beharie.

I mean...damn.

This 25-year-old actress has only been in the game since 2008, and already she landed a bad-ass, critically acclaimed role based on the real-life case of Regina Kelly V. John Paschall.  This gives her a total of three film roles to her name which, for someone who's very much a newcomer (of color no less), is impressive.  Her future in acting - the gods willing - truly is secure.

Beharie's acting abilities are no shocker, considering she's a recent graduate of Juilliard.  And while I respect the work and abilities of Mo'Nique and Sidebe in Precious, Abagond makes a great point:  American Violet focuses on the corruption and racism of the American justice system and its law enforcement practices.  Naturally, white privilege is exposed and shown no quarter.  And yet...I'm only just hearing of this film now.

Meanwhile, friggin' Precious - no disrespect - focuses on (mostly) the stereotypical pathologies of black people, and the Academy immediately rolled out the red carpet for the entire cast and crew.

Um...*blink* much?

Comments

  1. I just have to watch this one, even though I'm not really into legal dramas as a genre. Still, from what I can tell, it's more about society and white pathology than the actual courtroom. So I guess it must be good.

    I didn't watch "Percious", so I don't know what to say about it. I believe there are some strong performances in that movie, but the same can be said, as I heard, for this one. Obviously, the only reason for this one being less popular it's the fact it's about white pathology and not black stereotypes. Simple as that.

    Nicole is a beautiful woman and I hope she'll have a great career. I'll have to watch the movie to see about her acting abilities, but people say she's a talented actress- so I do hope she'll get more quality roles.

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  2. I approach films like these (that portray real life in a barebones manner) carefully because my blood pressure really can't take it.

    I read an interview with the director and producer:http://www.stageandcinema.com/americanvioletbillhaneytimdisney.html

    and it went well till I got to this quote:
    "Bill Haney: This is story could have been easily ghettoized"

    now what the hell does that mean?

    Also, I think it's interesting that they would pick such a young and skinny woman to play Regina Kelly. The real Regina Kelly looks like she weighs more and is older. From the trailer, Nicole seems like an awesome actress, but it kinda rankles me that they didn't pick a black actress who more resembled the real Ms. Kelly.

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  3. I approach films like these (that portray real life in a barebones manner) carefully because my blood pressure really can't take it.

    Oooooohhhhhh...I feel you on that one.

    it kinda rankles me that they didn't pick a black actress who more resembled the real Ms. Kelly.

    That's just Hollywood for you.

    And Bill Haney can go to hell.

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  4. I saw American Violet and LOVED IT. I hadn't expected it to be that good. Nicole is beautiful and extremely talented. She should have been featured on the cover of Vanity Fair as an up and coming actress!

    As for the movie Precious, I'm mad as hell that Hollywood chose to embrace that Black movie as opposed to American Violet. It's not a surprise though.

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