), . (Sidenote: Prince-Bythewood also produced Biker Boyz…hey man, everyone has an off day.) Prince-Bythewood even shows the disparities between men’s and women’s facilities; Q plays in an arena that can sit almost 10,000 fans, whereas Monica plays in a side gym that seats only a few hundred. They were giving the basketball player acting coaches. The actress said shooting the movie was difficult. “I think there’s a plethora of movies, documentaries and things, that talk about what went on in the men’s game, whether it be in the professional or college aspect. Despite those initial issues on set, Lathan and Prince-Bythewood bonded during production. Love & Basketball (2000) Filming & Production. … And here’s the most amazing thing: It considers sports in terms of career, training, motivation and strategy. Gabrielle Union played a messy Shawnee Easton (“Damn, girl, I didn’t know Nike made dresses”); Regina Hall played the ultra-girly older sister, Lena; Kyla Pratt, known for her Nike WNBA commercials at the time, played a young Monica; Boris Kodjoe played the über-attractive college hunk, Jason; Tyra Banks played the trophy-fiancée stewardess, Kyra. Monica shows the audience the struggle of growing up as a female athlete. Butler appreciated the complexities within Monica—a character who was able to show her emotions without coming off as another stereotype. We felt as if we could be Monica. Gina Prince-Bythewood wanted to tell a love story first and foremost—‘When Harry Met Sally …,’ but about a young black girl with dreams of playing professionally. Niesha Butler agrees: “I started as a freshman, I led [Georgia Tech] in scoring as a freshman, and the seniors there ain’t trying to give you nothing. With Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Glenndon Chatman, Jess Willard. 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Copyright © 2020, AB Media, LLC. “Finally I demanded, ‘If you want me to continue, you’re going to have to get me a basketball coach because I hear you’re giving these basketball players acting coaches,’ and they did,” she recalled. Truthfully, not many people did. “I grew up playing ball and I hated it whenever females were playing basketball in movies and TV because they were bad; I felt like it set us back,” she says. I was very lucky… I did a staged reading of the script when she was still working on the script. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. “I’m going to get a T-shirt that says, ‘Yes, I’m the girl from Love & Basketball,’” Ringor jokes. Please be sure to open and click your first newsletter so we can confirm your subscription. Sanaa Lathan is opening up about her miserable experience working on Love & Basketball considered one of the best sports rom-coms ever. Joined by author and attorney Van Jones, the rapper said on Tuesday's episode that his contract addresses the root causes... https://youtu.be/J9wq14EnezU Megan Thee Stallion used her performance on the season 46 premiere of Saturday Night Live to call out Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for his handling of the Breonna Taylor case. She trained extensively and Prince-Bythewood, who wrote and directed the film, finally gave her the part. Robin Roberts had a cameo, and Dick Vitale dropped his classic “diaper dandy” during a faux-SportsCenter package. “It was a beautiful thing to be able to bring them into the filmmaking process. “Here I am, nobody knows me really, and she has to hire me,” Lathan said. I’ll wait.) 32 chain and all. I wasn’t afraid to show my emotions on the court; I was a ballplayer, and like so many young athletes watching the movie for the first time or the 100th, I felt seen. “It was a love letter to L.A.,” Orji adds. She was so multifaceted. They have an unspeakable bond that starts a little uneasily (“Man, girls can’t play no ball,” Q tells Monica. Years later, they would work together again on the limited Fox series Shots Fired, which Prince-Bythewood and her husband, Reggie Rock Bythewood, co-created. We were hungry for that kind of story to be told.”, Butler says she was considered for the lead role, but that pursuing it would threaten her NCAA eligibility. “It is a sports film seen mostly from the woman’s point of view. It was written and directed by a woman. Hearing from them after the film came out that they saw themselves in Monica meant everything to me,” Prince-Bythewood says. For Q to become a Laker and Monica to suit up for the Sparks was an L.A. basketball-storybook ending. By the time she graduated from the Bronx’s Riverdale Country School, she held the career scoring record in both girls’ and boys’ divisions, tallying more than 3,000 points. (She reluctantly lands on Liz Cambage, Notre Dame–era Skylar Diggins-Smith, or Dawn Staley in her prime. (Her first kiss, like Monica’s, was with a boy from the neighborhood, and he, like Q, counted the seconds on his fingers.) She ended up auditioning over 700 people for the role of Monica—actors and athletes alike. “It’s important to reinforce that we do have love for one another and we love loving one another, contrary to popular belief.” The Insecure actress-comedian says if she can’t have a love like Monica and Q, then she doesn’t want it. She’d rush through her homework and offer to clean his room so he would sit and watch it with her. Monica, Q, and Sidra have become those heroes for so many. “There was a lot of crying behind the scenes for me.”. They would always do a basketball audition for me, which was just the worst. What Gina did with Love & Basketball … it wasn’t just words written on a paper. It let them experience that and show their environment and culture in a positive way,” Prince-Bythewood says. Q and Monica’s connection deepens as they grow up. “I think Gina [Prince-Bythewood] really wanted, and the producers, they really wanted a basketball player who could act as opposed to an actress who they could teach to play basketball,” Lathan told Los Angeles TV station, KCBS. It was her breakout role, but Sanaa Lathan says working on Love & Basketball was not a positive experience. A Northern California native, Prince-Bythewood came to study film and run track at UCLA and then never left L.A. Prince-Bythewood explains that she would’ve been hesitant to cast the two together had she known: “What if they would’ve broken up in the middle of shooting?”. June 6, 2019 June 6, 2019 urbanhollywood411 Leave a comment. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, partnered with New Line Cinema to bring Prince-Bythewood’s story to life. Nineteen years after the iconic sports film was released in April 2000, Lathan revealed the director wanted someone else to play Monica opposite Omar Epps. “I was miserable. The other challenge was the actress had never played basketball prior to the film. Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a Georgia native who had a lengthy acting career and frequently appeared in Spike Lee Joints, was killed Saturday in a shooting in Atlanta. It was her baby and it was her first time directing. HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE. How they played the game inspired Prince-Bythewood to pick up a basketball at a young age and never put it down. It was about a woman’s story and I have nothing but total support and love for it.”, Ultimately, Prince-Bythewood went against her word; she cast Lathan even though the actress had never touched a basketball before, and today Prince-Bythewood says she can’t imagine anyone but Lathan playing Monica. “I didn’t know they were dating at the time, and they were very smart not to tell me,” Prince-Bythewood says, laughing at the memory. She had already sent Serena Williams the script and had Marion Jones audition. Yes No. "I’m... Nearly two years after making headlines by going public with his girlfriend, while his wife B. Smith battled Alzheimer’s disease, Dan Gasby says the situation has changed. Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps were dating during the filming of L&B No wonder the chemistry between Monica and Quincy was so damned good. A now-recognizable supporting cast contributed to the movie’s appeal. She couldn’t get my stage reading out of her head. “Who the hell was ever gonna want to see a movie about a black girl who wants to be the first girl in the NBA?” she asks me over the phone last week. “I said I’d never cast anyone who couldn’t play basketball,” Prince-Bythewood says.

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