While discussing the film at the New York City premiere, she also opened up about the Black woman’s struggle in Hollywood and the mistreatment she has experienced from her peers.
“Just coming up in the business, I have been treated just horribly by some women that you may know,” the 47-year-old actress said Monday in a room full of women inside The Wing Soho.
“I won’t call any names,” she said, “but when you’re working with somebody who’s maybe a little older than you — now I’m the older one — you don’t expect to get competition, and jealousy, and weird vibes on set. And I was very hurt, very early on in my career by a couple of different women.”
Lathan said she’s proud “Nappily Ever After” represents “the beginnings of inclusivity.”
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According to the synopsis for “Nappily Ever After, a soulful barber helps a woman piece her life back together after an accident at her hair salon makes her realize she is not living life to the fullest.
“I love the fact that this is a romantic comedy, but I call it the fairy tale for the modern woman,” Lathan said of the flim, directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, known as the first female Saudi filmmaker. “It’s a romantic comedy about falling in love with yourself.”
“When I was coming up, we were read fairy tales, and fairy tales is kind of what helps us determine what our values are as little girls. And when you read Cinderella…and you don’t see yourself reflected, what does that do to you on a deep unconscious self-esteem way?” the actress asked.
Sanaa famously cut her hair off for the film, shot in Atlanta, and noted: “In the beginning, [I said], ‘I’m not cutting my hair.’ I said, ‘You know, this is the 21st century. We have technology. We can do a bald cap,” she recalled to laughter.
But after talking with a “couple of people,” Lathan decided to push forward with the big chop: ‘It’s just hair,’” she said. “If I don’t like it I can just throw a wig on.”
Meanwhile, Sanaa stopped by Access Live today and discussed the decision to shave off her real hair in her Netflix series, and how it is empowering women.