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Tag: Beyond the Lights (1-2 of 2)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw becomes a pop star in 'Beyond the Lights' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

It was 2007 and Alicia Keys was singing “Diary” at the Hollywood Bowl when inspiration struck writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball) for her new movie Beyond the Lights, the tale of a perfectly packaged pop star, played by Belle‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who’s been groomed for stardom from a young age by her overbearing, opportunistic mother (Minnie Driver).

The movie spent years in development while Prince-Bythewood, who helmed 2008′s Secret Life of Bees, argued with Sony Pictures over her lead actress. “The studios wanted a big star, and I wanted the right person for the role,” says Prince-Bythewood, who hired her own casting agent to find Mbatha-Raw. “There is an innate vulnerability in Gugu. And you can sense her star power. That’s what we needed to believe–that she could be Rihanna or Beyonce.” READ FULL STORY

What's the best romance starring African-Americans (I vote 'Love and Basketball') and why are there are so few?

Last night at a showing of Think Like a Man Too I was thrilled to see a trailer for the upcoming Gina Prince-Bythewood movie Beyond the Lights. It’s the story of the romance between a vulnerable young woman on the brink of pop stardom (Belle breakout actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Nate Parker (Non-Stop). Hello, sold. But I was already in because of Prince-Bythewood, who wrote and directed one of my favorite romances, 2000′s Love and Basketball. The movie, which stars Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, just earned snaps in the second season of Orange Is the New Black when, in a flashback scene during episode 7, it’s revealed that Big Cindy named her daughter after Lathan’s character Monica.To get a sense of folks’ great affection for Love and Basketball, check out the numerous video tributes to the film on YouTube. Here’s a corny but effective one: READ FULL STORY

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