Jodie Turner-Smith Explains What Drew Her to Her Role in ‘Queen & Slim’

Jodie Turner-Smith is the cover star of Essence’s November “Woke Issue,” on newsstands October 25th.

Here’s what the 33-year-old actress had to share with the mag:

On taking on her role in Queen & Slim: “All these powerful women are doing this project, and I was like, ‘How do I get invited?’…I fell maddeningly in love with the script. And Melina is a force to be reckoned with. Honestly, I don’t think anybody’s f**king with her.”

On making the role her own: “The fact that I was cast in a show to play a female lead and I’m the dark-skinned Black woman with short hair, it’s so incredible…It just gave me a little bit of wind beneath my wings to really go and make this my own.”

On how the film displays black love: “It’s definitely not lost on me how beautiful that is to see, for the world and also for our community…Often, it’s the other way around, and what we see glorified as the standard of beauty is a woman who looks a little bit different than I do. And so to get to be in that position, to get to play Queen, to know that there will be little Black girls who look like me, who will see the film and be like, ‘Oh my God, look, somebody who looks like me’ — that makes me feel really awesome.”

For more from Jodie Turner-Smith, visit Essence.com.

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