What does A Million Little Pieces author James Frey have to do with the Blackity Black new movie Queen & Slim? The controversial writer who was infamously expelled from Oprah’s Book Club in 2006 shares a story by credit on Queen & Slim with the film’s screenwriter Lena Waithe.
Shadow And Act caught up with Waithe at the Queen & Slim junket in Los Angeles and asked how the relationship with Frey came to be. Though she wrote the screenplay by herself, the Emmy winner shares how she and Frey came to work together:
“I wanted to share a ‘story by’ credit with him because he pitched the catalyst to me at a party,” said Waithe. The multihyphenate said that Frey told her that he had an idea for a movie that he can’t write. “I was like, ‘OK, what’s the idea?’ And he was like, ‘Let’s put a Black man [and] a Black woman on a first date, on their way home they get pulled over by a police officer, things escalate, they kill him in self-defense and they go on the run.’ And I was like, ‘Oh man, yeah, you can’t write that.’ But I was like, I think there’s something there. And so we just exchanged information and he had an outline for it…I was like, I don’t want any of that, I just want that little seed. And also out of respect…because of that seed…I’m going to plant that and make a movie out of it, so I thought it was fair that we share a ‘story by’ credit.”
She continued, “Obviously, I wrote it by myself and created the characters and all that kind of stuff, but yeah, he sort of planted that seed in my head, and out of that, this movie was born.”
Queen & Slim hits theaters on November 27.
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