The film Tall Girl is stirring all sorts of conversations online, and one of its stars talked about it all with Shadow And Act. Anjelika Washington plays the character Fareeda in the Netflix film, which is directed by Nzingha Stewart, and while she acknowledges that she understands people’s concerns, she’s also here to explain why they shouldn’t be up in arms.
Washington spoke to S&A about her pitch for folks to watch the film, her character Fareeda--and we even have some info on her upcoming role in the upcoming DC Universe show Stargirl!
Photo: Drea Nicole
S&A: Nzingha Stewart is such an acclaimed television director! How was it working with her?
AW: It was a dream come true. I had been following Nzingha on Instagram for about two years before this, so when I got the audition and saw she was directing it I was like 'Ahhh! This is my chance! Don’t screw it up Anjelika.' Beyond that, she is the first female director I’ve ever worked with AND the first Black director I worked with. She inspired me so much. I always knew that directing was something I wanted to do one day, but now it is something I must do.
S&A: Are you similar in real life to your Tall Girl character, Fareeda?
AW: I am very similar to Fareeda. We are both great friends to others, a hype woman, confident, and own who we are and our experiences. If I could have pink hair every day, I would! I definitely would not spend that much time on getting ready every day, that is where we differ. I love fashion too, but Fareeda is bolder than I am with her fashion choices.
S&A: When the trailer for the film was first released, a lot of people on Twitter criticized the premise. What would be your pitch for folks who think they may not like the film?
AW: I understand where people are coming from, but this film was created to be a feel-good film that any family can watch, and any person can relate to the universal theme of having insecurities. Simple as that. I am a woman of color who is fighting the good fight for social justice, but that was not the purpose of this film. I love those films too and hope to do those as well, but this film was just meant to make your heart smile. The important message of loving yourself exactly the way you are has had a great impact on many people and that was our goal.
S&A: Who is a dream actor or actress that you'd like to work with?
AW: Gosh, I have sooooo many. I have been blessed to work with amazing actors and actresses already, but the first people that come to my mind are also Washington’s--Denzel and Kerry. I’d love to do a film with them and call it The Washingtons or something fun like that, but then the film would be super dark. That would be a dream.
S&A: What are some films and TV shows on your watch list right now?
AW: I love television, and have lists of shows I watch each season (or try to keep up with). Right now since fall television is back, I’m definitely watching the last season of How to Get Away with Murder, This Is Us, A Million Little Things, black-ish, The Politician, and Trinkets. And of course I am catching up on my DC superhero shows, so right now I am watching Black Lightning and The Flash.
S&A: You have a very mysterious role in Stargirl, but what can you tell us about the show so far and your character?
AW: I can tell you that she is super smart and funny. She is not like any character I’ve played before, but she is a lot like me as a person. It has been an honor to be a part of the DC Universe and I can’t wait for everyone to see the series we worked so hard on in 2020. I know people will love Stargirl.
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