“An accurate reflection of the world that we live in”
Amandla Stenberg parle d’Everything, Everything.
Cette semaine, Amandla Stenberg est à l’affiche d’Everything, Everything. Elle y incarne le rôle principal, celui d’une jeune fille de 18 ans atteinte d’une maladie rare, cloitrée chez elle, jusqu’au jour où un beau jeune homme emménage dans la maison voisine. L’actrice, très mûre pour son âge, y voit une manière d’affirmer son identité.
Vocable: What is Everything Everything about? Amandla: It is about a girl who can't go outside, and what happens when she falls in love with the boy next door. The entire film is not really based on reality. In my eyes, it's more a piece of fantasy, or a modern-day fairytale, because the interactions of the characters are very much real and natural but the circumstances that they're in are pretty absurd. That's what gives the film its sense of humour, but it is about escaping from limitations placed on you, from breaking free of limitations you may place on yourself, and about first love and adventure.
2. Vocable: Why did you choose this role? Amandla: When I received the script, I was surprised that they were interested in casting me. Then I looked further into it and saw that the book was written by a black woman and the main characters were written as AfricanAmericans, and I think that is something that is pretty rare to see in these types of stories. We get to see a lot of young adult romance films featuring white couples, but not very many featuring inter-racial couples, and then featuring inter-racial couples without having race be a conversation in the film. What also drew me to it was that it was being directed by a black woman, and I saw the opportunity to be a part of this project that I’d never seen before.
3. Vocable: How important was race in your choice? Amandla: I'm bi-racial, so I do live with parents who were an inter-racial couple and, when I was younger, I just felt like I was never able to see accurate representations of them in films, or accurate representations of myself as a biracial kid. To see this character carrying a film, who is black and bi-racial and wears her hair natural felt really special. I realise it was important for me to be a part of it, in order to create accurate representations that I feel especially Hollywood needs. 4. Vocable: Do you think that’s a very American thought process? Amandla: Maybe the same thing goes for other parts of the world, but I think, especially in America, it is an important dialogue. For instance, wearing my hair natural has always been a point of discussion, of conversation. I used to get teased for my hair and I felt like I never got to see characters like me. Acting in this film is just a first step in terms of opening the doors for other representations to exist, and for other black girls to be able to be the main romantic love interest in a film, as opposed to a secondary character or an object or having to be a part of a film where the fact that they are black is the point of their character. Oftentimes, when we have black women in lead characters, their race is a point of discussion. What's special about Everything, Everything is it's just supposed to be an accurate reflection of the world that we live in, which is increasingly diverse.
5. Vocable: Do you plan on carrying on your studies now you've just graduated? Amandla: That’s the plan, but it depends on the projects that I'm able to encounter. Acting is a really fantastic way to show people who I am and hopefully to grab their attention. Ultimately, my goal is to be able to eliminate the fact that my race has so much to do with my career, but, at the same time, making it a point of empowerment. Later this year, I'm going to be making a film based on a book centred around the events of the Black Lives Matter Movement, but right now I'm working on a film called The Darkest Minds, which is another character where race never is a conversation, and instead we just get to see me play a role that would traditionally go to a white girl.
(L-R) Nick Robinson as Olly and Amandla Stenberg as Maddy.