Photography by DeWayne Rogers for Steed Media Group.

Being comfortable and free is everything for the actress. Good rose to fame in the mid-2000s with a string of sexy roles in movies like Biker Boyz and Waist Deep, and she’s constantly expanded her repertoire. She’s starred in everything from horror films like One Missed Call and Saw V to TV dramas like NBC’s “Deception.” Always open to telling a strong story, Good admits her frustration with the criticism that is often aimed at black actresses who play characters that aren’t Clair Huxtable-esque or pristine.

“If Angelina Jolie goes topless, everyone goes ‘Wow, she’s so badass, so committed to her craft,’ ” Good says. “But if Halle Berry goes topless, everyone’s like ‘She’s a slut. She probably took a bunch of money to do that.’ People attack her with unsavory names. And it’s unfortunate. Halle is one my favorite actresses — I’ve looked up to her since I began this journey. There’s definitely a double standard but I can’t put my finger on exactly why that is. If someone is telling a story, they should go to whatever extent that they’re comfortable with to tell the story. Whatever they feel is necessary.”

While Good is in full support of actresses pushing their limits and pushing the envelope for the sake of storytelling, she admits that she has not appeared nude on-camera herself because it can often feel exploitative. “I have no problem with nudity — it just has to not be exploitative and it has to be important to tell the story,” she explains. “It depends on the script, the character, the story, the tone of the movie — all of those things. I commend women of every nationality that are bold enough to tell a story in a way that’s fearless. I just haven’t found a project where I felt it was necessary to do that. The scenes I’ve come across seemed exploitative and I just didn’t do it.

“My faith is everything to me, but I’m also extremely liberal and I believe in telling real people stories,” Good adds. “If you’re always trying to be this perfect character in everything, how can you be inspiring and do anything interesting? I like playing complicated characters who sometimes make bad choices. I like playing characters that do something questionable and ultimately the repercussions of their choices are kind of the lesson of the story. It’s just that, once in a while, there’s an extreme amount of nudity or the way that they’re talking about God and or the way that they’re dealing with something specific, [and] I’m like ‘Yeah, I don’t want to do that.’ But every time I say ‘no,’ it leads to something better for me.”

Stereo Williams

Todd "Stereo" Williams, entertainment writer based in New York City. He co-founded Thirty 2 Oh 1 Productions, an indie film company.

  • Shellye Jackson Lyons

    The last paragraph… Very Well said. Great article.

    • Winona Winkler Wendth

      *Sunday* morning services?

      • Shellye Jackson Lyons

        “I feel like religion can get very judgmental and a lot of people don’t approach you with love,” she says, pausing thoughtfully. “I try to be conscious of the responsibility I have as a Christian, but if I did everything everyone told me to do or tried to please everyone, I couldn’t have my hair a particular way, I couldn’t wear certain clothes, I couldn’t play certain characters, I can’t hang out with certain people, can’t wear a certain amount of makeup — and you can’t let people run your life. You have to look to God. People will fall in line.”

  • AB

    Very typical current American Christian attitudes: I profess Christ as savior but NOT my Lord. People, read your Bible for personal convictions if you are sincere about this Christian living stuff.

    • Ayana

      There you go again projecting your belief and rewording what she said.

  • Nehes Ba’a Rayay

    she has internal struggles about her religious convictions. Mary Magdalene believed in God too but she was a Whore that Jesus redeemed. (Go read your ‘Holy Books’) she’s gonna have to decide if she wants to be Mary (Mother of Christ) or Jezebel. #theblindinglightofmisinformationmustend

    • Nana

      Did she say she has struggles with her convictions? All that matters is one’s relationship with God. How does Meagan Good relate to Mary Magdalene? Are you trying to imply she’s a whore?

    • Eric Toomer

      You are the exact person she is talking about. Being so judgmental and trying to watch her every move(what she wears, says, does, etc.) Since you wanna throw the bible at people, I read where Mary Magdalene was the lead apostle/disciple. #Read the freaking article

  • kaydenpat

    I love Meagan but never really pictured her being a pastor’s wife. All the best to her and her husband.

  • Eric Toomer

    Meagan on point!

  • Tae’lur Alexis

    Meagan Good is her own person. She has the right to have her own beliefs and to do things her own way because it will only affect her life. I support her actually anddd I love her ^_^

  • Calvin Robinson

    If this is all there is to following jesus, then there is nothing to following Jesus. Anybody, no matter how they live or feel is a follower of Jesus. Black Christianity has become a joke.