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Gugu Mbatha-Raw explains why ‘Fast Colors’ empowers a generation of Black women

Photo Provided by Code Black

Rolling out’s Romeo International recently sat down with actress GuGu Mbathe-Raw to talk about her new film Fast Colors.

Explain the process of working with Lorraine Toussaint and Saniyya Sidney.

Well, it was really amazing. I mean, Julia Hart, who wrote the script, really brought this cast together. And, to me, one of the most fascinating elements that drew me to the story is the fact that it’s about three generations of women, which is quite unusual to see three generations of women of color who have these special abilities.

Was your character Ruth running away from her abilities or was she running away from home?

I really see it as a combination of both. I think that Ruth has had these abilities as a young girl,  and she was scared of them, and they were disturbing to her. She, in her adolescence, as a lot of teenagers do, experimented with drugs and alcohol and actually found that was a way for her to numb these seizures. And so she sort of got into this addiction that she thought was helping her, but it was just concealing the pain and concealing her true power.

In one scene, you’re coming home, you’re 10 steps from the door and then you stop and you buckle. That’s real. Tell us about that.

That to me was something that I really thought was refreshing about the story. So often in traditional narratives, we see the hero goes on this great adventure, they have all these challenges, and then they go home. And it’s the end — happily ever after, that’s that. This movie, for me, really starts when she goes home. And actually sometimes going home like that — confronting the past, connecting with your family, you know, repairing relationships — can actually be a thousand times harder than making your way in the world where no one knows who you really are. You can kind of start fresh and reinvent yourself. But going home, that’s the real challenge. And I thought that was really interesting to have a story start that way because it takes everything to a much deeper, more authentic level.

The quote, “Our abilities can’t fix things. If something is broken, it stays broken.” Can you explain that?

Well, I think that’s what they’ve always believed. I actually don’t think that’s true. I actually think we have the power to transform our lives, and we have the power to transform our relationships. Up until that point, because they’d been afraid of their connection, and the family has just been broken, and they’ve been disconnected, they think that that’s it. I think that as the movie progresses, you get to see that, through facing those relationships and challenges, they have the power to fix anything. I just think that that’s really an empowering message.

Fast Color opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, April 19, 2019.