What’s it like being surrounded by three handsome movie stars? Just ask Oprah Winfrey, who sits alongside Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker and Chiwetel Ejiofor for Essence’s March 2014 special collector’s issue. Inside, all four actors are speaking on their standout roles in the past year and its effect on cinema as a whole.
Oprah’s turn as Gloria in The Butler may look effortless to some, but for Lady O, the physicality took some major adjustment since she doesn’t think of herself as “sexy.”
“Every time Gloria walks, pretend that she has a tail. And when Gloria sits down, she doesn’t sit without making sure there’s room for her tail,” instructed Oprah’s acting coach.
She continues, “I always just wanted when I was growing up, just to see stories and movies with black people where we were just normal people because that’s what people do in their real lives. We make meals for each other. We have parties. We play cards. You come over to my house. We have these conversations. We get into arguments. We call each other names. We forgive each other. It’s just about life. I think the more that we can tell stories that normalize and actualize the African American experience, that’s really is how you break down the barriers of racism.”
Michael B. Jordan, the youngest of the cover stars, also gave his two cents on being “the rookie in a locker room full of veterans.”
“It’s so much out of your control, and that’s not why we do what we do. Concentrate on the word. That’s what it should be about. Being in some great company like Forest Whitaker, it’s kinda cool.”
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