Tag Archive: lena waithe


Episode 7 of the behind the scenes making of the AT&T shorts takes you to the set of ‘Postmarked’. Angela wrote a beautiful story and Malakai is a committed director and if you watch film and television at all you’ll probably recognize an actor or two who appear in this short.

Enjoy!

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New episode of the behind the scenes of the AT&T shorts.

You know Lena, you know Ava, most of you don’t know Shooter yet…

She’s a sweetheart, she’s genuine, and of course very talented.

Episode 6…

Episode of the ‘making of’ webseries of the AT&T Hello Lab shorts focuses on Fragile.com. Alison and Brittany have created this dark horror story that speaks to the times we live in.

Enjoy!

One thing I’ve been asked about more than a few times referencing ‘1/30’ is how has it been having someone who is not Black or Muslim directing this story. I’ve told anyone who would listen that Vishnu (the director) from pre-production on has been hyper sensitive (in all the right ways) about not being disrespectful to my point of view.

Lena backs this up (which should surprise no one) in the intro to today’s behind the scenes webisode for the AT&T Hello Lab.

Enjoy!

Episode 3 of the behind the scenes webseries for the AT&T Hello Lab doc is live now. More Lena in this one.

Enjoy!

So you know what I’ve been involved with this summer.

Now, hear myself and the other mentees talk about the shorts and why we feel attached to them.

Enjoy!

100% True.

A couple of nights ago, I was reading Idris’ profile on Vanity Fair where he talks about his path in Hollywood.

The next day, I’m quoted and featured on their website.

When things move sometimes, they move SWIFTLY.

Thanks to Vanity Fair, THEM, and Mitu for the coverage of my AT&T Hello Lab class.

Links below:

https://www.vanityfair.com/branded/article/vfr/lena-waithe-helps-emerging-filmmakers-tell-their-stories-with-the-atandt-hello-lab-mentorship-program

https://www.them.us/branded/article/them/lena-waithe-empowers-emerging-filmmakers-to-tell-their-stories-with-the-atandt-hello-lab-mentorship-program

Halle and Lena are about to bring ‘Boomerang’ back, which was an amazing soundtrack, and thus, today’s video (which is an amazing song.)

My personal connection to this song runs pretty deep. More than enough time has passed, but I can’t hear this without thinking of the most devastating breakup of my life. Shorty had me crumpled up in a laundry basket, ashy as hell, singing along to this when it came on the radio. That’s 100 percent true. Oh, to be young, and think you’ve blown it with your one true love!

A few people who guided me through that experience may also remember this: my adopting ‘Batman’ as my alter ego didn’t start with childhood comic books or Christopher Nolan, but the immediate aftermath of that breakup. Went to work everyday, but would come home, wouldn’t turn on the lights, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t turn on the television. Just sit in the dark for hours until my body decided to go to sleep. That’s also 100 percent true.

I wasn’t always inspirational quotes on the Gram, my friends. I’ve had my fair share of depression where you’re not even functioning as a human being really.

Anyway, happy thoughts. Cause again, this is a beautiful song.

Enjoy!

 

dear-white-people-season-2

I don’t think Justin Simien will take any offense to me saying each incarnation of ‘Dear White People’ has been an improvement on the one before it.

The latest season (or volume as it were) builds on Season 1’s re-introduction of the characters and settings of Winchester University, and creatively expands on them in so many ways, the few highlights I’m about to list below only scratch the surface…

  • If you feel the need to play the comparison game, I guess ‘Atlanta’ would be the other choice, but the number of strong individual episodes in this season is absurdly high.  The ‘mushrooms’ episode.  The ‘abortion’ episode.  My actor’s bias has strong feelings for episode 8, which is essentially a one act play for the characters of Sam and Gabe; the amount of personal and political material in that half hour alone is obscene.
  • But my favorite episode of this bunch is the ‘Joelle’ episode.  The character is obviously a fan favorite, and the realization/breakdown of ‘the hotep’ was too hilarious and painfully accurate.
  • A ton of good cameos I won’t completely ruin, but I have to say seeing Lena Waithe and Tessa Thompson play against ‘what I was expecting’ was fantastic.  For the USC crowd my old classmate Daheli got more screen time this season as the Iyanla Vanzant doppleganger and she makes the most of it.

So yes, all the applause.  Carve out 10 more half hours of your time for this.

Streaming on Netflix.

 

‘Master of None’

masterofnone

Do I carry a certain amount of bias for ‘Master of None’ as a minority actor who favors the ‘silly love stories with a heart’?  Sure, I guess I do.  But I still think ‘Master of None’ is fantastic.

As someone on Twitter brilliantly pitched it, this show is ‘a younger, less surreal version of Louie’.  Aziz Ansari plays a version of himself, an Indian-American actor in New York trying to get ahead while also navigating modern love and figuring out if it’s something he genuinely wants.  Like any good pitch though, that just gets you in the door.

The casting is exceptional.  Along with my brother from an intercontinental mother Aziz, Lena Waithe gets to be the friend who most often makes the best advice for ‘Dev.’  H. Jon Benjamin (who for better for worse will never get away from Archer for me) shows up for a few episodes as a costar on a project Dev lands.  Claire Danes gets to turn up to 15 as one of Dev’s love interests.

And the episode themes! Feminism from a ‘good guy’ point of view. The sacrifices our parents made for us (from a first generation immigrant point of view). Playing the stereotype (to make a living) vs. fighting the good fight (and maybe not getting ahead) as a minority in the Business.  And true to the style of Aziz Ansari, it’s all entertaining and funny.

Netflix does it again.  Carve out those 10 half hours and watch it.