by Mia Fields-Hall
Gina Prince-Bythewood said it took over four years to create Beyond the Lights, a film centered on a young pop star thrust into the spotlight after three hit singles. But before she can drop her debut album, the superstar realizes this isn’t the life she wants and tries to commit suicide. She’s saved by a young cop…and you have to watch the rest for yourself.
Gina, who recently held a screening of the film in D.C. with star Nate Parker, sat down with DC Fab! to chat about the film, her previous work (think: Love & Basketball!) and her favorite spots to hang out when in the District.
DC Fab!: Stories about black love in Hollywood are few and far between. Why do you think that is?
Gina: Honestly, I wish I knew. I know it starts with the studio system and what’s being green lit and what’s not. There are no black women in charge of studios or films period and very few women. It took four years just to get this movie made.
DC Fab!: Would you go through the process again of getting the movie made seeing as though it took four years?
Gina: Yes, it’s worth it to me although it took a very long time.
DC Fab!: What do you want viewers to take away from the film?
Gina: To see it again! (Laughs) No really, I want them to take away the message that you should always choose life, find your authentic self and love being yourself.
DC Fab!: We love your films like Love & Basketball. Do you have any others in your back pocket that you’re not revealing just yet?
Gina: I do know the next one I’m gonna write about. [It’s] kind of like Bridesmaids. It will deal with more of the friendship between women.
DC Fab!: You’re in D.C. this week. So tell us what you love most about visiting here?
Gina: I came here two years ago with my two boys and we got to see all the monuments. It’s one thing to see it in books, but there’s nothing like being here in person. It’s a tremendous experience and knowing that they are here while the President is here, it’s amazing. Also, they really loved the Spy Museum (800 F Street NW)!
Go see the film when it hits theaters on Nov. 14.