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DeWanda Wise Talks “She’s Gotta Have It” On Netflix

By now, you’re probably already on seconds and maybe just beginning to binge on Netflix’s new Spike Lee joint, “She’s Gotta Have It,” an updated, more fleshed out version of the 1986 classic film that dropped its first season today. If you’re unfamiliar, the story follows the dating life of Nola Darling, as she juggles three men in a rapidly changing Brooklyn neighborhood.

We caught up with actress DeWanda Wise, the new Nola Darling, at the show’s official premiere and asked her who Nola Darling is in the new era, the pressures of portraying an iconic character, and what it’s like doing all those steamy sex scenes with a hubby at home:

You had some pretty big shoes to fill playing an urban icon like Nola Darling. What did you feel that you had to do differently in this role to update Nola for 2017?

Thankfully, they didn’t shoot this show episode-by-episode. I had all ten (scripts) so, I had a real chance to go through and do some work. Spike was super open, because one of the main things was updating some of the language — little things, nuance, behavior. [If I changed something] Spike would just walk up and say “What’d you say? What’s that mean? Oh, okay.” It was a collaboration. Just trusting my voice and trusting my expertise as a Black woman figuring sh*t out in 2017.

DeWanda also weighed in on the difference in the ‘norm’ of how women date 30 years after the original film…

Being that dating around and having multiple partners is much less taboo now than it was in 1986, what do you feel like a modern woman– who may even be in a similar situation herself — could take away from Nola’s story in this day an age?

I think what’s revolutionary about Nola — in BOTH iterations of Nola, and ours specifically — is how transparent she is. And once you get to the tenth episode, you’ll see the full manifestation of that. I don’t want to call it a “lesson,” because that’s so preachy, but…it’s aspirational.

It’s definitely inspiring because, it’s one thing to have a roster and date multiple people, but how are you doing it? Are you this person who’s out here like “Oh, I want to be in a relationship,” when really you don’t and [you have all these other people on the side]? It’s really that, getting to this point of ‘say what you mean and mean what you say.’

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