In case you haven’t been paying attention, we are obsessed with “Dear White People.”
It turns out that the feelings are mutual.“It had to be a musical because that was what we had been wanting to do with the show from the beginning,” Simien told BOSSIP. So much of the surreality that takes place with the show that literally a person bursting out in place with song is not the craziest thing that’s happened on the Winchester campus over these years, but yet it felt really satisfying because one, as a filmmaker I was just really aching to do that and two, we realized that once we put the kids on a quest to literally put on a show we were able to talk about the Black experience and the performative aspects that it requires of all of us on a deeper, interesting level. We also got to play in the ’90’s soundbox, which is the Black renaissance that we all kind of have in our memory, the last one. It allows for all these different singing styles and it also feels like the proper way to end this thing.”
We also talked to Simien about how his HULU film “Bad Hair,” a musical/horror project that crosses multiple genres, might have prepared him for this musical season of “Dear White People”.
“I learned to feel a little bit more as an artist. To get out of my head and maybe not have to make so much intellectual sense of what I was doing but to lean into the emotional experince, to lean into the hearts and minds of the audience,” Simien told BOSSIP. “A horror movie is a really visceral thing and especially when you’re dealing with such extreme issues a lot of emotional things come up for an audience that you don’t really deal with in a comedy, even in a comedy like ours. It just put me in my body a lot more, and how I felt about the work, not just what I thought about the work. I think I really brought that into this season.
With Vol. 4 closing out the “Dear White People” Netflix series, we also had to ask Simien if there’s room for the characters to grow — on the big screen. The series was actually born from Simien’s film, “Dear White People,” which originally starred Tessa Thompson. Simien said that while that question has a complicated answer, he’d be down to make another DWP movie.
“There’s always room for me honey,” Simien told BOSSIP, before adding, “Who’s paying for it? Come on wit it! I got time make an offer.”
Check out the full interview below:
“Dear White People, Vol. 4” is currently streaming on Netflix. Have you started watching yet? We’re dying to know everyone’s favorite musical scenes.