Javicia Leslie Says Her HBCU Prepared Her For Hollywood
‘Double Life’ Exclusive: Javicia Leslie Opens Up About Being A Fight-Ready Baddie Battling Sidepiece Shame Onscreen
Javicia Leslie is back in action with a new starring role in Double Life.
The film is a murder mystery with a twist, that follows a grieving widow as she learns from her late husband’s mistress that his death was no accident. The two women form an unlikely alliance to uncover the truth behind his murder and unmask the man they both loved. Leslie plays “the other woman,” who actually was completely unaware her lover was married, but she ultimately proves to be a big help to the widow.
Check out the trailer below:
Obviously, thanks to her breakout role as Batwoman, it’s no surprise that Leslie is about that action. However, when we asked her what interested her most about her role in Double Life she revealed that it wasn’t just the physicality that got her.
“Any time I get to fight in a movie I’m here for it, and anytime I get to use guns and things like that and you have a bada**, action type of thing, I’m all I’m here for it,” Javicia told BOSSIP. “What made me actually really interested is the fact that it was a thriller led with women, because I hadn’t seen that in a long time. I remember growing up and seeing it all the time. What happened? In the 90s and early 2000s we used to have like all these like fun, cool 90s thrillers with women like Sandra Bullock and stuff like kicking a** and then it’s just like it went away. So to be able to tell that story that was probably the initial reason.”
“Then it’s funny because you talked about saving the widow,” Javicia added. “I think that was the conflict of it for me, because I knew I would deal with shame. I wanted to tell that story of shame. How to experience that, feeling bad, even though you didn’t do it right? Bad for this position that you’re in. Like you’re the bad guy.”
It turns out that having something to fight for is a major determining factor in how Javicia chooses her roles.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical fight,” the actress told BOSSIP. “Just like, ‘What do I have to fight for in this?’ I think every character has something to fight for, but depending on how long the movie is, maybe we don’t get to show everyone’s fight. I love it when I’m able to play in that world. What is it? Am I fighting for my family? Am I fighting for a career? Am I fighting for what I believe in? I like it when there’s like a yearning for something, because it gives me energy in every conversation, because I know what I want. I know what the overall goal is. Let’s just use the circumstances of my character Jo in Double Life. The overall goal is I want to find his killer because this man that I love, no matter what the circumstance are, has been killed. Now I want to find this killer. I can’t sleep, I cannot rest, until I find out who his killers are.”
Once you see the movie, you’ll appreciate Javicia’s fighting skills all the more. But we asked her whether her fight training has ever been put to use for a real life situation and she let us know she’d much rather hide behind a wall and call 911 before battling a bad guy off set.
“I’m not a superhero in real life,” Leslie laughed. “I do think that it’s important for all women to be trained in some type of martial art and for women to know how to use weapons. Yeah pocket knives and things like that. I think it’s important to always protect yourselves, but I don’t think you should go running looking for things.”
We don’t either! Double Life is currently available On Demand and on digital so make sure you check it out.
Hit the flip to read Javicia’s answer about how attending a HBCU (Hampton University) prepared her for Hollywood.
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