All Articles Tagged "Kimberly Elise"
Last summer we told you that the talented Kimberly Elise would be starring in a new VH1 scripted series titled Bounce, which was said to follow the lives of members of professional basketball dance team, the Los Angeles Devil Girls. A quick description of the series found in the network’s press release reads:
“Bounce is a series that follows the alluring lives and loves of the Los Angeles Devil Girls, the premiere dance team in all of professional basketball. The Los Angeles Devils are the number one team in the league. When the stadium lights go up at night all of Hollywood comes out to support the million dollar players; but in this city these men share the fame, adrenalin, money, sex and power with their dancers, the Devil Girls.”
There hasn’t really been much talk of the series since news of production planning first leaked last summer. Well, until now that is. We’ve just learned that the series is scheduled to debut next month! May 27th to be exact. It also underwent a name change and is now titled Hit the Floor. In case you’re wondering where Kimberly Elise comes in, according to VH1, she will be playing Sloane, who is the mother of one of the dancers.
“At its heart is Ahsha, a sheltered young woman who joins the team against the wishes of her mother Sloane, who knows this treacherous, tempting world all too well having been a Devil Girl herself. Olivia is the shrewd squad manager, Jelena is the star dancer who won’t let anyone else share the spotlight and Pete Davenport is the former All-Star who’s come back to coach his old team.”
Elise’s co-stars include Taylour Paige, Charlotte Ross, Logan Browninghas and Dean Cain. The series is directed by Sanaa Hamri. As previously stated, Hit the Floor debuts Monday, May 27th at 9/8c and according to Shadow and Act, is said to be ”VH1′s biggest scripted effort to date.”
So, will you watch?
Turn the page to see Hit the Floor’s official extended trailer.
Colorism Issues On-Screen: If Zoe Saldana Is A No No To Play Nina Simone, Is Lenny Kravitz A Hell No To Play Marvin Gaye?
Light-skinned Rocker Lenny Kravitz is rumored to be playing the late great dark brown skinned “Sexual Healing” crooner, Marvin Gaye, in a biopic about his life, this according to published reports.
According to The Huffington Post:
The project is directed by Julian Temple, known for his documentary “London: The Modern Babylon” as well as “Absolute Beginners.” Temple also has plenty of experience with bringing music to the big screen, having directed a number of movies about the Sex Pistols. The Gaye movie will center on the soul singer’s later years. Gaye, as NME notes, battled alcoholism and nasty tax issues while living in London.
Okay so let’s get to the heart of the issue: they couldn’t cast an actor/singer with a similar hue and physical features to carry the role of Gaye?
Yes, we are discussing this again, especially in lieu of Hollywood’s soon-to-be-released biopic of Nina Simone, a dark-skinned singer, pianist, and civil rights activist, whose liken will be attempted on screen by the brown-skinned yet racially ambiguous Zoe Saldana. Pictures have been circulating around online showing Saldana on the set of the film in darker foundation and wearing a prosthetic nose and fake teeth, which all had to be added to mimic Simone’s naturally African features. This issue, for obvious reasons, has struck a chord with many folks in the black community who feel that the production team behind this flick should have gone with an actress of the same shade and physical characteristics.
Let’s be real: actresses like Kimberly Elise, Adepero Oduye (Pariah) and Viola Davis are just a few names who are as talented as a Saldana yet better physically matched to be cast as Simone. The production team could have hired one of them and saved the blackface we see in those pictures.
“I hear you but why is it that nobody had a problem when Laurence Fishburne played Ike Turner or Denzel played Malcolm X? I understand why you ladies are upset but then again aren’t we being a bit hypocritical?” asked some dude I was debating with recently via a Facebook thread. It’s a provocative question considering that when it comes to public discussion around colorism, the emphasis is mostly on how black women are aesthetically perceived, especially through the lense of color. Yet self-esteem issues related to colorism – particularly the whitewashing of darker skinned people in the media – also does have an impact on black men that’s not being discussed.
Actor Taye Diggs spoke candidly about insults he incurred as a child for the color of his skin, particularly being passed over for light-skinned boys by young women in high school. But he did say that seeing more darker-skinned men on television helped to raise his self-esteem. “I’m still trying to figure out how this came to be. For me, when I saw Tyson Beckford hailed as this beautiful man by all people, that caused a shift in my being. And I remember literally waking up and walking the streets feeling a little bit more proud,” he told My Brown Baby.
However, I don’t think that women care more about it when colorism strikes out at women or that women tend to be more protective of our image, thus more vocal about any attempts to misrepresent it. I know there were a few eyebrows raised, including my own, at the casting of light-skinned, gray-eyed Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela in the soon-to-be-released Winnie. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fair to say that we as a community have been totally obtuse to the whitewashing of black men in the media. And it doesn’t mean that we critique these images less, if anything, we critique them more.
And just to be clear: this is more than a light-skinned/dark-skinned thing. It is an issue about continuity. Actors, who play real life historical figures, should probably resemble the person they are trying to recreate on screen, including black people. Unlike popular opinion, black folks are not interchangeable. That’s just like remaking Lassie, the old film and television show about a smart white boy saving Collie dog, and casting a pit bull named Cocaine in his place. Even if the show is remotely entertaining, we all know that this dog ain’t Lassie.
And Kravitz is definitely that pitbull. When I think of Marvin Gaye, I think of “I Want You”; “Distant Lover”; his many duets with Tammi Terrell, his Trouble Man soundtrack; his panty-tossing/drawers-dropping rendition of the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All Star Game and his chocolate-complexion on the cover of the What’s Going On album. I just don’t see Kravitz being that. Now Neo-soul singer Bilal or Jesse L. Martin, who was once rumored to play Gaye in another biopic? I can see that.
It hasn’t been an easy road to stardom for some of these talented ladies, and while they’ve gotten their chance to shine in supporting roles and lesser-known flicks, these actresses have too much talent and too much ambition to be relegated to the background for much longer. With the roles they’ve snagged this year, these ladies are poised to be the next big thing. Here are 10 actresses who are ready to have their breakthrough.
Before Tyler Perry went mainstream, becoming the first black man to own his own studio, he was a very popular playwright in the black community. People came in droves to see his plays, you couldn’t pass a bootlegger who didn’t have one of his DVDs and slowly but surely black folk were starting to adopt Madea’s vernacular. (Hell-er!) Then he hit the big screen with his first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Coming out the mixed reviews, the film featured some decent actors, including Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris and the legendary Cicely Tyson. Maybe you’re more familiar than a little bit with this film, but we bet you don’t know the secrets behind this film. Check them out.
Though this show sounds like “The Game” reloaded, with fans highly upset at the direction the BET series is going, especially getting rid of Melanie and Derwin, the recent changes could be just enough to send viewers over to its sister channel to catch VH1′s newest creation “Bounce.”
According to a press release:
“Bounce” is a series that follows the alluring lives and loves of the Los Angeles Devil Girls, the premiere dance team in all of professional basketball. The Los Angeles Devils are the number one team in the league. When the stadium lights go up at night all of Hollywood comes out to support the million dollar players; but in this city these men share the fame, adrenalin, money, sex and power with their dancers, the Devil Girls.
At the heart of “Bounce” is Ahsha (Taylour Paige), a sheltered young woman who joins the team against the wishes of her mother Sloane (Kimberly Elise), who knows this treacherous, tempting world all too well having been an original Devil’s Girl herself. Olivia (Charlotte Ross) is the shrewd squad manager, Jelena (Logan Browning) is the ruthless star captain of the dance team who won’t let anyone outshine her and Pete Davenport (Dean Cain) is the former All-Star who’s come back to coach his old team only to have to contend with the girls both stealing the spotlight and distracting his players.
The cast includes: Dean Cain, Kimberly Elise, Charlotte Ross, Taylour Paige, Logan Browning, Valery Ortiz, Katherine Bailess, Jonathan McDaniel and McKinley Freeman.
For all those who have pointed out the poor acting on VH1′s “Single Ladies,” this show should be a welcome addition to the network lineup. We already know how amazing Kimberly Elise is and it will be interesting to see her take on a less serious character than some of her most memorable roles in “Beloved,” “John Q,” “For Colored Girls,” and “Set It Off.” One thing we know you won’t be able to say about this show is the acting is bad.
Sanaa Hamri, the music video and film director behind “Something New,” “Just Wright,” and a host of music videos from Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Jadakiss directed the series plot and production is set to begin in 2013. This could be a cool show to check out. What do you think?
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In 1995, we had Waiting to Exhale but in 1996, we had Set It Off. While we’ll always appreciate both films for their contribution to black cinema, Set It Off provided a gritty, realistic portrayal of the desperate measures black women have to resort to make ends meet. It wasn’t just a bank robbery film, it was a film about the way that black women are often disenfranchised in America. Though the budget was only $9 million, the film went on to gross over $40 million at the box office and became a cult classic in the black community. Check out the some of the little known facts behind the film. It’s time to get educated.
It’s been ten years since Halle Berry graced the stage to accept her Academy Award as a lead actress in a film. Since then Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) and Mo’Nique (Precious) are the only black women to win Oscars and both were in supporting roles. Hollywood has to face facts: there is still an obvious bias against African-American actresses that is only solidified by the lack of versatility in roles they’re offered. But we know potential when we see it. These ten women have what it takes to cross genres but don’t necessarily get the shine they deserve.
Sunday is the big day! And while I won’t hate on the current Oscar nominees (The Social Network, Black Swan, and Inception are dope), I’d like to file a grievance with the Academy for ignoring, or robbing a few black actors & actresses their just due during Oscar season. They may not always have the lead roles in the films they’re in, but they definitely always steal our attention when they waltz across the screen and stay in our minds long after the movie is over. Quietly brilliant, they are the underrated stars in the little universe known as Hollywood.