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Nia long, Black women in Hollywood

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Within the past season, you can catch Nia Long starring in Peacock’s “The Best Man: The Final Chapters,” on Netflix’s “You People” and at the box office starring in “Missing,” a mystery thriller, but the mega-actress also knows the other side of the business of acting – getting passed up for major roles.

“I’ve felt passed over on things, for sure. There have definitely been moments like, why wasn’t I considered for that? Like, why wasn’t I considered for Avatar? I think Zoe’s amazing. But I wasn’t even a topic of discussion, you know? A lot of times, to be fair, directors know in their minds who they want. It’s happened to me, and it’s not happened for me,” she said.

Long, 52, is baring her soul and style like never before for the cover story in the latest issue of The Cut. The actress opened up about her career, which spans decades starring in popular films like The Best Man, Friday, and Love Jones. During the interview, she discussed the difference of filmmaking now versus earlier in her career.

“Technology has changed the creative process drastically and not always for the better. I like to be lit. I don’t want to be changed in post. I’m natural. Touch me up, of course. But when you change in post the moment you captured on the camera, you’re taking away the integrity of the performance and the moment. Women need beauty light,” Long told The Cut.

For her latest blockbuster movie Missing, Long stars alongside Storm Reid, who plays her daughter. In the film, her character disappears in Columbia with a new boyfriend sending Reid on a mission to dig deep on social media to crack the case. Reflecting on her performance, Long said it was one of her most challenging to date.

“Missing was not easy because it was so technical. I didn’t understand where the cameras were, so every cinematic rule I know to be true didn’t apply. But I loved it because actors, after a while, come with our bag of tricks, and you rely on those things. I had to feel a little insecure in this film, which worked for the story line,” she said.

But the bigger mystery to fans of the 90’s bombshell performer is her trajectory on screen. During the interview, she reflected on her career as a Black actress and the politics that came along navigating the business of being on screen, including handling burnout. Through it all, she has reclaimed peace.

“—I started reexamining what was necessary to keep in my life and what to walk away from. I found myself to be a lot more peaceful,” Long said.

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