The Kim Bass-directed film A Snowy Day In Oakland is a long-awaited yet relevant masterpiece, according to actress Nicole Ari Parker. The industry veteran recently chatted with MADAMENOIRE about how the film’s heart of destigmatizing mental health has helped the project stay alive — six years post-filming.
The star-studded film is described as a “magical urban tale.” The plot follows a beautiful psychologist from San Francisco named LaTrice [played by Parker], whose life gets flipped upside down. After ending a stalled romance with her psychiatrist boyfriend, LaTrice bets on herself and opens a private practice across the bay in Oakland.
Now in a predominantly African American and “psychologically-ignored” neighborhood, LaTrice fights to gain the trust of the community she’s now a part of.
Parker [And Just Like That…, The Best Man: The Final Chapters, Chicago P.D.] said that Bass’ resilience toward the project and “kindness” in tackling mental health in the Black community were “really special” attributes that kept her connected to the film. The actress noted that much progress was made, especially during the pandemic, around “taking the shame out of talking about self-care” and finding “the vocabulary” to discuss mental health.
“And that slowly has moved into the idea of visiting a therapist or a counselor or someone that you can trust to talk to and sort out some of the more difficult things happening in your life,” Parker explained. “And realizing that the expense is worth it and that you can find the right person.”
“I love that this is a Black woman in a predominantly Black community and she’s earning the trust of everyone there,” the actress said of her character LaTrice. “The resistance has to be dismantled a little bit — it’s there — and I love that part of the story.”
Nicole Ari Parker On Tackling Conversations About Mental Health
The mother of two shares two teenage children with actor Boris Kodjoe. The A Snowy Day In Oakland star shared that navigating mental health conversations with the couple’s children has been an ongoing but prioritized balancing acting.
“I think I’m the generation that was a little more free around talking to my kids about what they might be feeling. I tried to be more conscious when they were little,” Parker shared.
“You know, I’m from the ‘do as I say’ generation. I did get a spanking, you know? And I went to church,” the actress lightheartedly reflected with a chuckle. “It was a lot for me to try to keep the good part of my childhood — around structure and discipline — but also start to nurture both my son and my daughter to use their voices and say ‘I’m upset.’ Or to say, ‘That’s not fair.’ I tried to be conscious of not shutting them down and not making it taboo to talk about you feelings, your issues or your traumas. And I think that’s important for our community as well.”
A Snowy Day In Oakland is now in theaters nationwide, starring Parker, Kimberly Elise, Loretta Devine, Arden Myrin, Deon Cole, Michael Jai White, Tony Plana, Reno Wilson, Evan Ross, Arden Myrin and Marla Gibbs. See the trailer below.
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