Nia Long and Larenz Tate Relive Love Jones
Today marks the 15-year anniversary of the movie Love Jones and you could almost argue that there’s as much excitement about the film today as there was when it was released in ’97. Something about Nia Long ( Nina Moseley) and Larenz Tate’s (Darius Lovehall) chemistry on screen, that poetry, and the movie’s killer soundtrack made it one of those movies you had to see, most likely over, and over, and over again.
Essence.com caught up with Nia, Larenz, and Isaiah Washington (who played Savon Garrison, Darius’ married friend) on the film’s anniversary to talk about their favorite scenes, whether they knew the movie would be as big of a hit as it was with viewers, and the question we’ve all been dying to know: Will there be a sequel? Here’s what they said:
On the film’s impact
Nia: “I think Love Jones showed Black love in a way that we hadn’t seen on film in a very long time, specifically our generation of young people. It wasn’t the typical romantic comedy where it was about the jokes. I think the comedy was appreciated through the real-life situations. I also think it was pretty – the way it was shot, the lighting, the vibe of the movie was just very Hot and very cutting-edge. I think the film came out before its time, and I feel really lucky to be a part of something that has continued to resonate with people through all these years.”
Larenz: “I realized the impact when I would be walking somewhere and someone would be like, ‘Love Jones!’ I still meet women who say, ‘That’s in my DVD collection.’ I would talk to Nia, and she’d say, ‘That movie makes people go crazy.’ I also knew it was serious when brothers would come and say ‘Love Jones, man, that movie really helped me.’ It’s gotten so big that people do poetry Love Jones celebrations every single year, like Trekkies celebrate Star Trek.”
Isaiah: “I think, based on the soundtrack, everyone wanted to see this movie with us in it… There was no film like that. We hadn’t had Best Man yet or Jumping the Broom. Those films couldn’t have happened without Love Jones. I feel good about that. We opened the door to a film where African-Americans were on screen and they weren’t killing each other.”
Their favorite scenes
Nia: “The scene in the rain where Darius and Nina have their last kiss. It was so cold outside. I didn’t expect for the rain to be that cold, because it was movie rain. But then it really rained. So we had a combination of warm and cold rain. I went back into my trailer and I literally wrapped myself with plastic bags to try to stay warm. There was a big argument about that scene because everyone was like, ‘Black women don’t like to get their hair wet, and this is unrealistic.’ That’s not true. We can be in the moment. We’re not that concerned about our hair.”
Isaiah: “The scene when my wife (played by actress Cerall Duncan) comes home and Savon looks up to God, grabs his wife and holds his son, and realizes that there’s a 50/50 chance that this relationship probably wasn’t going to make it. And it was a gift from God that these two powerful personalities decided that, you know what, we choose to stay together.”
The possibility of a sequel
Nia: “There’s talk about it. Larenz and I, if we do it, we’re going to do it right, and we’re gonna do it together. It’s a classic film and it has to be handled as such. And if these two characters can grow in a realistic way and we can do the film in a way that still gives people the feeling of ‘Wow, there’s still movies about Black love.’”
What’s your favorite scene from Love Jones? Are you hoping for a sequel or should they leave it alone?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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