How did A.J Johnson get the role?
When John Singleton and the crew were casting for this film, A.J. Johnson was in a wheelchair with two broken feet. So needless to say, she was focused on getting well, not going on auditions. But that’s exactly the time she got a call from John. He explained that they were looking for a mother who was physically young but still authoritative. He had held two casting calls and still couldn’t find it. Johnson came in and read and got the part. But that was only half the battle. She also had to portray a romantic relationship with Ving Rhames. Johnson said initially she was intimidated by both his physical size and his acting experience. But eventually the two sat down and worked out how they wanted to present the characters. They agreed they wanted to showcase black love in a way it had never been seen before. I’d say, judging by the way those two went at, jumping and squatting throughout the living room, they definitely got it.
See how Johnson prepared for the role, which was completely unlike her, in the video below.