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One of the most challenges aspects of the shoot was learning how to play basketball.“I had to go through so much to get the part and in all the basketball scenes, [they] surrounded me with real ballplayers,” Lathan revealed.“There was a lot of crying behind the scenes for me.”Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule company financed the film, and producers wanted a professional basketball player to play the lead.“The hardest challenge was getting the job, which I think weirdly prepared me for Monica,” she added.It’s almost like she hired me because she couldn’t find somebody else.There wasn’t a lot of joy and there wasn’t a lot of trust in me.In "Something New", Lathan plays Kenya, a successful accountant who has all in life except for love. Alfre has always been such a strong woman and my character Kenya's dilemma is really worrying about what the world thinks, what society thinks, and getting that idea of "IBM" (Ideal Black Man). SL: It's so funny because that's one of those cultural markers where you just know all black people are just nodding and turning and saying, "Ooh". You had an ensemble of females as your best friends. It's so great because they are my friends in real life and I respect them all. We couldn't stop laughing in between takes, and that's where the movie was happening, in between takes. How was working with Blair (Underwood) after working somewhat together on the animated film, "Golden Blaze"? When you do a voice over character, you're by yourself, so I actually didn't get to work with him. I always see him and we have the same agent for a long time and his kids go to school with my little sister. SL: I know that if they want me, I'll have to do it because I had signed a 2-picture deal.
Pal and frequent collaborator Prince-Bythewood laughs when describing what it’s like to go out with Lathan in public: “I’ve been with her when a guy came up to her and started crying.In interviews, Lathan is traditionally guarded — many of her answers pour forth politely and fully formed, like she’s given them hundreds of times, and she evades questions about her internal and personal lives.It’s only after we’ve developed a rapport, and the sound of bleating trucks has considerably weakened her resolve, that she allows occasional glimpses at what she calls her “soft heart [surrounded by] a steel exterior.” The most telling of these glimpses comes when I least expect it.The movie is about her conflict with being with him, which is such a real dilemma for modern day women dating outside of their race. How was working with Sanaa Hamri as a first film director? I knew she knew how to work with the camera because she had come from the video world; but can she tell a story and can she work with actors; and she turned out to be one of the best directors I've worked with. It's a story of a woman who is married to a man in prison, which is another reality in this country that is very pervasive and we haven't seen on screen and it's how she's lost herself and regain herself.