With its gripping story about romance and stardom, Beyond the Lights is easily one of the most entertaining films of the fall. But the drama, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker, also holds important messages about identity, sexuality and authenticity.
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood talks to us about those very messages, hoping audiences will take away a lesson about "being authentic and true to yourself" through the journey of her lead character Noni, a rising pop star adored by the world but who doesn't like what she sees in the mirror. A key scene involves Noni straightening her naturally-kinky hair into sleek waves, a compromise Prince-Bythewood can relate to personally. "Every photo shoot I've ever done, the first question they ask me is 'will you straighten your hair?'"
Plus, we sit down with stars Mbatha-Raw and Parker to talk about sympathizing with celebrities, ratchet music and avoiding fame. Click here to see our exclusive interview with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and here for our sit-down with Nate Parker.
(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)