Beyond the Lights Director on BET, Black Hair and Being Authentic

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood arrives at ELLE's 21st Annual Women In Hollywood at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 20, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Beyond the Lights Director on BET, Black Hair and Being Authentic

Plus, stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker on the film.

Published October 28, 2014

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.

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(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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