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Lathan also savored the lack of ageism inherent in the movie’s plot: “It’s just me onscreen, and I have two hot guys fighting over me and I’m not 20 years old,” she says.Ask someone when they fell in love with Lathan, and they’ll likely point to Gina Prince-Bythewood’s 2000 rom-dram Love & Basketball, which cast Lathan as Monica, a flinty but deeply vulnerable young ballplayer lusting after her smooth-talking, similarly hoop-dreaming best friend Quincy (Omar Epps).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.Sometime last year, Lathan found time to lend her voice to the animated film, "The Golden Blaze", which also featured the voice of Blair Underwood. I guess we had chemistry because all those scenes were really easy to do and I'm just happy it was him. Did you have an input as far as casting your male lead? They were guys who were capable of doing the role and kinda hot within Hollywood and Simon and I supposedly had the best chemistry. I got to spend five months in Prague, which on one hand was great and the other hand is hard to be so far away from your family and friends. All of the crew was English and German and they treated me like a princess, but it was hard work. Seems that Lathan is looking to change the pace of her films and roles, and with her latest film, "Something New", she's certainly going trying a new adventure. One of the funniest scenes in the film was the hair scene. People really don't understand weaves and if you have a weave, you're constantly getting asked q How was it working with the cast? There were days when we were really unprofessional and we would start giggling and laughing and the crew would have to be waiting on us. “I had a dance background, but I had never picked up a basketball.
And when love comes totally unexpectedly, Kenya's dilemma is with the barriers that exist within society when she falls for a white guy. This is the second time you have worked with Alfre Woodard, where she has played your mother. Did you reconnect with her prior to shooting the film and did you talk to her about the racial subject since she is married to a white man. Alfre has been in an interracial relationship for years and she said that you just have to be strong within yourself and I think that's the journey that Kenya takes, of getting to that strength. We've always talked about working together so I was really thrilled that he agreed to do this. Kenya has that list, that IBM, that Ideal Black Man, and Blair's character, Mark, was that. Outside of the urban films that you have done, there's "Alien V. Just recently, Fox executive Tom Rothman was heard stating that the studio has a script for a new film and the 2007 would be a release date. If they don't want me, they can hire somebody else, so we shall see.
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.
Love & Basketball was her breakthrough, but it didn’t put her in the A-list and it didn’t make her rich.
“I got paid the lowest you could get paid,” she recalls.
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.