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You never know what motivates you.
When I told my mother that I wanted to be an actress, she said, you can't live here and do that, and so I moved out. I was determined to prove her wrong because she was so sure that I was going to go astray. And that's the juice that kept me going.
When I attack a role, be it TV, film or stage, the first thing I say is, I don't want to know anything. If it's good I don't want to hear it; if it's bad I don't want to hear it. The only thing either thing can do is distract me. I like to stay focused.
We have to support our own films. If we don't, how can we expect others to support them?
In my early years, there were a number of experiences that made me decide I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress. There were a number of issues I wanted to address. And I wanted to use my career as a platform.
I was in California when this journalist made a blanket statement about the fact that she did not think that black men and women had the kind of love relationship that Rebecca and Nathan had in Sounder.
I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there's nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.
I don't condemn anyone for making their choices. If someone chooses those roles, fine. But not for me. When someone stops me and says, You're the reason I became an actress, that lets me know I made the right decision.
Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretch-what make you go beyond the norm.
Ali... we should have gone to see that movie. Malcolm X was another one.
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