By Nadine Matthews, Special to the AFRO
Meagan Good was puzzled when producer Datari Turner, who she describes as being “like a brother to me” handed her the script for their latest big screen collaboration, “A Boy A Girl A Dream.”
She remembers, “He was like, ‘Hey, let’s take a look at this.’ And when I read it, the thing that stuck out to me most was the script was really only about 65 pages and usually scripts are about 111 pages. I was like, ‘Where’s the rest of the script?’” It turns out Turer had an intriguing reason for turning in what was essentially, half of a script.
“A Boy A Girl A Dream” is an experimental romantic drama which will be in theaters on September 14. “He said a lot of it’s going to be improv, just being in the moment, and being present and saying just what you’re feeling, what this character’s feeling.” The drama, which follows characters Free (Good) and Cass (played by “Power’s” Omari Hardwick) who meet cute outside a Los Angeles club and respond to an instant connection. Through a blue haze, the film interrogates the challenges of defeating physical and structural limitations and defeating existential demons on the journey to achieving one’s dreams.
Of course, the whole thing takes place at night; specifically Election Night 2016. If you’re a fan of Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” films, it will feel somewhat similar. Good, known for her brilliant performance at just sixteen, in the indie classic “Eve’s Bayou,” had another hurdle to clear in order to achieve Turner’s vision. The whole film was shot in one take. Although this is good for flexing acting and directing chops, and adds tension, it also meant quite lengthy retakes.
Good has been open about her Christian faith, something she feels goes hand in hand with exercising her right and responsibility to vote; a major theme of the film. “If you’re a person of faith,” she insists, “then you have to know that when you ask God for something, you cannot sit around and wait for him to do it. You have to do your part and you got to meet him halfway. Faith without action is dead.”
She invokes her faith in terms of the dreams she still has for herself. Although it is a major accomplishment to continue being a working Black actress in Hollywood for over twenty years, there are still a few avenues, acting-wise that Good wants to explore. The Los Angeles native, who reveals that if she weren’t acting she would probably be, “A photographer with half my body tatted up living in a different country,” says she has aspirations of becoming an action star.
Before she even began getting those offers, she was already filling her lamp with oil. She says, “Again, faith without works is dead. Almost three years ago I started my fitness journey. I was like, I want to do action. I’m going to get in the best shape of my life. I’m going to start learning taekwondo and capoeira and I’m just going to be prepared so that it will come to me and I’ll be ready.” A TV series based on the blaxploitation classic film “Foxy Brown” is in the works with Good attached to star.
Good, who is readying her directorial debut “If Not Now, When” for Sundance, is also passionate about being an advocate for young women. Her recently launched Greater Good Foundation seeks in part to “Pour into the lives of young women and to start building them up and giving them the things that I got from people who mentored me and people who made me feel like I wasn’t crazy for believing that I could do this.”
Good also wants women to be more confident in themselves. In an industry where that confidence is tested on a seemingly hourly basis, it can be hard not see someone else’s gain as your loss. Good hopes women resists that temptation. “I don’t believe in competition,” she begins. “There’s two people who made you and there’s nobody in the world that is exactly like you and nobody can compete with you.”
It’s also her dream that women root even more enthusiastically for each other than they do now. “Be happy for your sister!” she implores. “Be excited when another actress that is in the same category, gets the job that you wanted because when they win, you win.”