“Queen & Slim” star Jodie Turner-Smith covers the November 2019 issue of Essence magazine photographed by JD Barnes and styled by Ade Samuel.
ON HEARING ABOUT “QUEEN & SLIM”: “All these powerful women are doing this project, and I was like, How do I get invited?…I fell maddeningly in love with the script…And Melina is a force to be reckoned with…”
ON MAKING THE ROLE OF “QUEEN” HER OWN: “The fact that I was cast in a show to play a female lead and I’m the dark-skinned Black woman with short hair, it’s so incredible…It just gave me a little bit of wind beneath my wings to really go and make this my own…”
ON HOW “QUEEN & SLIM” DISPLAYS BLACK LOVE: “It’s definitely not lost on me how beautiful that is to see, for the world and also for our community…Often, it’s the other way around, and what we see glorified as the standard of beauty is a woman who looks a little bit different than I do. And so to get to be in that position, to get to play Queen, to know that there will be little Black girls who look like me, who will see the film and be like, ‘Oh my God, look, somebody who looks like me’—that makes me feel really awesome…”
LENA WAITHE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FILM: “I just wanted to turn the tables a bit, where we keep breathing and the oppressor doesn’t. I want to give voice to all the nameless, faceless men and women of color whose lives were unjustly taken by police officers, who didn’t make it home…”
Turner-Smith dazzles in the November issue shot by photographer J.D. Barnes rocking designers including Balenciaga, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Iris Van Herpen and more. For more on this month’s issue hitting newsstands on Friday, October 25th, visit ESSENCE.com.
Cover: Versace Embellished Blazer from the Fall 2019 Collection
Image: Iris Van Herpen Dress from the Fall 2019 Couture Collection
[Photo Credit: JD Barnes/Essence Magazine, versace.com, irisvanherpen.com]