“Passing” star Tessa Thompson is featured in the December 2021/January 2022 issue of InStyle Magazine photographed by AB+DM and styled by Katie Mossman.
For the 2020 romantic drama Sylvie’s Love, which is set in Harlem in the 1950s and ’60s, she turned to vintage women’s fashion magazines to get a grasp on the mindset of that era. “So much of what we think about ourselves is what we’ve been told about ourselves,” she says. “So to delve into history, you feel like you’re excavating. And to be making something in the style of how those noirs would have been shot at the time, but to be doing it as Black women, it’s really just a dream.”
The actress points out that while Passing is centered around race, it is also an exploration of the multitude of constructs that are defined for us. “I would argue that if you looked at photographs of women who passed all throughout history, you would look at those women as Black women still,” she says. “I could never pass. But it’s about the ways in which we pass all sorts of things. And Irene, while someone who looks like she’s living very happily as a dutiful Black woman and mother and wife, is not. She’s not content with the confines of domesticity.”
The interview will be featured in InStyle’s December issue hitting newsstands on November 19th.
– Christopher John Rigers Multicolor Tiered Dress from the Resort 2022 Collection
– Jennifer Fisher Hoops
– Gianvito Rossi Shoes
Hair by Lacy Redway
Makeup by Nina Park
Nails by Steph Stone
[Photo Credit: AB+DM/InStyle Magazine, Courtesy of Richard John Rogers]
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