Netflix’s Nappily Ever After did a bold thing by making a movie with a talented, well-loved, veteran actress also known for being drop dead gorgeous….and stripping her of her hair. But, do you know who else was bold? Sanaa Lathan, the film’s star, who actually shaved her head for the film. Sanaa believed she would be doing a disservice to the character, the film, and to Black women by faking it.
“So, literally, at first I was not going to cut my hair. I said, you know, we can invest in a really good bald cap. These days the technology is amazing and that won’t be an issue. Then, as I started to work on Violet and really dive into her world and the messages of the movie, I really realized I just can’t — I can’t not do it. It’s just too important a message, you know, to me and to the world.”
She describes having butterflies in her stomach in the days leading up to actually cutting her hair on camera. “There was the double whammy of the fact that we had to get it in one take. It had to go ‘cause, I mean, you can’t do it again. You’re really shaving your head.” And she made this decision after signing on to the film. There was no turning back once she decided for herself how much this story meant to her and that she was going to go all the way.