When it comes to her role in “American Fiction” Erika Alexander says she “did this for the culture”.
In the Cord Jefferson directed film, Alexander plays Coraline, the love interest to film lead Jeffery Wright, who plays Thelonious “Monk” Ellison a struggling novelist who in a moment of frustration he decides to prank the publishing industry with an über-gritty, highly stereotypical novel about Black American life.
Alexander told HipHollywood she was super excited to get up-close-and-personal with Wright.
“I like to say I did this for the culture. You know what I mean? I knew I would be kissing all over him. And I made sure I had vitamins and was well hydrated. Moisturized, all of that smelling lovely,” she joked before continuing.
“Cord Jefferson is a man of class. And he wrote something that I think he knew didn’t define itself just on the page, that it needed people to embody it. And it’s not what we say, it’s what we don’t say.”
No stranger to playing strong female characters, Alexander describes Coraline as a “quiet storm” who helps to bring out Monk’s softer side.
“He’s got a lot of different entities floating around him with all their own local weather. And he’s siloed up until now,” she explains. “And I don’t know if he’s ready to handle it. But she brings in new energy, I think, good energy. And it’s not subtle, it’s powerful because she knows who she is.”
“We rarely see a couple meet cute that look like them, and they get a chance,” she adds. “A very nice, developed, intimate relationship happens. He introduces her to his family, and then we see what develops between them, which is often conflict. But that’s expected. We don’t know if he’s able to appreciate her and his life because he’s feeling so discontented about his own professional career. And that’s what’s at stake.”
American Fiction premieres in select theaters Friday, December 15.
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