By Ronda Racha Penrice
Everything, Everything is a rarity to kick off the summer movie season: A film from a major studio adapted from a Black female writer’s young adult novel, directed by a Black woman making her studio film debut, and starring a Black millennial and a Black Tony winner. But that’s exactly what we have with Nicola Yoon, Stella Meghie, Amandla Stenberg, and Anika Noni Rose in Warner Bros.’s Everything, Everything in theaters now.
Stenberg stars as Maddy Whittier, a teenage girl who suffers from a disease that prevents her from leaving her home. Maddy’s mother Dr. Pauline Whittier, played by Rose, has successfully kept her 18-year-old daughter locked away in her modern-day castle until now. When Olly (Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson) moves in next door, Dr. Whittier’s work comes undone. After all, it’s hard to obstruct love when there is a window, pen and paper, the Internet, and texting.
To celebrate this milestone, Warner Bros. brought Stenberg, Meghie, and Rose together in Atlanta for a packed advanced screening of the film, a delectable brunch on the top floor of the posh W Midtown, a provocative Q&A moderated by shero Kierna Mayo — former EIC of EBONY, Honey mag co-founder, and now a digital media exec at iOne Digital — and some one-on-one time with the badass trio.
During the Q&A, Mayo zoned in on the film’s Black girl magic moments, especially the naturalista ones! Like seriously, how many major summer studio films have you seen starring a curly princess? At the Everything, Everything Atlanta shindig, Stenberg had gone even more daring, chopping off the tresses from the film and going red. Rose was even rocking an edgy, spiky short ‘do!
Alone with the trio at the end of a long but glorious day, the conversation flowed. Rose, who was Disney’s first Black princess, Tiana, in 2009’s The Princess and the Frog, shared that she “loved the nature of the story. The fact that it is so whimsical and fairy tale-like.”
Stenberg was the real deal sealer though. “I loved the fact that Amandla was involved and that was sort of the nail,” Rose admitted. Her reasoning was even more transparent: “Because she’s Amandla and she’s fabulous.”
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