Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Russell Hornsby and Amandla Stenberg are all set to star in The Hate U Give, a movie based on a popular Young Adult book of the same name. Amandla plays a teenager named Starr who lives in the hood but her parents, Lisa and Mav, played by Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby send her to an all-white school for her protection. Still, Starr ends up being the sole witness to a racially triggered police shooting and her safety comes into question.
It’s a very relevant story for today’s time, and the movie is helped out by a stellar performance by Russell as Maverick Mav Carter, who told me he wasn’t able to use his own father as inspiration for this character but rather other influential male role models in his life. “My father wasn’t around I was raised primarily by a single mother, but I had uncles, I had a village,” Russell said. “As I got older I had men when I was doing theater, who served as mentors. I took images of the men that I know and saw every day and infused that, with what I desired as a young boy of how I would have wanted to be reared and put that into Mav.”
The character Mav is built from the old-school dynamic of do as I say and not as I do, with the old idea that kids should be seen and not heard, Russell describes Mav as being from a time “when boats were made of wood and men were made of steel.”
Hearing Russell talk about his father triggered something in Regina who jumped in to give her dad the props and recognition he deserved, “Can I just say, my dad just passed away and he was an amazing dad.” Regina then reflects on her past saying, “I grew up in DC, Washington DC, not Maryland, not Virginia for you DMV people but I accept you. But I grew up in DC which is predominantly Black and I did go to a Catholic school that was mostly white, so I imagine I had to code-switch, but the biggest thing for me was I had brothers and they would be like don’t come home talking like that, so they made me switch back soon as I got off the bus.”
Overall The Hate U Give is a good movie, that is definitely worth your money to go see in theaters, while it’s not perfect my only real gripe with the film is that it never stops feeling like a movie. Which is very important for me as a moviegoer.
That’s for watching this week’s Extra Butter with Xilla Valentine and I hope you enjoyed our interviews for The Hate U Give that took place during the Toronto International Film Festival.