We were impressed by the strong Haitian accent Will Smith adopted for his role in Emancipation, but his co-star Zimbabwean-Australian actress Charmaine Bingwa truly won us with her subtle yet powerful performances as his wife Dodienne.
‘Emancipation’ Star Charmaine Bingwa Speaks On How The Effects Of Slavery Continue To Be Felt
“The effects of slavery are still being felt today, unfortunately, ” Bingwa told Global Grind. “With everything going on in the news, which is a little bit terrifying, the rise in hateful and hurtful ideologies this film is such a timely reminder that if we leave that unchecked, the most catastrophic things can happen. The gradual dehumanizing of people that’s happening at the moment is sincerely troubling.”
Bingwa also spoke to the powerful connection between her character Dodienne and her husband Peter, played by Will Smith.
“She is his reason for being and it was so important to me for that to come across,” Bingwa said. “I did everything that I could as an actor to make sure that I filled in the blanks for my character so that when she does pop on the screen you can hear in her voice the life that she’s lived, you can see in her eyes the pain that she’s been through and everything that’s brought her to this moment. I was just chatting with Will on another interview and we were talking about How their love just needed to exist across space and time and we really endeavored to bury it so deep that when they’re in completely different worlds, doing different things. that they’re still connected. As much as there is violence and there is trauma in the film, love is the underlying thing and love is what we wanted to leave audiences with, particularly in their final moments.”
Bingwa offered high praise for her co-star Will Smith, who she revealed handpicked her for her role.
“He is generous in spirit and he was such a generous actor to work with. We all know his resume, it’s iconic and he’s paved the way for so many other Black actors to come behind him, actors in general. I feel honored that he handpicked me to play Dodienne and I just cannot praise his commitment enough. I walked on set and I couldn’t recognize him he had transformed physically so much. Working with him and Ben [Foster] just the amount of commitment they brought to their performances was so inspiring.
Emancipation begins streaming on Apple TV+ tomorrow, Friday, December 9th.
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