Frankie And Alice/ Phylicia Rashad Interview

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Frankie and Alice
An Interview with Phylicia Rashad
by Wilson Morales

December 9, 2010

Coming out this week in Los Angeles before going wide in 2011 is ‘Frankie and Alice,’ starring Oscar winner Halle Berry as a young multiracial American woman with dissociative identity disorder who struggles to retain her true self and not give in to her racist alter-personality.

Directed by Geoffrey Sax, the independent film also stars Stellan Skarsgård, Phylicia Rashad, Chandra Wilson, and Matt Frewer.

For Rashad, it’s her third film released in 2010 following Tyler Perry’s ‘For Colored Girls,’ and ‘Just Right’ with Queen Latifah.

Blackfilm.com recently spoke with Rashad about her role in ‘Frankie,’ where she plays Berry’s mother.

Can you describe your character?

Phylicia Rashad: There are all kinds of mothers, and she is a mother who would protect. That’s what she would do. As a human being this lady is well-intentioned, but caught in a time, caught in social structure, in form. Unfortunately, these are some of the things that inform my judgment.

Usually being a mother means being the voice of reason…

PR: Not always. We would hope so. There are all kinds of mothers, and mothers are human beings. When you say the voice of reason, everyone has their own reasoning, this woman has her own reasoning, but its informed by things external to herself. I find that people’s judgment is informed by reasoning external to one’s own self, you must question the soundness of that judgment.

How was working with Halle?

PR: All the women were a pleasure to work with. Chandra Wilson is also in ‘Frankie and Alice’ and she plays the other daughter. Everybody was great to work with, and they all have their own way of working. Because acting is a very personal artform. All artforms are an individual expression. Halle is like a beautiful rare bird, and you instinctively want to embrace and protect her when you meet her. Instinctively. I know I did. She’s light, she’s very very light. When she greets you with a hug it’s as if you’re being embraced by angel wings, so light is her touch. She’s very very gentle, yet she’s very strong. She worked with this project a number of years, bringing it to fruition. The nature of it makes it difficult to tell. Those scenes where she shifts personalities, there was no editing, there was no cut in the scene. She moved from one to the next.


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