Antonique Smith Talks Abduction
An Interview with Antonique Smith
by Wilson Morales
September 22, 2011
Coming out this week is the explosive new action film, ‘Abduction,’ starring ‘Twilight’s Taylor Lautner in his first lead role.
The thriller centers on a young man (Lautner) who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website.
For Smith, it’s her first featured role since playing singer Faith Evans in film ‘Notorious,’ which was based on the life of Evans’ then-husband, rapper Christopher ‘Notorious B.I.G.’ Wallace.
The New Jersey native previously had starring roles as Maureen (in 2002) and Mimi (in 2007) in Jonathan Larson’s Broadway production of ‘Rent,’ and will next be seen in the upcoming indie film ‘Yelling to the Sky,’ opposite Zoe Kravitz and Gabourey Sidibe.
Can you describe your character?
Antonique Smith: I play CIA agent Burns. I’m partners with Alfred Molina’s character and we’re chasing Nathan Harper (played by Taylor Lautner) throughout the film trying to protect him. Taylor doesn’t know who’s who or who he can trust, so he’s just running! I sort of save his life!
What attracted you to the role? Were you asked to join the cast or did you auditioned for the part?
AS: I’m pretty picky. I always like to do things that challenge me and also things that are different from what I’ve already done. And nothing could be more different than the super official and unglamorous agent that I play in Abduction! Ha! I didn’t have to audition for this one. John Singleton believed in me and thought I could pull it off and offered me the role. That’s quite an honor.
How was working with John Singleton?
AS: It was great working with John! We shot in Pittsburgh for a month! I had a lot of fun and learned things in the process. It was cool to see how clear he was about what he wanted in each moment. He’s awesome and I hope Abduction is just the first of many that I’ll get to work with him on.
This is your first big role since ‘Notorious.’ What sort of work was coming your way after that film?
AS: Notorious was a blessing! It opened so many doors and showed me in a few different lights. I was glamorous, sweet, tough, and had to sing, which is why there was lots of different types of projects that came my way after that. I believe the scene where I beat up the girl in the hotel is what made John think I could handle Abduction!
How was working with Alfred Molina?
AS: Aww! Alfred is amazing! I mean, if you haven’t seen him in Frida!!?! Incredible! I spent the most time with him. I call him my British dad! We had so much fun! I learned a lot from him too.
How was the shoot in Pittsburgh? Were you around to see the fans go crazy over Taylor?
AS: I really enjoyed Pittsburgh! Go Black and yellow! And yes, there were hundreds of girls waiting outside the set everyday to get a glimpse of Taylor! Even when we were shooting way out, in the middle of no where, a group of girls managed to find us! It was sweet.
You have another film coming up with ‘Yelling to the Sky’? What’s your role in that film?
AS: ‘Yelling to the Sky’ is an edgy indie and I’m excited for people to see it soon! I play Ola O’hara! I’m the 20 year-old old sister to Zoe Kravitz’s 17 year-old character. Our family life is really rough and we’re trying to navigate it and survive. Our director (Victoria Mahoney) says I’m “bad to the bone” in the movie!
How’s working with Zoe and Victoria?
AS: It was crazy working with them! The conditions we worked under added to the feel of what we were doing! Blood, sweat and tears! Victoria was great! She also wrote the script and just had the dopest vision. Zoe and I really felt like sisters!! It was an unforgettable experience!
How’s your music career doing?
AS: The music is popping!! I’m really excited about it… I call it pop/soul with a hip hop appeal to it! The album will be coming next year!! I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. I think people will be pleasantly surprised.
What made you do a rendition of Adele’s song, ‘Someone Like You’?
AS: ‘Someone Like You’! I really love that song!! The way it’s written, and everytime I heard it, I could visualize the story in my head. So, I decided one day to sort of act it out. What you see in my video is as if I just rang the guy’s bell and I’m at the door of his house that he shares with his new wife hoping that from seeing my face, he’ll somehow come back to me. It’s awkward and painful and sad…just like the lyrics. And I’m really glad people liked what I did.
‘Rent’ is back on – Off-Broadway – do you plan to see it?
AS: I live in L.A. now and haven’t gotten to NYC in while. I heard they made a lot of changes to the Off Broadway version. Can’t say I’m in a rush to see that. Rent is a masterpiece!! I do hope being a part of it blesses that cast the way it blessed me.
What’s next for you?
AS: I’m working on music while deciding on my next project. Up next for certain is a single dropping and ‘Yelling to the Sky’ in theaters in the spring of 2012. After that, the sky’s the limit! And I’m really grateful.