“Winnie” opened up at the Montreal International Black Film Festival this week, and will be in Canadian theaters by Oct. 5. The film will finally reach the U.S. in November. Yeah, we gotta wait a little longer, but it’s totally worth it.
It’s been one of those projects that has gone through a lot over the course of it’s development. Since it’s 2011 Toronto premiere, the film has a few battle scars, inflicted by critics, J-Hud haters, and ‘re-dos.’
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Writer/director Darrell Roodt says the main source of complaints stemmed from the casting choice. But he had Jennifer and Terrence Howard in mind from the beginning.
“Terrence Howard is my all-time favorite actor,” he said in an interview with IndieWire.com’s Shadow and Act blog. “I just think that guy’s an astonishing man, and I got him and it was amazing. And Jennifer – when I saw her in ‘Dreamgirls’ I was busy writing Winnie at the time, and I said this is a really interesting human being. I think she would be [right for the part.] So we went to them both and we got them both. It was one of those wonderful things where we didn’t chase anyone.”
To say the least, he was surprised by the audience’s backlash over the casting decision, thinking that the two would bring more positive reactions.
“The thing I say to the detractors, for example in my own country, is to see the film,” Darrell said. “Just see how much effort and homework these actors put into it. What Terrence Howard brought to the table is nothing less than astonishing in my estimation. It’s just incredible, the depth with which he approached his character, and Jennifer did as well. She was just amazing.”
Check out the full at Shadow and Act.