Earlier this year, the Film Society of Lincoln Center commemorated her 45-year career.
In a special screening entitled “Foxy: The Complete Pam Grier,” the actress’s most memorable moments in film was shared with an audience of Pam Grier/Foxy Brown lovers.
During an interview with Essence.com, Pam reminisced on her career, discussing how she shared herself on screen.
ESSENCE.com: How did the retrospective come about?
PAM GRIER: They called me and said they wanted to do it. They had a wonderful explanation of why they wanted to do it. My career spans 45 years. It’s older than you, and most people. And the fact that my grandfather was the first feminist in my life. He wanted me to hunt and fish, not be a victim, and be independent. I brought that to the films I made, which shocked and startled, but women embraced and some men embraced in the closet.
ESSENCE.com: Are you saying some of the roles you took, like Coffey and Foxy Brown, had you inherently in them?
GRIER: Yes — I brought my inner life to the characters and to the story. I was very comfortable with guns. I knew that women had a different way of solving crime. I didn’t want to sweep our problems under the rug like many of the films with Black male leads before me. There were a dozen films with more violence and sex in them until I stepped in the shoes as the lead, and then it became Blaxploitation. Back in the day, my aunts and grandmother chopped wood. They drove a horse and carriage. They drove when they weren’t supposed to drive. So, I wanted to show that women weren’t monolithic.
Check out the full interview here at Essence.