*EURweb associate Fahnia Thomas sat down with “Beyond The Lights” leading man, Nate Parker, and found out how he met his wife.
Nate Parker: When I was in college, I got on a bus and saw a girl … she blew me away visually. I said, ‘I need to meet this girl,’ but then I’m like, ‘I’m going to get in trouble if I miss my stop and I’m late to practice … but if she gets off at my stop then its fate.’ We get to my stop and she doesn’t get off. So I say, ‘Ok, I’ll wait one more stop because we’re only two blocks away…’ ten stops later she gets off the bus and I introduce myself. This was January 23rd 1999… she was taking soup to her sick friend, I memorized her phone number and eight years later we got married! We’re still married and now have kids.
EUR: How is “Beyond The Lights” different from other love stories?
Nate Parker: When I read it, it moved me, and I felt so blessed that Gina Prince-Bythewood (Director/Writer) would bring it to me. This story not only deals with love but the obstacles of life like, suicide, misogyny, mental illness, and identity crisis. These are all things that can be heavy but through the lens of a visionary like Gina, they come out in a way that everyone can identify with. You have these two characters desperately desiring to find themselves … but they find love in one another and they decide to live for themselves rather than the projections other people have for their lives.
EUR: What was it like working with Gugu Mbatha-Raw?
Nate Parker: Let’s start with what we know … she’s one of the most gorgeous women on earth, so that made it pretty easy! And she’s talented. She’s also disciplined, compassionate, considerate and works hard. She’ll stay as long as it takes to rehearse. She put in two years of work into this project, which speaks to her diligence.