I was fortunate enough to attend a special screening of the film, Belle over the weekend that included a Question and Answer with the star of the film, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
I've been in Los Angeles for almost nine years now and I still geek out every time I have the opportunity to partake in such things. We are given the opportunity to sit with directors, writers and actors often and you don't have to be in the entertainment business, either. Brilliant magic I tell ya...
So back to the film. Belle is the true story of a biracial aristocrat woman. I won't include any spoilers, because you really should see this film. I'll simply say I wept a lot while watching because it was the first time I had ever saw a biracial-based story on film. Don't get it twisted. I know there have been many biracial women actors, but we've never had stories created for us. I didn't even know we had history like this...that we existed in this aspect. We're the tragic mulatta. We're white. We're black. We're other (meaning we just kind of become raceless in the movie...our multi-ness is never discussed.) Our experience with being mixed and what that means is never discussed.
Then this film comes along and shows us that we were more than tragic. We have a sister who was going through the same things we go through today. It was a crazy sensory overload. I immediately connected to Dido Belle and the actor who played her, Gugu. Like stalking, crazed mad connections. I want to be best friends with her. I want to play her sister in her next film. I want to be Gugu's pal.
After the film ended the lights came up and it was time for questions. I was the first (and most eager) person to raise my hand. I didn't even think I'd have questions. I mean I joked beforehand that I would totally ask her how she got into the business because I could use some help. (For the record: never ask an actor this question in this type of forum.) But then a real question came and I was raising my hand and the bloke holding the mic was pointing to me. Yes, I mucked it up. I cried and choked a bit. Probably embarrassed the stuffings out of my gal pal and my husband, but what can ya do. I thanked Gugu for bringing Dido to us. I then told her how strongly I had connected to Dido's spirit and struggles. I asked her what pivotal moment or line had connected her to her character. I captured her answer on video. (Sorry for the blurriness. I almost forgot to hit play so be thankful there's audio at all!)
...and my heart exploded open.