On the night of Tuesday,May 4th stars showed up at the legendary Ziegfeld Theater for the premiere of Fox Searchlight’s new film “Just Wright” which stars Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe winning actress,singer, and rapper Queen Latifah, as well as singer and actor Common. Besides Latifah and Common, other cast members from the film such as Phylicia Rashad, James Pickens Jr. and Laz Alonzo were present on the red carpet to speak with the media about the film. Paula Patton who recently welcomed her first child with husband singer Robin Thicke last month and Pam Grier who both star in the film as well were not present at the premiere.
At the premiere I had the opportunity to speak with the film’s producer Debra Martin Chase about, how she feels “Just Wright” stands out from other basketball themed love story that we are all familiar with, and Ms.Chase simply responded,”Well we really haven’t seen a lot of basketball romantic comedies,Love and Basketball was a very different movie. I think this is fresh, I think it’s new.I think the fact we got this incredible cast between Latifah, and Common, and Paula,and James[Pickens] and Phylicia it’s great, and we got Dwight and Dwayne there’s a lot going on.” We also asked Ms.Chase what she felt was the best thing about working with this all star cast, to which she added, “Everything was really right, and I mean that in the best sense, we got Alonzo and we all had the same vision for the movie,everyone worked super hard, Common lost 25 pounds, he trained religiously for months, went to basketball camp and to have that kind of charisma is awesome.”
I also caught up with the film’s writer Michael Elliott and got his scope on why he chose to use the New Jersey Nets as the main team in the film,to which he explained,”Well to be honest with you,the Nets weren’t something that was in my original script,but I knew that I wanted to set the movie in the east coast,so the teams were between the Nets and the Knicks.”
Laz Alonzo, who makes a brief appearance in the film as Queen Latifah’s blind date, gave his opinion about what message the viewers will take away from the film in which he simply stated that true love does exist, you just have to be patient and not force something that’s not already there. He also mentioned that by working with Latifah and Common the feeling he took away was that they are dedicated to their work, and he added just because they were musicians they didn’t use that to their advantage.
Other celebrity guest who showed up to support the film included Nick Cannon,singer Olivia, model and television personality Toccara Jones, television judge Greg Mathis, Roxanne Shante, and Latifah’s friends Vinnie and Treach from the rap group Naughty By Nature were just some of the guest on hand.
The film’s leads Common and Latifah arrived on the red carpet around 7:30 pm, in which Common dressed in a light gray suit, and Latifah dressed in a long gray jacket and olive leggings walked the red carpet and posed for a series of pictures. Common brought along his mother Dr. Mahalia Hines as his guest, whom he credits for helping to give him confidence while filming the movie in which “Just Wright”, just happens to be Common’s first leading role.
“Just Wright” is a romantic comedy in which Latifah plays physical therapist Leslie Wright, who lands a gig working with Common’s character NBA All-Star Scott McKnight after he injures himself while playing ball. But what happens when Leslie and Scott begin to develop feelings for each other,especially when Scott is dealing with his relationship with Leslie’s friend Morgan. Well you will just have to wait and see when the film hits theaters on May 14.