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Selma, the critically acclaimed movie directed by Ava DuVernay, produced by Oprah Winfrey & Brad Pitt(among few others), has been receiving numerous awards and recognition for its portrayal of the three months in 1965 when Dr. King led a series of marches in Alabama to crusade for equal voting rights.
One of the stars of the film who played Coretta Scott King, Carmen Ejogo, was interviewed by none other than Oprah for Violet Grey‘s The Violet Files magazine, “a digital magazine dedicated to documenting Hollywood beauty culture in collaboration with celebrated storytellers in fashion and film.”
The interview, which played out more like a conversation with a dear friend, offered a few insights into the British born actress’ preference of baths over showers, the importance of beauty and also Oprah (O.W) revealed the best night of her life and her top 5 favorite books.
Here’s an excerpt and the rest can be found on Violet Grey
O.W.: LET’S DISCUSS SELMA. WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FROM THE EXPERIENCE? I MEAN ALL OF IT— CAST, CREW, WORKING WITH AVA?
C.E.: I think it was a reaffirmation of the importance of artists getting the chance to tell their own stories, their own history. The pure love from everyone involved on the set and their commitment to telling the story in a way that felt authentic to their experience truly transfers onto the screen in a way that is absent in some of the other work that I have done.
O.W.: What was it like knowing there was a woman—a black woman—behind the camera, managing and directing the entire experience.
C.E.: I have been in this business long enough to know that Ava had to exhibit some very special qualities — not to mention stamina—to get to a place where she was taken seriously. I ultimately felt that what she had undertaken was quite incredible and trailblazing, not to mention that she was doing it with such grace, vision and leadership.
O.W.: That’s what I admire, her ability to lead that group really. Okay, so let’s do some fun ones. What’s the best night of your life and why?
C.E.: Yikes! That’s really hard. What would yours be?
O.W.: Well, the best night of my life was actually recently. It was pouring rain. I had a fire and the dogs were here and Stedman was in his office and I was curled up on a sofa reading the most exquisite book. I had a hundred and twenty-some pages to go and I just looked around the room and thought, “I am so happy. I mean, God, I am so happy! I hope it rains all night or at least until I finish this book!”
C.E.: What was the book?
O.W.: You must get it! It’s called Ruby. It’s by a first-time African-American novelist named Cynthia bond. It now goes on my list of top five all-time great books, which includes Roots and To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s a love story and the language is just astounding. So anyway, it was the combination of rain, a chill in the air, dogs and a good book. That’s it.
C.E.: One of my most enjoyable evenings was around a campfire in the mountains of Colorado. I was with my mom and two kids and we spent the entire night singing songs and telling stories about each other. It was just one of those really wonderful family moments.
O.W.: What are the most important qualities in a romantic partner?
C.E.: Kindness, empathy, compassion, passion, and a sense of humor. And intelligence. I’m a sucker for somebody that’s got serious brain power.
O.W.: It’s a good turn-on, isn’t it? So what comes first for you, kindness or intelligence?
C.E.: Kindness, actually. I’ve been with the intelligent guy who’s mean-spirited and a real jerk. That’s no fun to be around. Intelligence starts to get pretty dull if it’s not coupled with kindness.
Her makeup was done by Jillian Dempsey and photographed by Guy Aroch.
image credit: Violet Grey
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