Film & TV

Actress DeWanda Wise Revels in Human Behavior

For our fifth issue, the actress discusses truth in storytelling and hints at her future plans.
Reading time 2 minutes

Photography by Christopher Sherman

Styling by Corey Ng

The New York University urban studies and drama major has always had a fascination for human behavior, both on and off the screen. “It’s all about that leap,” DeWanda Wise explains. “It’s about living honestly [as a person] and telling the truth in a story.” Complimenting her classical training with a CV as diverse as it is impressive, two connective threads seem to cross through Wise’s work: authentically multi-faceted characters and strong stories that address crucially relevant themes—be it the experiences of Black women in America in She’s Gotta Have it (2017), Shots Fired (2017), and the critically acclaimed Sunset Baby (2013), or the often absurd reality of modern-day relationships in this year’s The Weekend (2018).

“It was honestly a crash course in the universe of comedy,” Wise says of her experience working alongside all-stars Sasheer Zamata, Kym Whitley, and Tone Bell and under the guidance of the great Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses [2016], Everything, Everything [2017]). Wise plays Margo, who must survive a weekend trip with her boyfriend, her boyfriend’s ex and her boyfriend’s ex’s parents. Considering how carefully Wise chooses her inevitably successful projects, it’s no wonder that this TIFF film already has audiences buzzing. After all, as Wise describes, “the stories that I’m interested in telling are very much real life.” Up next for the award-winning actress, thespian, writer, and producer? “A love letter to my family” in the form of a feature film. 


Casting: Ian Monroe

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