There’s been a lot of buzz around the movie Queen & Slim, which premiered in Los Angeles last night.
Based on an original idea by author James Frey, the film is scripted by Lena Waithe, star and writer on the Netflix comedy series Master of None, and directed by Melina Matsoukas, the multiple Grammy and MTV Award-winning director of video clips such as Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ “We Found Love” and Beyonce’s “Formation.”
Loosely, it’s a modern-day remake of Bonnie and Clyde, and stars Daniel Kaluuya (of Get Out) as Slim and Jodie Turner-Smith as Queen. They play a couple whose first date goes awry when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. As the situation escalates, Slim ends up taking the officer’s gun and shooting him and the pair become fugitives.
The film’s premiere in Los Angeles last night attracted some major players, from Zendaya to Natalie Portman to Snoop Dogg to Rihanna.
It also marked the red carpet debut for star Turner-Smith and her actor beau Joshua Jackson (best known as Pacey from Dawson’s Creek).
Waithe and Matsoukas revealed some serious red carpet swag and on Friday, appearing on The Ellen Show, Waithe told stand-in host John Legend that she tied the knot with partner Alana Mayo in secret following a two-year engagement.
The couple were driving past a courthouse in San Francisco when they decided to get married right there and then.
“We snuck and did it. We didn’t really make any announcements. We went to San Francisco, we went to the courthouse and we got married right in front of Harvey Milk’s bust.”
Last month, Matsoukas and Waithe were honoured at Elle’s Women In Hollywood event and Matsoukas made a powerful speech about Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman who was shot at home while playing video games with her nephew when a policeman was called to the scene because their front door was open.
“We stand here to honor all the black and brown bodies whose lives were taken by law enforcement,” Matsoukas said, “[it] could have easily been me or Lena [Waithe, a Queen & Slim writer] or Jodie [Turner-Smith, Queen & Smith star] or Indya [Moore, a presenter at the Women in Hollywood awards]. To shed light on this epidemic, as Lena appropriately calls it, ‘to give these lives justice and carry their legacy,’ because that is the reason we create art, to create change. We create art to create change, to illuminate and to disrupt.”
For these two and the cast of their important film, the future looks bright.