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Sanaa Lathan On Rebelling Against The Idea Of Pursuing An Acting Career

"You always want to do the opposite of what your parents do."

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Sanaa Lathan is a timeless beauty who starred in many cult classics such as The Best Man and Love & Basketball. I mean, who can forget the scene where Sanaa's character, Monica, played Omar Epps' character, Quincy, one-on-one for his heart? Sanaa has starred in many other roles since then, but whether it's a TV show or film, the 50-year-old has always been able to capture our attention with her passion and talent. So, can you imagine someone else in these memorable roles?


Well, according to the L.A. native, acting was something that she ran from when she was younger. In fact, she wanted to become a lawyer instead. Sanna was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and made this surprising revelation. However, the reason why is something that many of us can relate to when we were kids.

"You always want to do the opposite of what your parents do," she said. If you don't know by now, Sanna comes from a very respected and talented family. Her mother, Elenor McCoy, is a highly regarded Broadway actress/dancer, and her father, Stan Lathan, is a legendary TV director. She talked about being in her mother's stomach while she was on the Broadway stage.

She said, "I was in her stomach when she was a dancer in the original Alvin Ailey company. Then she plopped me out and put me under the piano during dance rehearsals — I was running around backstage at The Wiz; I was around Eartha Kitt when I was just a baby."

However, the early exposure to acting didn't convince her to follow in her mother's footsteps professionally. It actually took a recruiter from the Yale School of Drama to give it a real chance. "[Yale] made me really kind of admit to myself I wanted it and gave me the courage to pursue it," she said.

Now that she has conquered the acting world, she is ready for a new challenge. If you're thinking that she's now following in her father's footsteps, then you are right. The Nappily Ever After star can now add director to her resume.

After working on a short film about her and her dog during the pandemic lockdown, Sanaa will now be directing her first feature film, an adaptation of Angie Thomas' novel On the Come Up.

"I want to be challenged and to use all of my talent. I have a lot to give," she said. Right now, you can catch Sanaa in HBO's hit show Succession and if you're a big fan of The Best Man films like we are, then you're also waiting on the new series to be released.

Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for NAACP

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