#TeamBeautiful spent the 4th of July holiday in New Orleans at Essence Festival and in between jamming to an amazing concert lineup that included the epic headliner that was PRINCE, partying with our friends at CoverGirl, Hennessy and PowerHouse Productions and stuffing our faces with étouffée, beignets and jambalaya — the trip was packed with memorable moments! One of our favorite highlights was hanging out with the lovely and talented Sanaa Lathan at TV One and Walmart’s VIP party backstage at The Superdome the night before The Roots, Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige took the main stage.
During the fête, Sanaa took over our @HelloBeautiful Twitter handle (literally, she grabbed my iPhone to do it) to answer the questions you’ve always wanted to know about her. For one hour you asked her everything from what’s up with the sequels to your favorite movies she’s starred in, is she seeing anyone right now (many of you wanted to know if/when she’ll get married too), and much more. The actress responded to many of your questions directly on our Twitter page and re-Tweeted on her own, but of course there was only so much she could answer in 140 characters (and we couldn’t forget about those who asked questions on Facebook too).
So during the party, while we chatted and laughed with Sanaa like she was an old girlfriend, we slipped in even more of the questions you told us you were dying to know. Take a look at her responses below!
ON HER ‘SEXY’ NEW CO-STARS, SEQUEL RUMORS & SET BEHAVIOR
What are you working on right now?
SANAA LATHAN: I’m currently about to start shooting a movie called ‘The Perfect Guy.’ It’s a really sexy, hot, scary thriller with Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut–I’m a really lucky girl; I don’t know what I did to deserve this! I play a woman who meets a guy who she thinks is perfect and he is perfect….until he isn’t. There are twists and turns so that’s all I’m going to say!
It’s a ‘golden time’ for Black women on TV right now, would you ever do another TV show?
SL: I was on ‘Boss’ a TV show on Starz, it was really amazingly written and acted. Kelsey Grammer won the Golden Globe for it; unfortunately it was only on for two seasons, but I did that for a year, I did ‘Nip Tuck’ awhile ago for a year. I have no problems with TV, it’s just really about the material for me.
How do you avoid competition with your friends in Hollywood since a lot of you probably go out for the same roles?
SL: The funny thing is it hasn’t really been that bad. Many years ago maybe, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone up against Gabrielle Union or Regina Hall — who are both friends of mine. With Taraji [P. Henson] there were probably a couple of roles that we both auditioned for, but for me, after being in this business you kind of adopt this philosophy what’s yours is yours, what’s there’s is there’s and nothing can change that. I think there’s a healthy competition but you can’t be negative in this business and persevere and survive all these years. My philosophy is that the roles that have come to me were for me, the roles I didn’t get it wasn’t meant to be. Lately, pretty much everything that’s come to me in the last 5 years has truly come to me. Same with Gabrielle or Taraji or Regina or Nia; it’s not like what you’d think. Usually people know who they want for a role.
What do you do to get prepared for set?
SL: One thing I do is I always have a sent for every character. Your sense of smell can act very strongly on your emotions. Say you have a boyfriend, a scent can take you right back to that time — good or bad. For me I like to choose, what would that character wear? What kind of scent? It helps me channel them.
Is there going to be a sequel to…. ‘Brown Sugar,’ ‘The Wood,’ ‘Love & Basketball,’ ‘Alien vs. Predator?’
SL: There’s nothing in the works at the moment.
[EDITOR’S NOTE]: On Twitter when asked about Love & Basketball specifically, Sanaa answered ‘Don’t you think Monica and Quincy’s story is complete? :)’
What about the ‘Best Man 3′ rumors; is it actually happening?
SL: Yes, Malcolm is writing it right now! Stay tuned.
If you could write the story to ‘Best Man 3,’ what would happen to your character Robin?
SL: I would have her definitely not pregnant; that’s all I know! [laughs] And I want her to have some fun; she’s always focused on Harper. I’d like to see her have some kind of journey that she goes through that’s not about him — I mean even though that’s her man, she loves him and supports him, she’s not defined by him. You know?
We hear you’re quite the cook just like ‘Best Man’ character.
SANAA LATHAN: I am! I’m a ‘foodie’ and I love to cook. I’m really good at going on FoodNetwork.com and practicing. I recently made a white bean turkey chili; ohh it was so good! I really love making different kinds of salads and playing with different dishes. With my career I do have busy times but there are weeks sometimes where I have fully free days to fill. Those are the days I get to have fun and play around in the kitchen.
Speaking of food I’m going to have to get on the treadmill in the morning because the food here [in New Orleans]!? Oh my gosh I’ve worked here a couple of times and it’s amazing. The beignets? Keep me away from those! I have to get on the screen and do these love scenes.
UP NEXT: Sanaa Talks Her New Man, If She’ll Get Married, Her Best Relationship Advice & More!