February 2003
Deliver Us From Eva : An Interview with Gabrielle Union

Interviewed by Niambi Sims

Deliver Us From Eva: An Interview with Gabrielle Union

With a myriad of impressive credits under her belt, including: the first black person to be featured on the cast of Friends and Blockbuster films like Bring it on and the Brothers, talented actress Gabrielle Union is unquestionably on the rise! Here she shines her stellar light on Blackfilm.com and talks about her experience in her latest film Deliver Us From Eva.

NS: Hey Gabrielle! How are you?

GU: Hey! Good.

NS: Eva is a very ďinterestingĒ character. How close is Evaís character to your own?

GU: I have some Eva isms. I donít function well in chaos. My life is much regimented. Everything has a place. My closet is color coordinated from the whites to the creams to the tank tops to the three quarter sleeves and down the color line. Most of my friends as well are Eva- esque. We are all strong and independent and have our own things going we are not ďyesĒ people. We offer a little challenge.

NS: You have chosen roles that are relatively small yet just big enough to showcase your skills. Has that been a conscious career choice or part of a long-term career plan?

GU: No. I just wanted to keep my bills paid and work I am just happy to do good work. I was just as happy on City of Angels as I was doing guest spots on Moesha as I am right now. I just like to work. I am proud of my work and I put it out there and if more people see it and the budgets get bigger than great!

NS: What would you be doing if not for acting?

GB: I would be an attorney. I was studying for the LSAT during my senior year at UCLA when I got and internship at a modeling agency. When my internship ended some clients had come in and asked if I were a model would I be interested in acting. I had student loans to pay back so I said ďIf you think someone will pay me that, sure.Ē Literally two days later I was working. Then they sent me on my first audition booked my first audition.

NS: What was it?

GU: Saved by the bell the new class

NS: Itís wonderful how the relationship unfolds between you and LLís character, Ray, What attracted you to this script/ character?

GU: You see her evolution in the character from being an extra bigger than life person. Different little things come into her life that allows her progression and she makes small changes that donít come overnight. I like that they made her real in that respect. Weíve all come in contact with people who are a bit extra and over the top and it comes from loneliness or despair and then maybe a big event will occur like a death, a birth of a child or meeting a man and you see this marked change. And thatís what I liked about Eva

NS: Rumor has it that this movie was originally written for a white cast and that your character was optioned for Julia Roberts.

GU: Well, it got passed to Julia, then it got passed to Halle, then it got passed to me. But it is a movie with universal themes. The script was generically written. But we added our own culture.

NS: How do you feel about the plight of the African American actress and the challenges you face?

GU: Itís hard when you come out of academia and you are used to a meritocracy and you come into this and it is so random who gets chosen and who doesnít. You can have a Masterís degree in theatre from Yale and be the busboy at a restaurant. You can be on your way up but someone else can have a top selling album and you canít compete with that.

NS: Is there a spiritual regimen that you follow?

GU: I go to church. Youíve got great churches in LA with great pastors. I go to church and then my friends and I go to brunch and discuss the sermons

NS: What do you credit your success to?

GU: I have established a good work ethic. I have established good relationships. I treat people the way I want to be treated. I donít demand only white furniture and rose petals. I donít throw fits. I get along with people I donít pull a lot of ego mess. I come to work and do what Iím supposed to do and then I go home. Iíd like to think that I work because Iím a good person.

NS: Thank you for your time.

GU: Thank you.