About Features Reviews Community Screenings Archives Studios Home
October 2005
The Gospel: An Interview with Nona Gaye

noya gaye
The Gospel: An Interview with Nona Gaye

By Wilson Morales

When we last saw Nona Gaye on the screen, she was part of the ensemble group of the critically acclaimed film, “Crash” and prior to that, she help Ice Cube do his thing in “XXX: State of the Union”. In both films, one could say that her roles were relatively minor to the next film she has coming up, “The Gospel”. In this ensemble film, directed by Rob Hardy, Gaye plays the wife to an up and coming pastor who clashes with her cousin when he comes back home to see his dying father. In speaking with blackfilm.com, Gaye talks about her character as well as her music career.

You’ve played some very interesting roles recently, like in Crash and Ali and how would this one rate among the roles that you’ve played in Hollywood?

Nona Gaye: That was a nasty, unhygienic experience for me. I didn't enjoy doing that. All of the dirt and the grime is disgusting every day- that was my real hair, and they put tons of gunk and grease in it and I didn't wash it, they put oil on my face and I didn't bathe. It was just nasty- I would clear the craft service [table] every day.

Can you talk about working withnoya gaye Boris?

GAYE: He’s a great actor and a great friend and a goofball. There were so many times we were inside the church and we forgot that we were in the church, ‘cause we’re acting, we’re on film, there’s cameras, it’s just like a regular set and we had to sensor ourselves every now and then. We’d be like, hey, oh da--, darn it, or or, oh my holy macaroni. [laugh] It was rough; like every now and then we had to just make sure that we weren’t disrespectful inside the church. It was very, very nice working with him. He’s a great guy and a great actor, yeah

Can you tell me about your character? Rob (Hardy) had mentioned that he purposely didn’t want to tell so much of the story between you and (Idris). I guess from an audience’s perspective there wasn’t enough character development and you can sense there was a strain in their marriage.

GAYE: It definitely was left up more to your interpretation until the end. I’m not quite sure why he felt that he needed to go that way. He’s the director. I think that it worked. I think that you get an hint that there is a very strong and serious reason why they have such a strain on their marriage that there’s a strain on their sex life and the reason is because she can’t give him what he wants. And I feel that she backlashes and retaliates by avoiding and restricting sex. You could interpret as her being frigid or she may have had problems in the past and maybe she’s apprehensive about trying again. But what it really is, is that she’s so hurt and, and so brokenhearted that she can’t give him what he wants that she internalizes that and decides that I just won’t have sex with him at all because it hurts too much because I can’t givenoya gaye him a child. So I think that’s really what it’s about, what their strain is about. And it takes him quite a long time to figure out how much pain she’s actually in. With the scene on the balcony he finally realizes what she’s going through. After that things are a little bit different. He realizes that it’s not just about him or his ego or what he wants, and he begins to pay more attention to his wife and the fact that she is in quite a significant amount of pain and feeling very inadequate as a wife.

With this role and you as a Black woman, other Black women are looking at you when you embody this role, do you find that the character is like a victim, and is she passive? She does not, you know, but then again there’s other parts where she’s extremely strong and is almost the background, the back bone of her husband. So what are you personally presenting the character to be?

GAYE: I think it’s more damage. I think she’s damaged. I think she loves her husband very much. She loves the church. Even though she is quite damaged about what’s going on at home, she still is beaming when she sees her husband. She’s still madly in love with him. Her being quiet and passive I think is really just kind of a reflection of how sad she is about the fact that she can’t seem to be this wife that he needs her to be; but like I said she still loves God with all her heart and she loves to watch her husband energize the congregation. I think her being quiet is more of a kind of I really want to listen to what he has to say. I really want to listen to him worship. I really want to listen to him give a beautiful sermon and, and energize the entire congregation, look at my husband, look what he does, and look how he energizes the congregation and how much they appreciate him. noya gaye

With each of your films, it seems that you have good characters that are richly textured and, and there seems to be a progression with each of your characters. I’m curious as to what you’d like to do next and what’s next for you, what you have coming on the horizon?

GAYE: Well, you know what to be perfectly honest with you, it’s one of two things. I’d either like to do something very gritty and maybe a bit dark; something to sink my teeth into and go somewhere that really isn’t me and that might be difficult; something that might test my acting skills to the very limit because I think that actors always want to do that. They always want to push themselves. I would either like to go somewhenoya gayeer the doting wife or heartbroken warrior in a futuristic world who goes and gets her man or I am another doting wife who gets cheated on in Africa by Mohammed Ali. I would like to expand and see what else happens, see where else I could go, rather than being the only thing that I got to do that was quite different, and I must say I enjoyed it very, very much, because in all of my films up till then I had been that character, different but exactly. I finally got to get sexy and I finally got to like wear some Gucci and I had some six-inch stilettos on and they glammed me up. So it was fun, and I got to do some fun stuff. I drove that car and it was, it was a lot of fun. Action films was the other thing I was going to say is either something dramatic. I would like to go there. I love action films. I really do; if they’re good. I would love to do something like a Matrix and be able to have a lead Black female. That would be really incredible. I think that the Black community would love to see that, and I would love to do it, I really would.

Are there any plans to return to music? You were signed at Epic, weren’t you at one point?

GAYE: Yes, I was. I was definitely. I worked for quite awhile with Bobby K. I call Robernoya gayet Kelly, Bobby K. It’s my little nickname for him. We did some tracks that were absolutely fabulous and I did a few other tracks; so I’ve got a really great body of music. I’m just ready to shop it. As soon as I do that and I get some product out hopefully you’ll like it ‘cause I really think it’s something different because it’s actually me, rather than being pushed to sound like my father.

What new projects do you have outside of music film wise?

GAYE: Well, right now I’m not shooting anything. I’m focusing on this, letting this miracle, go smoothly and all that. But I have two or threnoya gayee different things that I’m interested in doing, maybe a few books that I’d like to adapt into screenplays and see if I can make that happen.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy