Exclusive: Dominique Fishback Talks ‘Night Comes On’Posted by Wilson Morales
August 2, 2018
Hitting theaters on August 3 from Samuel Goldwyn Films is the indie drama Night Comes On, starring Dominique Fishback, Tatum Marilyn Hall, Lovie Marie Allen, Nastashia Fuller, John Earl Jelks and Max Casella
NIGHT COMES ON is the powerful directorial debut from actress Jordana Spiro (Netflix’s Ozark) which had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival where it won the NEXT Innovator Award. The film is co-written by Angelica Nwandu, who is the founder of The Shade Room, and features breakthrough performances by two fast rising stars, Dominique Fishback (HBO’s The Deuce) and newcomer Tatum Marilyn Hall.
NIGHT COMES ON follows Angel LaMere (Dominique Fishback) as she is released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday. Haunted by her past, Angel embarks on a journey with her 10 year-old sister (Tatum Marilyn Hall) to avenge her mother’s death.
Best known for her role as “Darlene” in the HBO series The Deuce, this is Fishback’s big screen breakout role. The Brooklyn, NY native started her acting career in theater and wrote the off-Broadway play “Subverted” in 2014, in which she played 22 Characters. Earlier this year, Jay Z cast her in his groundbreaking music video SMILE, where she portrayed his mother Gloria Carter and earned her a Webby Award for Individual Best Performance. She will next be seen in a strong supporting role in The Hate U Give, the FOX film about Black Lives Matter.
Blackfilm.com recently spoke with Fishback where she exclusively talk about getting the role and about her character.
How did you go about in getting the role?
Dominique Fishback: I had done a couple of episodes on Royal Pains, which is a USA show. In the episode, I was a 16-year old girl about to give birth to a baby and the doctor who helped me give birth was played by Jordana Spiro, the writer and director of this movie. So we got along well and I told her while we were on set that I would be doing a play called Subverted where I play 22 characters and it’s about the discussion of black identity in America. Once I did the show, she actually came and I didn’t expect that. Little did I know that she was looking for her Angel at the time. I went in for the audition in December, then another one in February and another in March. It was a long process. It was about four auditions before I got the part.
How would you describe Angel?
Dominique Fishback: I would say that Angel is a young girl who’s had to survive on her own with no type of psychological or emotional support. When she makes a choice in her mind, that’s what she goes after. She doesn’t need anyone else to tell her if her answer is right. She does what she feels in the moment. Right now she feels she needs revenge for her mother’s death.
What did you do to get into character?
Dominique Fishback: Well, I’m from East New York, Brooklyn which is a tough place to grow up, and I knew that Jordana was looking for first time actors. She wanted people who hadn’t acted before to get the authenticity of Angel and I understand why she wanted that. I honestly felt that I had the authenticity that she was looking for. I journaled as Angel. I put songs to things that she had and I put color coordinated cards on my wall so when Angel is thinking about her mother, it would be a certain color. If she was thinking about her father, it would be a certain color and when she spends time with her sister, it’s another color. Each day before I went on set, I would look at the wall and see this is where she is (the scene) and know the color I would think about.
Can you talk about working with Tatum and having that good chemistry on screen as sisters?
Dominique Fishback: I think it was because Jordana wanted us to have lots of rehearsal before we started filming. I come from theater and rehearsals is something I love to do. I had the opportunity to rehearse with Jordana and bring Tatum along and rehearse with her as well, which gave us enough time to establish a good rapport. By the time the cameras were rolling, we were already comfortable with one another and rehearsed the scenes that we would shoot. They also wanted me to see Tatum as another actor and not to coddle her. Just having the support of her parents, who didn’t want her to be treated like a baby. There was a time during rehearsal where Tatum said to me, “Dominique, are you mad at me?” I told her, “No. I’m not mad at you but when the cameras roll, I will be in the mindset of Angel. Don’t take it personally.” I think she got what I was saying and that allowed us to have a good chemistry in the film. Sometimes I play handgames with her and there are other days i’m not doing it. It allowed us to have that sisterhood relationship.
How was working with Jordan on her directorial debut?
Dominique Fishback: It was easier because she’s a woman and an actress. When you’re playing an emotional role, it’s easier to talk to someone who’s been before as an actor. It was also a learning experience for the both of us. Any direction that she gave me, I paid really attention to it. It was a good experience for me. Even if we had a difference of opinion, I really believe she would get the best performance during the shoot. I have faith that I gave in the best version of Angel on screen and I’m very proud of that. Because I’m a writer as well and working on my first screenplay, the experience on this film and working with Jordan inspired me enough to think about directing as well.
What does it mean to you to be a young African American woman in a lead role and getting the appraise that the film has received?
Dominique Fishback: Honestly, I’ve been wanting to act since I was 10 years old. Kept asking God to let me be able to act, but you never know what you are capable of until you are given the opportunity. I’m really thankful that I got the opportunity to play Angel and have everyone react to the film in a positive way. What it tells me is that there is room for us and a desire to see us and people have to create the roles. If no one creates it, then we have to come together and create it ourselves. What I love about this story is that it wasn’t ultimately an African American story. It was a human story. Any race can relate to the story. I’m thankful I got to be the one to bring it to life. Hopefully, it will open doors for me to tell more stories and in due time when we need them.