Nicole Beharie on ‘Solos’ role: ‘We get to mess with people’s minds’

The actress also opened up about starring in last year's beautiful flick, 'Miss Juneteenth'

As one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, Nicole Beharie has been raising the bar since she began her career in 2008 with her starring role in American Violet. She’s currently one of eight esteemed actors who star in Amazon’s latest anthology series Solos.

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The unusual sci-fi/drama project from David Weil features breathtaking performances from the likes of Morgan Freeman, Anthony Mackie, Uzo Aduba, Helen Mirren, and Constance Wu among others, abandoning most elements of traditional television and delivering eight separate stories that have one major connection.

“In Solos, I play a character called Nera in the not too distant future,” Beharie told Cortney Wills on a recent episode of theGrio’s newest podcast, Acting Up. 

Like all the characters in the series, she’s vying for connection and trying to figure out how to create the life that they want or salvage something. She’s pregnant in a cabin. She ends up going into labor. We kind of live with her through that process. And there’s some like some like twists and turns and a little sci-fi element in there. I think I hope the audience will enjoy it.”

She adds, “We get to mess people’s minds a little bit and also there are some themes in here that if you watch without listening and really kind of tuning into the times, the current times and the potential times, there are some themes here. Like some of the things that drew me to it is the conversation about women in our bodies and fertility and also the Black mother’s mortality rate. That’s a thing. That’s a major concern.

People are going and starting families in drastically different ways based on their sexual orientation or gender, and just like all the opportunities that are out there. So all of those things are kind of in there as well as just like protecting our families and what that means; just so many cool things.”

The actress, who will star in HBO’s upcoming limited series, Scenes From a Marriage, also discussed last year’s Miss Juneteenth and how she’s navigating the changing Hollywood landscape.

Read More: Nicole Beharie to star in HBO’s ‘Scenes from a Marriage’

She shared how much she loved working with director Channing Godfrey Peoples on Miss Juneteenth even though the film didn’t provide the paycheck she deserved for her mesmerizing portrayal of a mother with big dreams for her teenage daughter.

Nicole Beharie in ‘Solos’ (Amazon)

“That was a great opportunity. It was just one of those things where my agent sends the script and then you’re like, ‘I really like this. I’m going to be doing it for free, basically, but yea, OK, we’re going down to Texas,” she says.

“I could tell from talking to Channing when she knew what she was doing, she had a very clear vision and she cared more in general. I think sometimes when I step into things, I care about the character more than the filmmaker sometimes. You know what I mean? Like, it’s your job to protect or like to understand that story and to deliver it,” she continues.

“It’s one of the times I feel like I was in the hands of someone who was more informed and that was that was fun in a way.”

Check out the full conversation on this week’s episode of Acting Up.

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