Gabrielle Union says the way she portrayed ‘Bring It On’ character was a ‘mistake’

Union has been promoting her new memoir, 'You Got Anything Stronger?' in which she pens a letter to her character, Isis

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While Isis is one of her most iconic roles, Gabrielle Union reveals in her new memoir the way she portrayed the Bring It On character was a “mistake.”

Actress, producer, and writer Union is hot on the press trail promoting her new book, You Got Anything Stronger? Her first memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, was a huge success, making its way to the New York Times bestseller list. Her new book picks up right where the first left off, promising to go “even deeper” than her last book.

One recently revealed excerpt is a letter Union wrote to her iconic Bring it On character, Isis, in which she addresses her own self-perceived shortcomings.

Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Per an excerpt from the essay obtained by The Cut, Union writes in the memoir that she “failed” the character, as she had full control of the characterization.

“I am here to apologize to you. When I said today that you didn’t go far enough, that was on me. I failed you and myself. I was the fourth lead, but my face was on the poster. You were the girl with no last name, but the star of every meme. You were only in about a third of the movie, and now I would know to fight for equal time to tell your story. Your iconic moments with the Clovers are what people remember, though I know it’s partly that we are bits of Black resistance dropped in the middle of the milk,” she wrote.

She continued, “I wish I had just given you the space to be a Black girl who is exceptional without making any kind of compromise. Because that’s who I want to be now. That’s what I am chasing, so much later in life than you: to be exceptional by my own standards. Unapologetically me.”

In a recent interview on Good Morning America promoting the book, Union opened up even further around her letter to Isis.

“I was given full range to do whatever I wanted with Isis in Bring It On, and I chose respectability and to be classy and take the high road, because I felt like that would make her be appropriate — the right kind of Black girl,” she explained.

“Black girls aren’t allowed to be angry. Certainly not demonstratively angry, and I muzzled her,” she continued. “I would have allowed her full humanity, and part of being a full human is the ability to express rage when harmed. When you don’t really allow yourself your full range of emotion and you muzzle your own emotions, it allows people to think, ‘Maybe what I did wasn’t that bad.’ I would have given her all the anger.”

Union’s memoir, You Got Anything Stronger?, is available for purchase now where books are sold. Check out her full letter to Isis available to read on The Cut, here.

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