It has been 15 years since Nia Long and Larenz Tate starred as Nina Moseley and Darius Lovehall in the 90′s cult classic film Love Jones.
On the romantic comedy’s anniversary, the leads actors reflect on the chord the film struck with Black audiences and more.
First impressions of the Love Jones script
Nia Long: “I was like, “I love this, and I want to do it.” There was no question. There was also the excitement of, “Oh my gosh, my first leading role.” And I think it shaped the rest of my career.”
Larenz Tate: “My initial thoughts were: “I’m digging this character.” And, being from Chicago, I found things in the movie that reflected what I knew. I also liked the idea of [Darius] being smart, and intelligent. The guy’s a writer. He’s creative. He’s artistic. I hadn’t done that. The script spoke to me.”
On the film’s impact
Nia Long: “I think Love Jones showed Black love in a way that we hadn’t seen on film in a very long time, specifically our generation of young people. It wasn’t the typical romantic comedy where it was about the jokes. I think the comedy was appreciated through the real-life situations. I also think it was pretty – the way it was shot, the lighting, the vibe of the movie was just very sexy and very cutting-edge. I think the film came out before its time, and I feel really lucky to be a part of something that has continued to resonate with people through all these years.”
Larenz Tate: “I realized the impact when I would be walking somewhere and someone would be like, “Love Jones!” I still meet women who say, ‘That’s in my DVD collection.’ I would talk to Nia, and she’d say, ‘That movie makes people go crazy.’ I also knew it was serious when brothers would come and say ‘Love Jones, man, that movie really helped me.’ It’s gotten so big that people do poetry Love Jones celebrations every single year, like Trekkies celebrate Star Trek.”
Read more at Essence. Sound off on your most memorable on-screen couples in the comments section.
NIA LONG AND LARENZ TATE AT THE 2010 BET AWARDS