Larenz Tate been on the Hollywood scene since he was a teenager in the late 1990s. The 44-year-old recently did an interview and reflected on his role in the movie Love Jones, which went on to be a cultural phenomenon for the past two decades.
When speaking on the classic romantic flick starring Nia Long, he said they were just happy to tell stories outside of Black stereotypes and didn’t realize it would age so gracefully.
“We was just happy that we were doing something a little different,” Tate said. “I was happy to have the opportunity to kind of feel like a leading man, if you will. We didn’t have a lot of young leading men and young leading ladies that were Black, and telling stories where the only thing that gets hurt in a Black story was somebody’s heart, as opposed to, you know, ‘Shoot them up, gun, pop, pop, pop.’ All that stuff.”
Regardless of the financial aspect of the film, Tate said that he “feels a strong sense of pride in the film, which has defined Black love for a generation of fans.”
“In retrospect, it may not made the impact that they wanted at the box office, but over 20-plus years it has to be done so much more for people,” the actor talks. “As people watch that movie over and over they make a connection with it. It’s been a life coach for people, it’s been therapy for people – that Love Jones movie has done so much more than what Hollywood could even dream or thought it would do. And that, to me, is the greatest of all.”
The father of four gave his take on the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality in America.
“It’s such a disconnect, that they normalize this behavior,” he stated. “We have to go beyond just police reform – police brutality, specifically with black people, needs to be eradicated. Everybody understands what’s going on … But for whatever it is, whether it’s the current administration in the White House that is condoning [this behavior], or at least feeling like, you know, police are above the law and that extreme force is okay.”
He concluded saying, “I feel like as a father of four Black boys – beautiful young kings amazing, wonderful – that their life, their bodies, everything is so valued. [They have] so much value to me and my mine, and our community and our people and those who understand it.”
Watch the full interview here: