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Tessa Thompson Reminds Us That Black Love Stories Like Sylvie’s Love Are Still Rare in Hollywood

The best Hollywood love stories are all-encompassing. They break you down, build you up, and make you cry. And, as leading lady Tessa Thompson pointed out to us, they’re pretty much all white too. Enter: Amazon Studio’s Sylvie’s Love, a feature film that premiered at Sundance and is available to stream right now starring Thompson and Kerry Washington’s husband Nnamdi Asomugha as star-crossed lovers. In a new exclusive interview, Thompson explains how Sylvie’s Love is breaking the mold with its swoon-worthy romance set in 1960s Harlem — and sheds a little light on what she knows about Westworld season 4 too.

“I have long wanted to make sort of a classic Hollywood love story,” Thompson tells SheKnows’ VP, Video Reshma Gopaldas. “By and large, as a Black actor, you don’t have the chance to be in that space very often. And certainly if you look at the lexicon of Hollywood love stories, there aren’t a ton that center folks of color. I loved the idea of getting to make something that felt like it could have been made decades ago, but something that centered us. It felt like a way of changing the aperture that would be satisfying for me.”

This moody, passionate drama stands out for many reasons beyond Thompson and Asomugha’s race, but the Westworld star is right — and its melodramatic style is as much a nod to directors of previous romances as it is a reminder of all the stories that did not get told, and what they might have looked like.

And speaking of Westworld: Thompson is just as eager to get back on set as we are to have her there, and sadly, HBO is keeping a tight lid on information until then.

“I’m assuming that I’ll spend a lot of time with Ed Harris next season,” she predicts, “that he and I are sort of coupled together in mischief.”

Harris was last seen as a host-copy of William in his Man in Black costume, appearing to kill the original William as Tessa’s Charlotte looked on in satisfaction — so yeah, mischief is one way to put it.

Watch the full video for more details on when Thompson’s headed back to Westworld, watch to expect from Sylvie’s Love, and why she might need to find new neighbors after this pandemic.

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