On Thursday, May 23, the cast of Spike Lee’s newest series, She’s Gotta Have It, joined together for a red carpet premiere and screening at The Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn, NYC.
We spoke with DeWanda Wise (Nola), Anthony Ramos, (Mars), Margot Bingham (Clorinda) along with director, creator, Spike Lee and writer Joie Lee.
The Knockturnal: What are some of your afterthoughts about this season?
DeWanda Wise: Really full circle, we filmed it almost a year ago so there’s this kind of relief that happens. It’s a little melancholy because you feel like there’s something that was yours and you’re letting go of it, so it’s an interesting hodge-podge.
Margot Bingham: I’m so excited, thank God it is out. We have worked on this for so long. It has been so long. We’re just so proud of the work that we’ve done. I’ve seen a couple of snippets. I am so proud to be a part of this company and this movement of a show. And I just can’t wait for you to see it.
The Knockturnal: What’s something that you learned about Nola this season that you maybe didn’t know or see as clearly during season one?
DeWanda Wise: That’s a great, great question. I feel like Nola season 2, she feels far more open in a sense and that, I feel like, is a space that has come about out of maturity and out of time just spent living. It’s been like 18 months [for her].
The Knockturnal: What did you learn about Clorinda that was new for you?
Margot Bingham: I definitely think as a person as well but mostly as my character, it’s interesting just to really see Clorinda grow and go into a realm of a place that she doesn’t feel comfortable or can control. And I think as myself as Margot, I think it’s really interesting and really powerful to go into a place that you have no control over and to kind of have no choice but to let go and that’s what Clorinda does a lot this season, so I’m taking a page out of her book.
The Knockturnal: What are you most looking forward to fans seeing this season?
Anthony Ramos: I feel like they’re going to get to know these characters on another level. I feel like season one was what it was, and I’m just so grateful that we dive in even deeper. We get to know Mars more. We get to know Greer. We get to know Nola, especially Nola, really, really get to know Nola. We get to see the ins and outs of her in her relationships but not only in her relationships but as an artist and what that is and what that’s like for her and how relatable that is for those of us who do art no matter what it is (acting, singing, painting) whatever you do. And it’s super awesome. We get to dive in deeper so I’m really excited for people to get that. We got some surprises too.
Spike Lee: We got a lot of surprises, a lot of surprises.
Anthony Ramos: I’m mad hype for that.
The Knockturnal: On the takeaways…
DeWanda Wise: Season two we shot in two months. Season one we shot in four and a half months. And season two we shot in three locations in two months and I did not know I had the stamina.
Joie Lee: It’s possible to self actualize. Life is a series of lessons and challenges and ups and downs or however you want to perceive it depending on your belief system, but I think Nola is someone who soldiers on. She has some knocks, she gets knocked down a bit, but I think it’s really about who she is and self-empowerment. I think it’s about her finding herself as an artist, finding her voice, and self-actualizing as a woman of color.
The Knockturnal: How do you think Nola would respond to some of the political affairs happening presently?
Joie Lee: I think that it would be reflected in her art as this young woman who it deeply affects, I think she would incorporate it into her art. I think she would incorporate it into her teaching, she’s also a teaching artist. And I think she would be educating her students about it and empowering them to use their voices and I also think it would show up somehow in her creative life and in her portraits and in her pieces and in her work and she would be out on the streets protesting.
The Knockturnal: On writing for the series…
Joie Lee: In the writer’s room, the process is: we meet every day, we break down the series, the season, there’s an entire process where we meet every day; it’s a lot of fun. It’s like making a great big soup. There’s just so many ideas and you’re just throwing it into the soup. Some things get tossed out, some things you kind of simmer. We do research, we go on field trips, we see films, we get lunch everyday it’s a very nice gig. And then we get assigned episodes, then we have to break down the episodes, we have to do outlines. There’s a very fast turn around and the writer’s room for She’s Gotta Have It is predominantly female and women of color so it’s an amazing, creative and fertile place. It’s important for us as women and women of color that Nola have agency.
She’s Gotta Have It Season 2 is available globally on Netflix today, May 24, 2019.