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Vixen Chat: Sanaa Lathan Talks 'Best Man Holiday,' Natural Hair and Her Dream Role

Long ago, Sanaa Lathan made her mark as one of Tinseltown’s most beloved actresses. With memorable roles as Andrea in Love and Basketball and Alicia in The Wood, she’s managed to stay afloat in the Tinseltown landscape for over ten years. This year, the film and stage actress reunites with the who’s who of black Hollywood for the much anticipated sequel Best Man Holiday.

Vixen had a chance to talk with Sanaa about playing Robin again, the natural hair movement and what she looks for in a man. –Nicole Brown

VIBE Vixen: Do you feel most beautiful at home in sweats or dressed up for events?
Sanaa Lathan:
I like it all. That’s the thing that makes me an actress. I like to be a chameleon and change it up. You’ll notice on my Instagram the previous weave I had was a curly short thing and then I show my own hair. I like to be comfortable. That is of utmost importance to me, even for fashion. I’m not going to suffer for fashion. You notice today I have on a jumper and some wedges. It’s too hot out here.

What are your thoughts on the natural hair movement?
I love it. I wear my hair natural. I wear weaves when I’m working because I have a lot of hair and basically it would be damaged because of the different styles that I wear it. So when I’m working and doing movies, I’ll just use a weave. Even if the character’s hair looks like my hair, I’ll put in weave that looks like my hair. But, I love it. I go through phases where I won’t wear weave and I’ll wear my hair out natural.

Do you have a favorite style?
I like them all for a couple weeks then I get tired of it [laughs].

We can’t wait to see Best Man Holiday. What is the biggest difference from the first film?
I love that it’s all the original cast and they’re all such great actors. It’s 13 years later, so the characters have grown. Malcolm, the director and writer, did a really great job of being realistic about where these characters would go, but it has all the funny elements, the dramatic elements that the first one had. People are going to be pleasantly surprised.

If you could be any other character besides Robin, who would you play?
Oh, I don’t even think about that. It’s Robin all the way.

We saw pictures of you rocking a baby bump. Is it a boy or a girl?
I can’t tell that. But, she is very pregnant for this movie.

Sanaa Lathan for Vibe VixenVV: Would you like children someday?
SL: I do. If there’s ever a situation where I feel like it’s right, I would love to. Right now, I’m just focused on career.

How close are you with your co-stars? Did you keep in touch over the years?
Oh, yeah. Taye [Diggs] and I are really good friends. Regina [King], Nia [Long]–we’ve all kept in touch. It felt like camp. It didn’t feel like work because we’re having so much fun on and off set.

You’re a Tony-nominated stage actress and film actress. Do you favor one over the other?
I love them both for different reasons. The thing about stage that is so fulfilling and delicious for me as an actor is that you get to feel the audience every night. You get to live the whole arc of the character every night. That feels so good. When you do a movie, everything is out of order, you do bits and pieces and you don’t get to actually experience it yourself. For me, it probably feels better in the theater but I do love that in 10 years, I can watch the film. Theater is fleeting.

What other projects are you working on?
Right now, I am enjoying my summer and my time off. And looking for that next gig. There’s a couple of projects that we’re talking about, but I can’t necessarily talk about it yet. I’ve kind of had a dream career. I’ve gotten to play some really amazing roles and I just want to continue to do that. I want to continue to step outside my comfort zone and play characters that make me grow as an actress.

You’ve accumulated a huge following on Instagram. How do you decide what to share and what to keep to yourself?
For me, it’s not a real conscious thing. I’m not really interested in sharing every detail of my every day. I stick to when I go to events. Sometimes it’s a quote that uplifts people. Sometimes it’s a hair thing. It’s something that’s associated with Sanaa Lathan, the actress. That’s just my instinct to do that. It’s for the fans.

You’ve gotten to work with a lot of leading men. Do you have a celebrity crush?
No, I don’t. I know them all unfortunately [laughs].

What type of guy do you go for?
I don’t have a type. For me, if I can talk to them, if they have a sense of humor–I love to laugh. For me, it’s not about a type. It’s about the connection. That’s going to be different with everybody.

What are your must-have beauty products when you’re on the road promoting a film?
Always have a red lip. That can just make you feel glamorous whether it’s day or night. Always have mints in your purse. For me, it’s really important to moisturize. And drink lots of water.

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