the-intruder-movie-poster the-intruder-movie-poster
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Director Deon Taylor Talks 'The Intruder' And Normalizing Black Success

Scott and Annie Russell are ready to say goodbye to their flashy city life and want to lay some roots in the country. The successful advertising agent (Michael Ealy) and his lifestyle writer wife (Meagan Good) have their sights set on a sprawling home in Napa Valley, and after shelling out the $3.5 million for the property, the Russells begin settling in.

And then things get...weird.

The former homeowner, Charlie (Dennis Quaid) can’t seem to part ways with the property and starts inserting himself into Scott and Annie’s life. Scott is uncomfortable with how taken Charlie is with his wife, and Annie’s half-glass-full mentality pegs Charlie as just an old widower in need of company.

But as time goes on, the Russells learn Charlie’s connection to the home is rooted in lies, deceit, and murder.

Inside Lexington Avenue's Gramercy Park Hotel, Vibe sat with the film's director Deon Taylor. Standing at 6'2", Taylor's athletic build is quickly offset by his boyish smile and rusty, but warm voice. The former pro-basketball player reveals despite the film being a thriller, he and his film-producer wife Roxanne Avent, simply wanted to entertain audiences and also normalize the idea that a black couple could be successful.

VIBE: What I enjoyed most about The Intruder is that it’s a young black couple buying this spacious property. Can you please speak to normalizing that?

Deon Taylor: One of the fun things about the movie for me, while making it, was that when I first read the screenplay it was not written for us.

It was not written for black people?

It was not written for black people at all. It was an all-white cast. I thought this film was the perfect vehicle to slip an African-American couple into. I loved the idea that [Scott] worked in San Francisco, and he was affluent and he could buy a $3.5 million house, and his wife [Annie] was a writer. I just liked that they were real people. It just showed that to be normal. They were just business people and they were successful. I also thought pitting Dennis Quaid against them was really cool too.

Dennis Quaid was ridiculous, and I mean ridiculous in the sense that he did an excellent job at being Charlie. Why did you cast him in this role, and did you know he could go to such lengths?

I didn’t know he could do that. I wrote him a letter to do the movie and he was cast because no one has ever seen him like that. Dennis Quaid has been everyone’s dad. Dennis Quaid has been all American. He’s always good. I just thought, "Man, look at how menacing he is." I wrote him a letter and he was like, "Man, I would love to do that. It sounds really cool." And we started working on the character together and before I knew it the hinges came off. He was crazy. He was incredible.

He was even scary when he smiled. Annie, however, got on my nerves.

Yeah, Annie got on everybody’s nerves.

Were you trying to warn the audience she was going to be as naive as she was by naming her, Annie?

That’s funny as hell.

Seriously, when have you ever known a smart Annie? Isn’t Michael Jackson still asking "Annie are you okay?"

[Laughs] This interview is over. First of all, the movie is supposed to be fun. I made the movie just for entertainment.

I think Dennis represents something and I think the couple represents something. But I think Annie’s character, she was great because she cared. Annie doesn’t see that side of Charlie. He’s a con artist. He’s showing Scott one way and showing her another way.
As a matter of fact, in the film, every time the three of them are on screen Scott is the aggressor so Annie doesn’t see that troubling side of Charlie. She’s like, "Oh, he’s a nice guy," but the audience is seeing it all. I think it’s great. Meagan Good plays someone who’s grounded in trying to help people and believes the glass is half full.

I thought the house was gorgeous. What did you like and dislike about it and what did it represent for you?

I thought the house was great. I thought it was a beautiful location. Everything that you’ve seen in the movie is that house. But that house is also 120 years old. A lot of the stuff that’s around it has been there that long. What I loved about it was unique.

What made it so unique?

There was ivy covering the entire house. The extended driveway. The pond in the front. I also loved the fact that stairwell, where their bedroom is, all that stuff is within distance. If you look at the film I’m really shooting one camera at everything. I thought that’s what made it a beautiful location to shoot in.

What was hard for the film was the house is small when you start filming a movie. The hallways are small. The rooms are small. The bathrooms are small. It’s a hundred plus years old, so they didn't make things big then like they do now so it’s hard to shoot in there and move in there. It’s hot. After five weeks you’re like, "I’ve got to get out of here" and then when you walk out you’re still on the property. I thought it was good for [Michael Ealy and Meagan Good] as characters. Dennis Quaid loved it because he was in his habit, so he could really take on the form of the home.

Michael Ealy’s "Scott" takes a measured approach to Dennis Quaid’s role. Why was he written that way?

What we really wanted to put in him was sense. They represent the old and new.

Who represents the old and new?

Dennis Quaid represents the old way because he’s more of the man’s man. He works with his hands. He builds. He hunts. Whereas Michael Ealy’s character is a millennial. He works on his phone and his computer. He gets things done by calling people. We made those two worlds collide. That’s where the clash with Annie came from. She even says it in the movie: "Man, he’s a man’s man and our boys are like city boys."

This move is independent. What does that mean?

That means this movie was financed by a black man and produced by us.

Who’s us?

Roxane Avent, a black female producer produced the film. Directed by me, I’m black, and we own it. Sony came in and did a great deal with us and they’re distributing the film.

Why did you decide to take the independent route?

Every movie I’ve done besides the upcoming Exposure is independent because I was told no so many times I stopped asking. No one hired me. No one gave me a job. Instead of knocking on doors and begging somebody to give me a check I just figured out a way to get my films made, and that’s been the course I’ve been on for 13 years. So it’s a little hard to change the DNA.

Independent is important because you can own it. Ownership is what we need. I’m trying to build a catalog.

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Rihanna performs onstage during Savage X Fenty Show Presented By Amazon Prime Video - Show Sneak Peak at Barclays Center on September 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video

Rihanna's Savage x Fenty Show Creates An Inclusive Silhouette For All

No matter your shape, size or physical ability, sexiness can be achieved. It's a mantra retail corporations have pushed but with Rihanna's Savage x Fenty Show in New York this week, it was a smoldering reality.

On Tuesday (Sept. 10) Brooklyn's Barclays Center was flipped into the entertainers' lair filled with 32 flavors of what womxn really look like. Thick thighs, ambassadors of the #littlebootiesmatter movement and members of the LGBTQ+ community sashayed across the stage in a confident spirit only Rihanna can conjure.

The second annual show took their talents to a new level by partnering with Amazon Prime to film the show. Cameramen jumped to the stage every now and then to catch models like Joan Smalls, Bella Hadid and performers Halsey, Big Sean and Tierra Whack. But the theatrics also matched the energy the models exuded–dominant, sweet, flirty and most of all assertive. It's a behavior assumed to be behind closed dungeon doors and for women who keep up Eurocentric beauty standards.

With Savage x Fenty, those stereotypes are thrown out the window. The brand has done well in that market. It's why it makes it the perfect segway into the next generation of lingerie brands. Critics have used their most witty phrases to compare the event to Victoria's Secret Fashion Show but as fans will see Sept. 20, nothing is like Savage x Fenty.

Their mission of inclusion didn't stop at the beautiful bodies and negligees on stage. The music paid homage to the hot girls we've loved before (Tweet, Eve) as well as dancehall riddims and Latinx house music.

As Rihanna continues to dominate the fashion/beauty industry (her LVMH collab, Fenty Beauty) the Savage x Fenty show will be just one of the many moments in fashion history we'll revisit.

Before the big reveal next week, see how it all went down from inside the event below.

___

7:35 pm: The Dean Street entrance to Barclays Center looks like the outside of a club. There are models, rappers and fans who printed out fake barcodes to get in. After a few minutes of starting at the "Standing Line" section, I realize I'm in the wrong line.

7:40 pm: Doors aren't opening until 8:00 pm, so I get to enjoy some fresh air while checking out influencers wrapped in glitter and baby doll lingerie. Perhaps it shows what's to come this evening.

8:00 pm: The doors have officially opened. Like noted in the email, phones were placed into uber-secure YONDR pouches. I'm not mad at it all. With Amazon filming the show, it's only right that the audience is immersed in the experience.

8:13 pm: Sections aren't open yet but the red carpet is. Hip-hop is in the building (early) thanks to Migos, Big Sean and newcomer CHIKA.

8:16 pm: Some guests are starting to look uneasy without their phones. I’m so glad watches are still a thing–shouts to Casio, specifically A$AP Ferg’s collaboration design I rocked.

8:23 pm: In the bathroom and a favorable viral group comes in with plenty to say. “It's funny how celebrities act like they don’t nobody but they see everybody. Like, I know you see me." I feel you sis.

8:40 pm: Was asked to say hello to Rihanna on her Savage x Fenty Insta and totally fumbled it.

I let Rihanna down. 

8:54 pm: We're finally able to enter the show. The stage set up is a perfect combination of MC Escher stairs and gloomy Roman windows with a minimalistic twist.

Spotted: Bronx rapper Maliibu Miitch in a cozy fur, country star Kasey Musgraves in a perfect green fit, Chanel Iman and Ashley Graham with their mom glow as well as R&B duo LionBabe.

9:10 pm:  There’s a lady with a very big feathery hat sitting below me, she smells good.

9:20 pm:  Wow, it’s Dascha Polanco.

9:45 pm: Now that we're all seated, the DJ slows down the tunes and lights turn down low. It's starting.

9:46 pm:  Rihanna is front and center as ten dancers of all sizes flex (and look comfy) in black lingerie. The choreography is on point. The ladies are busting out their best bruk wine to the audience's delight.

9:47 pm:  The Savage looks are separated by color. Plenty of dancers and influencers hit the experimental runway. Bella Hadid looks too cute as she waves at the camera.

9:49 pm: Big Sean comes out (with his abs) and performs "Clique" before jumping into "Bezerk" with A$AP Ferg.

9:51: Blue and yellow bring us into the next phase of the show, paired with a sexy deep mix of Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My).” Cara Delevingne gets everyone in line and I love it.

9:54 pm: Red is the vibe and 21 Savage looks so happy in his blue steel walk. Women dominate the stage with accessories but one can help but appreciate how inclusive the show is. Short, tall, curvy, petite and people with disabilities are owning the stage.

9:56 pm: Laverne Cox came out of nowhere and just bodied her walk! It's a moment fans will truly adore. Tens across the board.

9:57 pm:  Migos perform “Pure Water”... in pure water. The pool is small and the guys seem to be unbothered by it. Shouts to their socks.

 

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A post shared by Migos (@migos) on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:01am PDT

10:03 pm: My handwriting goes to s**t once Normani takes the stage. Her moment makes me feel at ease about copping the new collection.

10:06 pm: I'd like to give props to the musical director. The blend of Wiley's "Boasty" and Eve's "Who's The Girl" is giving me life.

10:11 pm: It's time for another performance! DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Fabolous take the stage but as predicted, Tierra Whack shines the brightest.

10:18 pm: Lace caps, sheer pants are the move in the lingerie game and I’m with it.

10:20 pm: Queen Rihanna comes out to a standing ovation. If she didn't walk away, I'm sure we would have clapped all night.

Spotted on the way out: Dave East, Mack Wilds, VIBE cover stars Naturi Houghton and Lala Anthony, Rapsody, Misa Hylton, Monica, Kehlani (who photographers couldn't get enough of) and actor Jharrel Jerome.

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Big Sean, Halsey, Fat Joe And More To Perform At Rihanna's 2019 Savage X Fenty Show

After Rihanna officially announced her second annual Savage X Fenty Show for her Fall/Winter 2019 collection last month, she has now unveiled who will take the stage and perform.

According to Billboard, Migos, DJ Khaled, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, Fat Joe, Fabolous, Tierra Whack, Halsey, and more have been listed as performers. The expose is set to take place on Tuesday (Sept. 10) at Brooklyn's Barclays Center for New York Fashion Week.

Executive produced by Rihanna and produced by PRODJECT and Endeavor Content's non-scripted group, 21 Savage, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Christian Combs, Laverne Cox, Wale  Normani, Alek Wek, Aquaria, Paloma Elsesser, and more will make "special appearances."

#SAVAGEXFENTYSHOW. SEPT 20TH. You have no idea how crazy of a show is coming to @primevideo !! Performances by @djkhaled @halsey @bigsean @Migos @fatjoe @asapferg @myfabolouslife & @TierraWhack... pic.twitter.com/bE63HWMe4n

— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 10, 2019

"I couldn't be more excited that everyone will have full access to The Savage X Fenty Show this year! We are working on creating bold, sexy, super energetic experience for our viewers," Rihanna said in a press release last month."

Other artists are slated the walk the runway as well. They reportedly include Saweetie and Gallant.

The entrepreneur also announced that following the live event, the Savage X Fenty Show will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime (Sept. 20), currently, the collection is available here.

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Chance The Rapper Shelves Tour After Birth Of Second Daughter

After Chance The Rapper and his wife Kirsten Corely welcomed their second baby girl, the Chicago native announced on Monday (Sept. 9) that he would be postponing the majority of his "The Big Day Tour."

The "Hot Shower" artist posted on his Instagram the surprising news, mentioning 2019 to be "one of the greatest years of his life," but that is has been "very strenuous having to divide [his] time and energy between family and work."

 

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I thought it over for the past week and I’ve decided to push back my tour. This year has been one of the greatest of my life; Marriage, new baby, first album etc. But with it being so eventful it has also been very strenuous having to divide my time and energy between family and work. When Kensli was born, I went on tour 2 weeks later and missed some of the most important milestones in her life, but more importantly I was absent when her mother needed me the most. At this point as a husband and father of two I realize that I can’t make that mistake again. I need to be as helpful and available as possible to my wife in these early months of raising Kensli and Marli. I apologize because I know how many people were counting on seeing me soon, but I hope you’ll understand and forgive me in time. Tour kicks off Jan. 15th and you can still get tix or your refund if you are unavailable at chanceraps.com & a few of the shows are still being rescheduled as well so stay tuned. I love you guys AND LITERALLY CANT WAIT FOR U TO WITNESS THIS SHOW 🙏🏾🙏🏾 SIDENOTE: 9/28 CHICAGO AT UNITED CENTER IS STILL ON AS WELL AS “LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FEST” “IHEART MUSIC FEST” & “MIAMI BEACH POP FEST”! ❤️

A post shared by Chance The Rapper Owbum (@chancetherapper) on Sep 9, 2019 at 12:20pm PDT

While the tour is only postponed for five months, Chance's hometown will be the last city at the United Center on Sept. 28 to watch him perform for before his much-needed hiatus.

ABC7 Chicago reports that concert ticket holders can get refunds and more information at chanceraps.com.

 

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