The 28-year-old big screen beauty discusses video models, racism in Hollywood and being Usher’s #2
Interview by: Bonsu Thompson
VIBE: Right now, I think people want to know where are you with your film career.
Meagan Good: I just produced a film that should be out by the end of the year called Video Girl. It’s very much like Gia––the HBO film Angelina Jolie did for HBO. It’s not the Karrine Steffans story. It’s about a very unassuming girl from a small town who used to be a professional dancer until she gets a knee injury. So she’s in a place where she’s trying to figure out what she wants to do professionally. She gets hooked into the video-modeling world, develops a drug habit and really gets caught up in the limelight.
Now I’ve heard about Video Girl for some years now. Is this your brainchild or was it brought to you?
This project was brought to me about seven years ago. We’ve had it everywhere––with Queen Latifah’s company, Benny Medina’s, a lot of different people. What I think the script needed was for me to sit down, go through it and figure out which story I wanted to tell. I really wanted to bring hip-hop culture into it but I didn’t want it to be limited to just one audience, so [I had] to mix up the cast and make sure it was multi-racial. I think we did a good job. For what I wanted to come across which is kind of a cautionary tale for young women, letting them know it’s ok to go out there and be successful and make your money but you’ve gotta understand it’s not about the glitz and glamour. It’s about not selling yourself short and being true to yourself.
What made you decide to try your hand at producing?
I just hit this season where a lot of the stuff that was coming to me was not what I wanted to do. I felt like I was playing the same characters over and over. So I kind of took a break, in a sense, and started doing different genres of movies. I did a couple horror movies; I did The Love Guru with Mike Meyers, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Alba. So in the middle of those projects is when I really got to sit down and revamp Video Girl, get funding.
“I grew up super nerdy, skinny, buckteeth, big ole afro and yet I had a sense of confidence about myself, like, ‘they just don’t get it yet.’”
I first interviewed you almost seven years ago right after you starred in 50 Cent’s “21 Questions” video and now you have this new movie called Video Girl. Pretty interesting.
Yeah, I really feel like my calling in life is to mentor young ladies. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve seen a whole lot from a very young age and luckily I have a mother who’s open-minded and understanding. Who knew how to be a mom when it was appropriate and how to be a friend when it was appropriate. It’s because of her that I’ve dodged a lot of pitfalls. So one of the things I think God really wants me to do is make films that speak to young women without preaching but giving real knowledge.
You have a knack for taking a very sexy character and carving out an edge to them. Is that usually your intention or does that just come out with your performance?
I like to dig that out of my character because I feel that it’s a blessing that anyone thinks you’re attractive, but at the same token people can think that’s all you’re good for so every character that I get I look where I can dig into them deeper to bring out that edge, something to make ‘em memorable. I try to find a lot more than what’s on the page.
Are you comfortable being a sex symbol?