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An Interview with THE CONVERT playwright Danai Gurira, by Robert O’Hara

ROBERT

How does it feel to be famous?

DANAI

(laughing)

Who told you I was famous?

ROBERT

(laughing)

I was wondering has anything changed for you?

DANAI

Well yes and no. There’s nothing that different about me to Me…  I think I’m a little too old for it to affect me much. So the feeling is interesting, it is new but I’m not changed.

ROBERT

Do you feel that people have changed around you? Or towards you?

DANAI

Not the people who matter to me. The people who have always been my people they’ve always believed in me regardless of any of this stuff.

ROBERT

Do you feel that the industry treats you different? Do you have more access now?

DANAI

Yes. Yes. Yes and No. Definitely there is more access and attention paid even in the social realm of the industry.  But there isn’t like there are roles that are just handed out as a result. There is still work to be done  and all of that still has to go down and occur. That doesn’t change.

(laughing)

Or hasn’t changed for me yet. I haven’t felt a change. In that area.

ROBERT

Are you at all concerned with sort of being typecast? Is there any concern for  you in being trapped inside this?

DANAI

I think I would feel that if I didn’t have other work. Just the sheer fact that the film I did last year and was received so well at this past Sundance, where I’m the lead role and I’m playing this Nigerian Woman who’s trying to get pregnant to save her marriage, that totally puts me in a whole other realm but another thing is the fact that I’m a playwright. And so I never feel like I’m just this one thing. And so I can’t imagine that’s how I could be perceived.

ROBERT

So the light that is being shined on you. You can sort of direct it towards your other projects.

DANAI

Right.

ROBERT

Now would you ever agree to do IN THE CONTINUUM again?

DANAI

(long silence. )

…. Sure… Sure but only with Nikkole. And only under certain circumstances. I mean you don’t want to be that athlete who comes back to their sport and attempts to regain their former glory. You want to be able to find something new in it. So in the right circumstance and with Nikkole. Sure. Sure. Of course.

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Filed under Connectivity, The Convert