“Let’s binge,” Spike Lee exclaimed at the world premiere of his new Netflix original TV series “She’s Gotta Have It,” held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York Saturday night.
The 10-episode Spike Lee joint based on Lee’s first film of the same name follows Nola Darling, a bold, vulnerable, and sexually expressive twenty-something-year-old, as she dates three different men while trying to juggle family and friends.
The 1986 groundbreaking comedy centered around the subject of black, female sexuality, a controversial topic that was considered taboo when it was released. “Even today, I still think Nola Darling is ahead of her time,” Lee told Variety.
“[Women] are still policed a lot,” said DeWanda Wise, who stars as Nola in the series. “There are still a whole lotta conversations about what we can and cannot do. Even in bringing this forward people were like ‘We don’t need women to see that.’”
Regardless, Wise was excited to join the project. “I remember seeing the original movie when I was in college and [Nola] left a really big imprint on me. I’ve always wanted to play a cinematic icon,” she said.
“And working with Spike is the best,” she added. “He’s fast and furious. He’s really loving to his actors and he sets you up for success.”
Lee shared a similar sentiment. “To go from Tracy Camilla Johns to DeWanda Wise was dope. [Casting was] a treasure hunt. We were digging for gold and we found it,” he smiled.
Cast and crew appearances included Lee’s wife, executive producer Tonya Lewis Lee, and sister Joie Lee (Septima) as well as “Hamilton” alum Anthony Ramos (Mars Blackmon), Lyriq Bent (Jamie Overstreet), and Grammy-award winner Maxwell, who featured three of his best hits in the project.
“She’s Gotta Have It” streams on Netflix Thanksgiving Day.