“The Hate U Give” star Amandla Stenberg says she wants to help increase the number of black and gay narratives in Hollywood.
“Just because we have ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Love, Simon’ doesn’t mean we’re anywhere close to where we need to be,” she said in her cover shoot interview with Variety. “But I think that they’re incredible first steps, they’re revolutionary first steps and the result is diversity even within those categories of identity.”
Stenberg’s latest project, “The Hate U Give,” follows Starr, a young woman who grows up in a black community but attends a predominantly white school, and is based off Angie Thomas’ novel of the same name.
“Starr has been in my heart so long,” she said. “I grew up in a black community but I attended a white private school that was across town and I had to figure out very quickly how to navigate those two different environments.”
“I walked away from the set with a little bit of residual trauma because these are real people, real experiences, there are families that have their kids shot and killed by police.” In the film, Starr’s childhood best friend Khalil is shot and killed during a police stop while Starr is in the passenger seat.
“I hope that it makes people think,” she said of the film. “And really understand the experience of the black community. There’s such a power when people have empathy through on-screen narratives. I feel like it’s starting to change and it’s really exciting to see that change.”
Watch the full interview above.