Anika Noni-Rose Says She was Initially 'Conflicted' About Being a Part of the 'Roots' Remake

Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images
The Tony-award winner said even though she contemplated taking the role, she did so because she knew the retelling of the story needed to be told in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Actress Anika Noni Rose is currently promoting the upcoming release of the Roots remake that's set to air over Memorial Day weekend, but she says she wasn't entirely convinced that the role in the film was one she wanted to take on initially.

With Black viewing audiences divided in the conversation over the necessity of modern-day television and film projects centered around narratives about slavery, Anika admits she was conflicted with whether or not to get on board with Roots in the beginning.

Will Packer Talks ‘Roots’, Racism in Hollywood and More on 'ESSENCE Live’

“I was really conflicted at first,” she said in a recent interview with AOL. “I wasn’t sure what the background was, what the motivation was. Was it the jump on the bandwagon of the so-called ‘slave story/slave narrative?’ I read recently that term that I didn’t appreciate. Or was it a group of people that wanted to-do something with integrity, truth and honesty. They requested an audition and I requested a meeting and we talked about it.”

In the end, she decided that the story was indeed an important one to showcase and also be a part of given all that's happening with regard to the way people of color are still treated today.

Speaking with USA Today, Anika specifically addressed the police brutality epidemic against Black youth, immigration practices and George Zimmerman recently auctioning off the gun he used to murder Trayvon Martin while speaking on the film.

Take a listen to her commentary in the video clip below.

The remake of Roots premieres May 30 on The History Channel.

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