“I adore Larenz Tate,” Nia Long tells ESSENCE.com of her Love Jones co-star. “The chemistry between us in the movie was a natural thing, but what really made it special for me is that I trust him like I trust my family. And when you can trust your co-star, creatively your instrument is so open. You can fly.”
“When I look back at movies at that time, most did not have people of color falling in love, people of color who were intelligent, who had this intellectual mind state,” Larenz Tate tells ESSENCE.com. “Love Jones gave us an alternative to the movie of the Black man and woman always struggling in America.”
Tate was 22 years old when Love Jones came out on March 14, 1997. The movie’s screenwriter-director Theodore Witcher was only 24. “I didn’t know his age at the time,” remembers Nia Long, laughing. “He never tells his age.”
“It’s easy to fall in love, but how do you stay there?” asked Isaiah Washington’s character Savon Garrison in Love Jones. “My character was struggling with how to remain in a happy marriage,” remembers Washington.
Nia Long says the scene in the rain remains one of her favorites: “It was so cold outside,” she recalls, “I didn’t expect for the rain to be that cold, because it was movie rain. But then it really rained. So we had a combination of warm and cold rain. I went back into my trailer and I literally wrapped myself with plastic bags to try to stay warm.”