Would you spend a weekend with your ex and his new girlfriend? That’s the premise of Stella Meghie’s The Weekend, which stars Sasheer Zamata, Tone Bell, DeWanda Wise, Y’lan Noel and Kym Whitley.
The film sees Zadie (Zamata), heading off to spend a weekend at her mother’s (Whitley) bed and breakfast with her ex (Bell) and his new partner (Wise). The trip becomes a bit messy when a guest (Noel) at the B&B joins the trio.
“I’d never do anything like that,” Meghie told ESSENCE. “It’s funny, I was just like, ‘Yeah there are people who are friends with their exes.’ And as I get older, I’m capable of doing that a little bit better.”
The idea to have the characters spend the weekend at a cute, quaint bed and breakfast, stemmed from Meghie spending time at her mom’s bed and breakfast in Canada.
“I spent a lot of time there writing. I wrote [The Weekend] and The Photograph there. [My mom] retired really early, when she was in her 40s and quit her corporate job. So I had that property in my mind when I was writing this, walking through the fields.”
The Weekend is a light, funny comedy that’s anchored by a perfect performance from Zamata as acidic-tongued Zadie.
“I wanted to write a character who didn’t really have a filter, Meghie. “That probably had a few social adjustment issues. I love when you can say things in a movie that you wouldn’t necessarily say in real life. Also, I’m Jamaican. So I feel like Jamaicans have much less of a filter as well, in terms of how what they say.”
Meghie added that casting Zamata “seemed perfect” because she was able to perfectly represent was written.
“Sasheer kind of has that quality where she’s really strong but she has this soft voice and she’s really deadpan. You’d never even notice she was saying something shady if she did and she’s a very nice person. I was thought, ‘This is the person that could bring this kind of foul mouth character to life and still be likable.'”
And it’s not just the performances that make The Weekend a fun film. Meghie puts a lot of focus and attention on Zadie’s relationship with her mom, who Whitley plays flawlessly.
“I love Kym Whitley. Kym just cracked us up on set. And I love mother-daughter relationships on screen and everything I write always ends up having that. You don’t get to see that a lot. Probably like Black films, there’s not a lot of female directors. But for the film, it was really about that moment when you realize your mom is just a woman. She has other roles in her life and that takes a minute to realize. It’s like she doesn’t exist just for you.”
Meghie has since moved on to other projects. She recently wrapped shooting The Photograph, starring Issa Rae, LaKeith Stanfield, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Teyonah Parris. She’s filmed two episodes of BET+’s reboot of The First Wives Club and she’s gearing up for the upcoming comedy American Princess.
All of her projects champion Black stories, emphasizing the importance of Black people just being people.
“I love romance, I love comedy, so I always lean that way. But all I care about is Black people being themselves and their existential struggle on camera. I want Black women to be just fully formed. We’re not one thing or another. We’re not aggressive or weak. We’re human, we’re many things. I always just try to make them human and specific to who we are.”