In light of the 15-year Love & Basketball anniversary, a movie that portrayed two characters whose love for basketball brought them together, Omar Epps (Quincy McCall) and Sanaa Lathan (Monica) sat down with Essence to rendezvous the film.
Sanaa spoke about how it was hard trying to embody a character who played basketball because she had never played basketball a day in her life:
I had never played basketball before—it was like putting a basketball in a five-year-old’s hands. I’m not going to romanticize is, it was hell, it was not fun—what made it worse was that I was training and didn’t even have the part yet. Before the director Gina Prince Bythewood had a deal, she had a stage reading of the script just to get feedback. The original actress she wanted to read the script got sick and couldn’t make it. Gina had heard about me. A couple of years later when she got a movie deal, she kept me in mind.
Omar also goes on to say that originally he also did not identify with his character, Quincy, because of the Quincy’s dynamics were so different from his reality:
I didn’t identify with the character at all. He had a mother and a father; I grew up without a father. He was popular and I wasn’t a popular kid. I don’t think any of us artists/actors were popular kids; it kind of doesn’t work that way. We are like the weirdoes growing up. [laughs] Quincy was an athlete. I played football growing up but I wasn’t trying to do it professionally. For me it’s always fun to discover those characters that you don’t naturally relate to versus playing characters that you can relate to.
Although the chances of director Gina Prince-Bythewood considering a sequel are slim-to-none, Omar makes it very clear that if there were to be a sequel, he’d want Quincy and Monica to be no longer.
“Instinctively I would show the other side of love, like how Monica and Quincy didn’t make it—to me it could be more interesting,” he said.
Gina doesn’t want to even touch the idea of a sequel. Omar says they’ve spoken about it and she has this “you-don’t-touch-a-classic-
Sanaa Lathan also agrees that Love & Basketball is perfect the way it is but compares it to The Best Man and its sequel, The Best Man Holiday. Quintessentially, she says it just depends.
What do y’all think?! Would a sequel be dope? Should Quincy and Monica work out?!
TSR Intern: Chantel P. IG: @_POPchanny | Twitter: @POPchanny