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Sanaa Lathan (Contagion)

Sanaa Lathan: The Interview (Contagion)

Shakefire had a chance to sit down and have a discussion with Tony Award nominated actress Sanaa Lathan who is currently playing the role of Aubrey Cheever in Contagion.  Contagion hits theaters nationwide this weekend.  Aubrey is the wife of Dr. Ellis Cheever, played by Laurence Fishburne.  Dr. Cheever plays a major role in the management of what seems to be the biggest virus outbreak since the middle-ages.  Sanaa’s character is in the thick of it all.  So I had a few questions to ask her about the film.

SHAKEFIRE:  How was it working with so many known actors/actresses?
SANAA LATHAN: We didn’t film much of the movie together.  I didn’t have much interaction with the other cast except Laurence Fishburne.  Most of the scenes were filmed separately, in different locations and times. I think the director did a good job of making it look like everyone was so connected in the film.  Working with Laurence Fishburne was a great experience.  He was such a gentlemen and he was very professional.

SF:  Contagion has been said to be a thriller, maybe even a horror movie.  What would you say Contagion is about?
SL:  I would say it is a movie that shows how fast a rumor can be spread and how many people it could effect.

SF:  What do you feel the director would like for everyone to take away from the film?
SL:  I think that he would hope that everyone is entertained from the film.  The film wasn’t meant to frighten but just a scenario of something that could happen.

SF:  Contagion was created to be a thriller, maybe even scary for some?  Did you find it had a scary angle?
SL:  I didn’t feel like the film was scary.  I can see how some people can view the concept as scary, but the actual film, no.

SF:  This is a situation, scenario-type question. A breakout like Contagion happens in the United States.  Are you the one at the grocery story frantically pulling items off the shelf or are you peaceful at home because you are semi-prepared for this type of thing?
SL:  I am not the individual who thrives on fear.  But it would be a little bit of both.  I would have some items already stocked in my home but if I had to go out, it wouldn’t be dire like in the movie.  No type of panic mode.

SF:  If some kind of disease or virus broke out like in Contagion, would it make you more stand offish when dealing with other people?
SL:  No.  Once again, I’m not a fearful person, but I do find myself using more hand sanitizer. (laughing) 

Zione Michaels
Interview by Zione Michaels
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