Lana Young stars in ‘complex’ Tyler Perry Netflix movie
A Bermudian actress will take centre stage in the next film by Tyler Perry, set to arrive on Netflix this month.
Lana Young is featured in the trailer for the upcoming A Jazzman’s Blues, which is described by Netflix as a “sweeping tale of forbidden love” in which 40 years of secrets and lies are unravelled.
Ms Young told The Royal Gazette that while the film was not her first big production, she felt giddy to be working with Academy Award honoree Tyler Perry.
“I actually had the callback with Tyler himself over Zoom in my mother‘s living room in Bermuda,” she said. “She hid in her closet so she wouldn’t make a noise.
“What appealed to me about this project was both the subject matter and the role.”
Written and directed by Mr Perry, the film stars Joshua Boone and Solea Pfeiffer and features songs arranged and produced by Grammy winning composer Terence Blanchard.
In the film Ms Young plays Ethel, the mother of one half of the love-struck couple at the heart of the story.
Ms Young said that preparing for the role she had to be careful not to judge the character for the choices that she had made.
“I had to figure out why she would make these decisions and accept that this was her truth and she believed what she was doing was the right thing,” she said.
“Ethel is a complex character that required a lot of work, research and deep introspection. It’s different from the roles I’m usually cast in — it’s the type of role I became an actor to play.”
Ms Young said that she was thrilled to work with Mr Perry on the film, which is a long-held passion project for the writer and director.
“He was intense, playful, funny and thoughtful,” she said. “The subject matter was difficult and there were moments of beautiful heart-swelling and then moments of heartbreak so the on-set environment required intense focus, but he made space for levity to keep us sane.
“I was grateful for that. Tyler is one of the most determined people I’ve ever met.”
Ms Young said she has several other projects in the pipeline, including the September 20 return of the Fox television show The Resident, in which she plays Mary Osder.
Ms Young is also working on an original comedy called Between Us, which she co-wrote.
“It’s my first time writing something and it's empowering to know I can create a story that I would love to watch and a character that I would love to play,” she said. “It’s a female-centred story about two women decades apart in age, their unlikely friendship, and the even more unlikely way their lives become entangled.
“We’ve never seen the lives of women at such different ages reflected side by side. It helps us to see the effects that life has on us over time — how important it is to our personal growth that we’re reminded of what was and be more prepared for what will be.
“It’s a love letter to women everywhere and a comedic bird’s-eye view of the inner workings of women that hopefully men will also enjoy.”
A Jazzman’s Blues is scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11 and will be released on Netflix on September 23.