‘Origin’ Star Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor Is Tired of the ‘Slow Burn’

‘Origin’ Star Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor Is Tired of the ‘Slow Burn’

“This goes beyond scholarship. This is a lived life for me,” said Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor of playing journalist Isabel Wilkerson in “Origin,” Ava DuVernay’s latest film that both brings the ideas from Pulitzer Prize winner’s 2020 book “Caste,” and the behind the scenes hardships Wilkerson faced while writing it, to movie theaters nationwide on January 19.

Speaking to IndieWire over Zoom, Ellis-Taylor used a moment over the holidays in her native Mississippi to describe the ways in which she challenges the pillars of caste Wilkerson writes about in her book, like terror and cruelty, in her everyday life. “I’ll put it like this: I wanted some catfish,” said the Oscar-nominated “King Richard” actress. However, upon entering the Hattiesburg establishment best known for the southern delicacy, she noticed the state flag on display was the pre-2020 one that still had the Confederate flag incorporated into its design. 

Going up to the counter, she recalled saying to the cashier, “Mississippi retired this flag. Why is that flag still there?” She continued, “The cashier just tried to evade any culpability. I said, ‘You have people in this restaurant now who are Black, who are eating your food, who are working in this restaurant, and you have the flag of the Confederacy, the flag of the Ku Klux Klan on your walls.’ And sitting under the flag were two Black men eating, so I got up out of there and I had to get catfish from somewhere…

Read full article: ‘Origin’ Star Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor Is Tired of the ‘Slow Burn’ – IndieWire

The post “‘Origin’ Star Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor Is Tired of the ‘Slow Burn’ – IndieWire” by Marcus Jones was published on 01/13/2024 by www.indiewire.com