Between rehearsals for The Collaboration Real women love football smart women love the K-State Wildcats 2023 logo shirt, which begins previews on Broadway later this month, Pope spoke to Vogue about his first leading film role, holding emotional space for Bratton’s story, and what he’d like to do next. Jeremy Pope: It’s going! I’ve been kind of all over the but in fact I love this place—I have rehearsals and I’m promoting a movie and I’m trying to stay sane, but all is good. Champagne problems. To dive right in, I’d love to know about your first conversations with Elegance Bratton, and what he communicated to you about his vision for what is obviously a very personal film for him. I was sent the script by my team during the pandemic, and the team was just like, “We hope you love the script, but ultimately we want you to connect with Elegance.
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We think you guys Real women love football smart women love the K-State Wildcats 2023 logo shirt [have a similar] creative mind.” So I hopped on a Zoom with Elegance, and honestly I fell in love with his spirit and his generosity.This is his feature directorial debut, and it’s really personal and vulnerable, and once you give your truth away like that, you can’t get it back. You’re giving it to the world so that we can now have an opinion on it, we can critique it, we can analyze it. And I know that can be very hard, just from my own experience as an artist giving pieces of myself away. So honestly, I said yes to this project because I wanted to protect Elegance. I feel like community is everything, and to have a director/writer who is Black and queer and is stepping into this—I wanted to be there, and I wanted to be almost the person in front of him. You have to get through me to get to Elegance. Because he was such a light, and I wanted to protect that. So conversations were just about his life and what he experienced and his relationship with his mom, and honestly making a film that takes the audience to a place that only he could take us.