Sunday, July 23, 2017

Meagan Good – Living an amazing life!

September 29, 2011 by Las Vegas Black Image Magazine  
Filed under Cover Story, Feature

by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud

She burst onto the big screen in the 1997 drama “Eve’s Bayou,” but in the decade-plus since that audacious big-screen debut (actually, if you pay close attention, you’ll notice her very brief cameo in “Friday,” which came two years earlier), Meagan Good has become one of Hollywood’s most recognizable black actresses.

She got there with help from her mother, who took the long view when Good was very young. The angel-faced actress began acting at the age of 4, but was never under any pressure to earn — enabling her to steadily improve her craft over three decades in the front of the camera.

“I believe that you can start acting and working in Hollywood at a young age because it depends on one’s parents,” said Good. “My mother never made me or my sibling do anything we didn’t want to do. She never worried about how much money we were going to make. It was about having fun and having a good time. For me, I was never really a great athlete and couldn’t dance very well or become a cheerleader. So, drama was really my only outlet. It was a great thing for me because I often thought I didn’t fit in. As you grow up, it is really about your parents remembering that you are a child even if you do become a star. They should hold you accountable and consistently make sure you are humble. Parents should have an open relationship and open dialogue with their children all across the board. And I think even more so for children in the Hollywood industry.”

Now a household name thanks to her work in such films as “Stomp the Yard,” “Waist Deep,” “Biker Boyz” and “Deliver Us From Eva,” Good now says one of her most memorable behind-the-scenes moments came while making “Jumping the Broom,” which was released earlier this year.

“All the cast members were like one big family,” she said. “We had barbecues because there was really nothing else to do … in Nova Scotia. One time while walking back to the house we were staying in, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and I were attacked by mosquitoes. It was like a black cloud above our heads and we ran as fast as possible screaming, ‘Run, Run. Oh, my God — RUN!’ We were all freaked out and it was hilarious.”

Good recently wrapped production on the comedy “Think Like a Man,” which was written by Steve Harvey. She chuckles while recounting the experience and thinking of her co-stars in the movie, which is due in theaters next summer. “It was a really great experience and I love working with Kevin Hart. He is so funny and such a joy to work with,” she said. “The whole cast that includes Gabrielle Union, Taraji Henson, Romany Malco and Michael Ealy — who I think is a brilliant actor — was great, and it was nice being on a nice set with nice people.”
While expressing deep admiration for women like Halle Berry — who have seized some measure of control over their careers by moving into producing — Good is determined to follow in their footsteps. Not only has she joined her musician sister, La’Myia, in the band H.E.L.L.O. Girls, Good has also produced the cautionary tale “Video Girl,” a film that enjoyed a successful limited release earlier this year.

“I really have a heart for young women and I care about this generation,” she said. “They need a lot of guidance and information to just be reminded how special they are and how perfect God has made them. My film reminds them to value themselves and to not get caught up watching music videos and trying to get with the next baller. I just want them to respect themselves and know their value. My heart goes out to them, and I want to make films that really affect our youth, and hopefully the world, in a positive way.”

Good is taking other creative risks in an industry where looks can be as important as talent: She recently cut off her long locks. “The main reason for cutting my hair is because I played a lot of sexy girl roles, and just really wanted to be taken more seriously as an actor and to do more roles,” she said. “I felt the only way to accomplish this was to cut my long hair and it has really worked for me. My hair is so much easier to do, and I rarely have to go to the salon. I can do my hair myself from home. It is wonderful and I feel sexy because it is easier to see my neck line.”

Though she has enjoyed much success as an actress and filmmaker, Good has not been immune from the well-documented frustrations that come with being a black actress in Hollywood.

“It is extremely hard working in this industry sometimes for black actresses,” she said. “There are a lot of politics, but I won’t say racist. Nevertheless, if an amazing script comes along written for a woman, and she goes through changes before going to the end of the earth to become a better person, it will very rarely go to a black woman as the first choice. I do think things are getting better, and more variety is being called upon, but it is very much something you have to deal with. You go for auditions for a lead role in a film, but they want you as the best friend. If you got the lead role, it will affect the casting for the whole family in the film as well. It is frustrating, but at the end of the day, I think that it is a waste of energy to complain about something. I prefer to focus on changing it.”

As for her personal life, Good deftly sidesteps the question when asked if she is thinking of jumping the broom herself anytime soon. “Yes, there is someone special in my life, but it is very new,” she revealed. “It doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen, but I am really focused on my relationship with God. So, that is who I am married to right now. We will see what happens down the line.”

In fact, faith plays such a significant role in Good’s life that she lives by a simple credo: “Keeping God first in everything, having a positive attitude and choosing to have a positive attitude that results in an amazing journey.”

As we pause in October to acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Good revealed that she has had her own up-close experience with the disease: Her aunt is a survivor.

“My aunt, Cassandra, had breast cancer in both of her breasts and she ended up getting a mastectomy,” she said. “It was terrible and then when she went to have her breast reconstructed she had a lot of nerve damage after the surgery. She was in pain for many years and has just recently recovered. She always reminds me to never take anything for granted, take care of myself and to be healthy. She would say, ‘You don’t know how to take care of yourself when you are young, but if you don’t, at some point it will catch up to you.’ I always remember her words.”

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