Gugu Mbatha-Raw may have starred in two big-budget Disney spectacles in ‘A Wrinkle in Time‘ and ‘Beauty & the Beast’, but her first foray into the world of superhero films won’t be in a splashy Marvel Studios picture. Instead, she headlines Julia Hart’s indie ‘Fast Color’.
Mbatha-Raw plays Ruth, a woman who can sometimes lose control of her superhuman powers, causing her to have seizures which can create earthquakes. This draws the attention of government agents, forcing her to return home to her estranged family, including her mother Bo, played by Broadway great Lorraine Toussaint, and her daughter Lila, played by Saniyya Sidney, who has exhibited powers of her own.
Mbatha-Raw was drawn to Ruth, who is a deeply flawed, recovering addict who must also adapt to being the mother of a super kid.
As she said during an interview with ABC:
“She was kind of feral, this woman was. We didn’t know what she was running from or running to, you know, and I thought it was so refreshing that this story really started to get interesting because it really sort of takes off where most stories end– which is that the lead character goes home.
“And I just thought, Wow, I’ve never seen, you know, this kind of unconventional super hero story where the main, sort of, powerful super hero is a mother, you know? And I say unconventional because it’s, you know, we’re not talking like in the Marvel world of sort of capes and suits, you know? This is a very grounded story.”
To get a taste of this lowkey super drama, check out the trailer below:
“I thought it was a really good message for women in general. You don’t have to look outside of yourself or put on a cape. You just have to connect with other women.
“It’s also about legacy. I think we just look back at our mothers, our mothers’ mothers, and our mothers’ mothers’ mothers. We have so much power just in our DNA. I hope people will realize that you don’t need all of these special effects to feel that you have power inside of you.”
This is Hart’s second film. Her first, ‘Miss Stevens’ won an award at the SXSW film festival and starred Lily Rabe, Timothée Chalamet, and Lili Reinhart. She will be directing episodes of Disney+’s new series ‘Stargirl’, not to be confused with the DC Universe program of the same name.
Mbatha-Raw will be seen on the Apple TV+ series ‘The Morning Show’, with Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, and Reese Witherspoon.
‘Fast Color’ opens in limited release this weekend.