Noni is played by Belle lead Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The 31-year-old actress, whose real name is Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha, was born in Oxford, England and inspired Gina to rewrite her character to reflect her British background. While Gugu has experience is musical theater and ballet, she needed a little work to get into character to present a believable Pop Star.
In our interview, Gina shared that she and her celebrity glam squad had to make Gugu “ratchet” since that’s the world she’d be living in. This squad consisted of choreographer Laurieann Gibson who is best known for working with Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and P. Diddy; The-Dream did the music for the film, Beyoncé and Shakira’s hair stylist Kim Kimble hooked up “Noni” the Superstar and Anita Gibson did makeup for the film and Lauryn Hill and a number of other movies like Inside Man and Space Jam.
As glamorous as Noni’s life looks to the public, not all is what it seems and the pressures of fame have “Noni” on the edge – until she meets Kaz Nicol (played by Great Debaters actor Nate Parker,) who is a young cop and aspiring politician who’s been assigned to her detail.
Drawn to each other, Noni and Kaz fall fast and hard, despite the protests of those around them who urge them to put their career ambitions ahead of their romance. But it is ultimately Kaz’s love that gives Noni the courage to find her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be. However, Nate assures us that this film is not one of a damsel in distress saved by a buff guy, “She had a real voice, and he needed saving too.“
What Gina wants movie-goers to know is, “It deals with two characters who are saving each other. You follow both the male and female story, so hopefully guys will dig it too.”
BEYOND THE LIGHTS also stars legendary actors Minnie Driver, Colson “MGK” Baker and Danny Glover, and will hit the big screen on November 14th nationwide.
Learn more about the film online:
Press Materials: http://www.relativitymediallc.com/