Actress Nicole G Leier (The Bridge, Edgemont) recently wrapped on the production ‘Black Chicks,’ directed by Neil LaBute. Nicole starred in the film, along side David Cubitt (Van Helsing, Medium).
The title of the film gives nothing away to what unfolds. A seemingly innocent conversation between two coworkers turns into a racially charged back and forth. Leier unveils an important story, addressing huge
in an understated yet emotional way. Racial stereotypes are questioned and brought to light. Leier also manages to portray the inequality of women to men, and the objectification of women in general.
Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty, In the Company of Men,), who is a renowned playwright and filmmaker, wrote, directed and co-produced the film. Neil is known for his true-to-life characters and his ability to write the ugly sides of human nature. In this piece, he manages to inject into Cubitt’s character a deeply rooted racial bias he doesn’t even realize he has. Leier’s role is written as polite and obliging, but with deep layers and strength she discovers as the story unfolds.
Actress Nicole Leier with co-star David Cubitt and Writer/Director Neil Labute
Says Leier, “I’m so thankful to have worked with Neil. He is one of the most laid back directors I have ever worked with. He is truly and actor’s director. He knows what it takes for an actor to become one of his characters.”
Nicole originally performed Neil’s play “Black Girls” at Studio 4 in Los Angeles, CA with an actor and friend, Peter Hodge. After performing the play she knew it would make an excellent film and got in contact with Neil who was excited and eager to adapt it for the screen, renaming it “Black Chicks.”
Brendan Uegama (Van Helsing, The Romeo Section) is the DOP on Black Chicks. Leier and Uegama have worked together on many projects. This one, according to Leier, felt different. The subject matter being addressed and the commitment from the cast and crew made this piece feel like they were really part of something
meaningful. The film was produced by Leier and Uegama’s production company ‘Black Tree Pictures’.
David Cubit as the co-star was a dream for Nicole. “He is so generous and an all around cool guy. The fact that he took the time to work on this script while still shooting Van Helsing showed how giving he is of his time.
I was so humbled that he wanted to be part of this with me.”
Still shot of Leier and Cubitt on set of “Black Chicks”
For Nicole, the story was interesting as she was raised in a Caucasian household. It forced her to look at some of the uncomfortable situations she has faced in her life and to accept it, even embrace it. Says Leier “It was a dream come true to be part of this production and help it come to life, as were the people I had the opportunity to work with. It just goes to show if you work hard and never give up, dreams do become reality.”
This is an important story to tell because these issues are still very real in today’s society
. It forces self-reflection. Nicole would like to thank the amazing cast and crew for helping this film come to life.
The film will be entering the festival circuit with a release for the early fall.
Nicole Leier and Neil Labute exchanging notes between shots
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