Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith on Forming Their Characters' Bond in 'Queen & Slim'

The stars also discuss working with creative powerhouses Melina Matsoukas and Lena Waithe.

The stars of Melina Matsoukas' Queen & Slim, Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, share almost every scene together in the film, which centers on a couple who are forced to go on the run after a police officer is shot. 

The two joined The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to discuss bonding prior to filming and creating the relationship between their characters. "The first time we met was the chemistry read, and after that, we definitely made a conscious effort to reach out to each other," Turner-Smith said.

She continued: "We got to New Orleans and Daniel would come around mine, or I would go to him, and we would read scenes together. Which was really great because I had no concept of what the workload would be like once we actually got started, 'cause I’d never been in anything where you're on almost every page of the script together with someone."

Queen & Slim is Turner-Smith’s first leading role and as she explained, "It was really special to be able to play a woman as complex and fully formed, and intriguing and interesting as Queen."

"Just as a black woman, much of who Queen is, I think was an experience relatable to any black woman," she continued. "I think that's why it was something that was so popular when we all read it. All of us in the community were like, 'Wow, this woman is so interesting and amazing.' … I think there's a common thread in that experience, in the struggle, in the desire to be excellent and to … hide your pain and things like that."

Kaluuya spoke on what he took away working with director Matsoukas and writer Lena Waithe. "For me, Lena's just a force. She’s a very inspirational force. How she created a space for this to be unapologetic and so authored, and so singular, is really inspiring to see, and I learned a lot from that."

Speaking on Matsoukas, he continued: "From Melina, it's just knowing how much she cares, and seeing someone that's so particular about every single inch definitely made me look at the stuff I do, and made me go, 'Oh, I need to step up.'"

Queen & Slim is in theaters Nov. 27.

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