Sanaa Lathan on the Art of Staring at Computer Screens for ‘American Assassin’

     September 14, 2017

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Sanaa Lathan (Love & Basketball) has the most difficult role in American Assassin. As CIA Chief Irene Kennedy, Lathan spends most of the film standing in front of a computer screen, pointing and yelling out orders. While the rest of the cast is on the field, tracking down terrorists & beating them up, Lathan doesn’t have any scene partner or physical world to bounce off of – just that damn blank screen (on set – for lighting purposes – these screens are always blank; it’s in post-production that the screens are filled). There’s a real art to staring at blank screens realistically (Where on the screen is the action taking place? What should you be pointing & looking at?); but Lathan, unsurprisingly, is a natural at the undervalued art of ‘computer-screen’ acting, just as dynamic as all the explosions and fight sequences ‘playing out’ on her monitor.

In the following interview with Sanaa Lathan, the actress discusses the tricks to staring at a blank screen intently, the research process into becoming a CIA agent and the biggest misconceptions about the CIA. For the full interview, watch above. Below is a list of what was discussed.

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