‘The Photograph’: Stella Meghie on the Pros and Cons of Directing Your Own Screenplay

     February 15, 2020

After working on Grown-ish and The First Wives Club, Stella Meghie is back in the feature realm with The Photograph. The movie stars LaKeith Stanfield as Michael Block, a journalist who learned about famed photographer Christina Eames (Chanté Adams) while working on an assignment in New Orleans. Turns out, Christina has suddenly passed and left behind a daughter, Mae (Issa Rae) who’s mourning but also angry over some of the decisions her mother made. While looking for answers about her mother’s past, Mae crosses paths with Michael and a romance starts to blossom while both learn more about what went down in New Orleans back in the 1980s.

With The Photograph hitting theaters nationwide this Valentine’s Day weekend, I got the chance to chat with Meghie about her experience making the movie. She talks about the pros and cons of directing a script she wrote, what it was like working with Rae and Stanfield on roles that posed new acting challenges for both, what we can expect from her next collaboration with Rae called American Princess, a film being produced by Paul Feig about an American woman who moves to London, and so much more. You can check it all out in the video interview at the top of this article!


Image via Universal

And if you’re looking for more The Photograph interviews after this one, we’ve got you covered! Click here for the conversation with Stanfield and Rae, and right here for our one-on-one with their co-star, Lil Rel Howery.

Stella Meghie:

  • What are the pros and cons of directing a script that you wrote yourself?
  • Does directing your own script make you less inclined to let your cast improvise?
  • Meghie on working with LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae on a project that presents new challenges for them.
  • Meghie on making the move from The Photograph to American Princess with Rae.
  • Meghie on the incredible opportunity she gave to a young photographer for this movie.

Here’s the official synopsis for The Photograph:

When famed photographer Christina Eames unexpectedly dies, she leaves her estranged daughter Mae Morton (Rae) hurt, angry and full of questions. When a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box is found, Mae finds herself on a journey delving into her mother’s early life and ignites a powerful, unexpected romance with a rising-star journalist, Michael Block (Stanfield).

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