aspireTV recently had the pleasure of attending a very special event at the illustrious Spelman College – the birthplace of black girl magic, but I digress – with the star-studded cast of the new comedy, Little. We still have a “little” hearing loss after being immersed in the crowd of ecstatic students who erupted in unison with screams and applause as Issa Rae, Marsai Martin and Regina Hall took the stage. Director Tina Gordon also joined the panel to discuss her writer/director journey and working with the actors for this project.
Produced by Will Packer and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, the idea for Little was birthed when a then-10-year-old Marsai Martin noticed a cultural gap. “It was during season one of Black-ish when we were on hiatus,” says Martin, who’s now 14. “It was the first time I learned what a hiatus was. So I thought, ‘Ok, we’re on a break, how about we create something?’ There weren’t a lot of little black girls with glasses that looked like me on TV or in movies, so I just wanted to create something where you see more of myself and what you look like.” In a conversation with her mother, the concept for Little was brought to life.
So, a “little” more about this film – ok, I’ll stop with the puns – Regina Hall plays the adult Jordan Sanders, a big-time nightmare boss. Jordan is smart, driven and incredibly sensitive to a fault. Her motto is to hurt before being hurt and to always be the one to strike first. Jordan has created a massively successful tech firm, JS Innovations, and has invented a virtual assistant called HomeGirl. Simply put, Jordan has it all: beauty, brains and the bag. Despite her outward success, she doesn’t form close connections with anyone.
The very versatile Marsai Martin shares the role of Jordan Sanders with Regina Hall. Marsai Martin doubled up her acting skills and plays two distinct versions of Little Jordan: The 13-year-old Jordan from the past, before she grew up, and the grown-up version of Jordan, now trapped in a 13-year-old body. In the early ’90s, Little Jordan was very smart, but she was bullied in junior high and never got over it. Now, as an adult in a 13-year-old’s body, she’s become the bully. The lovingly awkward and comedic Issa Rae plays April Williams, Jordan’s trusted assistant that just wants to be promoted.
Peep our favorite quotes from the exclusive “A LITTLE Conversation” event that are “little” sermons – ok, we are done for real – seriously, they are words to live by and will help you get your life all the way together.
ON THE POWER OF COLLABORATION:
“Our power is in support and not in division.” – Regina Hall
“Find your people.” – Issa Rae
ON HARD WORK:
“Do the work and make it happen for your yourself.”– Issa Rae
“There is not a person in the world that tells you no, that can stop God’s yes.” – Regina Hall
ON INCLUSIVITY AND REPRESENTATION:
“There shouldn’t be any more firsts” – Marsai Martin
If Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan could do Freaky Friday and Tom Hanks and David Moscow can have Big, we feel confident that Marsai Martin and Regina Hall have pulled off Little, which hits theaters this Friday, April 12.
Stop reading this and go grab your tickets now.