Gabrielle Union Says She Has Regrets About Bring It On: 'It Was a Mistake'
“Black girls aren’t allowed to be angry. Certainly not demonstratively angry, and I muzzled her,” she said of her portrayal of Isis.
Gabrielle Union shot to stardom in the cheerleading comedy “Bring It On” — but looking back, the actress has some regrets about her portrayal.
During a visit to “Good Morning America” on Monday, Union expressed concerns about “muzzling” her character Isis, whom she also penned an apology letter to in her new book “You Got Anything Stronger?”
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“I do think it was a mistake,” she told show’s hosts. “I was given full range to do whatever I wanted with Isis in ‘Bring It On,’ and I chose respectability and to be classy and take the high road, because I felt like that would make her be appropriate — the right kind of Black girl.”
In the 2000 film, Isis learns her team’s choreography has been stolen by a rival team, which would make anyone rightfully angry, but Union said she felt should couldn’t play it that way.
“Black girls aren’t allowed to be angry. Certainly not demonstratively angry, and I muzzled her,” she explained. “I had muzzled her and made her this gracious, decent leader, and I was still a villain in that movie. I did all that shape-shifting for a character, and then I realized I was doing that to myself, too. I wasn’t allowing myself the full range of my humanity.”
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With that in mind, Union said she would have definitely made changes to her performance.
“I would have allowed her her full humanity, and part of being a full human is the ability to express rage when harmed,” she added. “When you don’t really allow yourself your full range of emotion and you muzzle your own emotions, it allows people to think, ‘Maybe what I did wasn’t that bad.’ I would have given her all the anger.”
In her book, Union shares the same sentiment, saying she “failed” Isis and wish she had given her a stronger voice as she was allowed to improvise some of the lines while they were shooting.
“I failed you and myself. I was the fourth lead, but my face was on the poster,” she wrote, per The Cut. “You were the girl with no last name, but the star of every meme. You were only in about a third of the movie, and now I would know to fight for equal time to tell your story.”
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“I wish I had just given you the space to be a Black girl who is exceptional without making any kind of compromise. Because that’s who I want to be now.”
Meanwhile, Union pitched ideas for a sequel to the iconic flick during a Zoom reunion in August 2020 with costar Kirsten Dunst and director Peyton Reed.
“The impact, 20 years later, that this movie had and continues to have, that’s awesome,” she said. “So whatever that we may one day come up with, I mean, Kirsten, maybe we’re like co-heads of the PTA. I don’t know.”
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