As the world decides whether the next James Bond after Daniel Craig should be black or female, Queen Latifah reverses the genre of ‘The Equalizer’ and takes over the role that Denzel Washington once reinvented. At a time of social turbulence, many expect a dose of justice from fiction. ‘The Equalizer’, which airs a new episode every week on Calle 13, offers exactly that, an egalitarian Robin Hood for the dark streets where criminals roam free. Reinventing a role traditionally played by men, the actress and singer challenges gender, body and age standards that have historically been applied to action heroes.
Starting this production was an arduous journey, because two days before filming began, they had to stop it due to the coronavirus. Solved the problem of the pandemic, Latifah felt that the series was more relevant than ever and gave himself fully to the character of a fiction that has already been renewed for a second season.
“What are Robyn McCall’s superpowers?”
“I have a lot of superpowers.” My character is an extremely efficient woman in what she does, who has learned to defend herself. She is a leader who knows who to delegate to. But the most important thing is that she is done with work and wants to dedicate herself to taking care of her family. She has stopped collaborating with people who make decisions for her, because she does not want to know anything about the selfishness of politicians.
“But he decides to take the law into his own hands.”
—99% of the population does not have the opportunity to get people like my character to work for them and that is what motivates them, what takes them away from sleep. There are people who have very difficult lives and need the help of someone with the ability to think and fight criminal gangs. McCall fights the billionaires because he no longer works for them. It has ceased to be a catalyst for countries that play chess with the people and has become the catalyst for humble people.
– Is it important to play a character who is a Robin Hood of justice?
“Especially in the times we live in.” Who would have imagined that the world was going to turn in this last year in the same story that we were filming. The headlines of the newspapers seem written by our scriptwriters.
—Denzel Washington reinvented this franchise, did he ask you for any help?
—If there’s one thing that excited me, it was reinventing a character that belonged to Denzel, because he was the one who made this product relevant to contemporary culture. This series couldn’t have been released without the boost he gave the character. I have a lot of respect for him, but in this case he was not involved. We are telling the story from the perspective of an American woman of color who is a mother and father at the same time. This is my voice with its circumstances, which have nothing to do with Denzel’s because his version was more stoic, more protected.
“Tell us about the action scenes.” Did you have to learn the choreography?
—I love shooting those kinds of scenes, but it is important to trust your dubbing team because without unity there is no quality. Personally, I like that there are a lot of action scenes, fighting scenes. Every day I feel more comfortable shooting that kind of sequence. I have learned over the years and I like to keep my body on point.
“Did you know how to fight before this role?”
-Yes. My father taught me to fight at an early age, to defend ourselves. He taught me the same moves as Robyn and then told me that unless I was defending my mother or brother, he will never use them.