Kali Hawk is as hilarious as she is beautiful, and she gets to show off her comedic talent in the upcoming film, Fifty Shades of Black [in theaters January 29].

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Starring lead opposite to Marlon Wayans, Kali plays the nerdy “Hannah,” who falls into a series of ‘romantic’ liaisons with Christian Black.

We chopped it up with Kali about her role in the film, women’s roles in comedy and what it’s like be surrounded by comedic genuises.


What’s your favorite part of the film?
I like the idea of getting to do a big comedy film with someone who’s made a career of comedy. As far as the film goes, I like the funny, sexy scenes. There’s one where I’m in chains and it’s very BDSM, but the jokes during that scene are so unexpected and hilarious.

How is it working with funny guys all the time?
When you’re around a bunch of male comedians and you’re the only girl, you become desensitized to some of the things that can normally be awkward. Everything is a joke and it’s never super serious. There’s a lot of moments in the films where I’m in nothing but a bra and panties, and while you think it may be awkward, it’s not. There’s a loving and gentle bond that goes on between us on set to where I felt equal and not that I was secondary to them or just there for them to look at.

How true to the character of Hannah to the character of Ana from the original film?
As far as her looks (demure, shy, nerdy), that’s similar at first. But the comedic highlight is that she breaks out of her shell in a totally unexpected way and takes Christian Black by storm. I think that’s the beauty in parodies, that you can take roles that are normally submissive and challenge those stereotypes through jokes. I think the audience will be surprised to find my character has some great comedic moments too. Normally we’re so used to women being secondary to the men’s jokes, but Hannah has some moments that are just as funny as Christian Black.

Were you able to add your own flair to the role?
There was a lot of improvisation and I got to add my own sense of humor to the character. I think that’s so rare in films today, especially comedies, where women are also able to lead in the jokes and physical comedy scene. My character has a lot of them and besides the punchlines being funny, what makes the movie hilarious is the way in which my character just comes out of the blue with these amazingly brilliant comedic moments. I appreciated that opportunity to bounce some jokes off Marlon’s character. That chemistry was awesome.

What draws you to comedy?
Most of the films I’ve done thus far have been comedies. I just love to laugh and I like having the ability to make others laugh and get their mind off of the doom and gloom of everyday life. We like to have fun on set. I think people will be able to see our chemistry and how much fun we had making the film and hopefully that resonates with them.

You have a pretty dope fashion sense. How would you describe your style?
Style wise, I’m casual luxury. I like things and items that are high quality and low maintenance. But actually, depending on what topics and characters I’m researching for a role, I kind of incorporate those into my style. So since I had to bring out my inner nerd on set, I had to channel some sexy nerd humor and swag, so that was my style leading up to filming the movie.

About The Author

Samantha Callender is a multimedia journalist whose work ranges from entertainment journalism to pieces highlighting social issues in multicultural communities. Samantha strives to find intersects between entertainment and social matters, believing that pop culture has the power to not only entertain the masses, but to educate them as well. Her goal when storytelling is to write pieces that serve as a catalyst to prompt dialogue and activism. Her work has been featured in VIBE, JET, Cosmopolitan, and many other publications.

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