You know what they say about a woman who cuts her hair? She’s about to take over the world. Allow Paula Patton to re-introduce herself. The Los Angeles native chopped off her long, chocolate locks for a short, platinum blonde coif. Promoting her newest thriller, Traffik, an action-packed flick- which she also co-produced with her company Third Eye Productions along side writer and director Deon Taylor, Patton is a new woman.
In Lionsgate’s latest action-packed spine chiller, John, played by Omar Epps (Almost Christmas, Love and Basketball) and Brea, the hard charging investigative reporter played by Baggage Claim starlet, plans for a romantic weekend getaway at a secluded mountain estate. Their getaway quickly turns to terror when the couple accidentally discovers the hidden world of a brutal biker gang. Joined unexpectedly by their friends, Darren (Laz Alonso) and Malia (Roselyn Sanchez), the foursome is forced into a deadly fight for their lives against the gang who will stop at nothing to keep their dangerous secrets from getting out.
Patton’s Hollywood tenure includes a bit everything since her movie debut in Will Smith’s Hitch over ten years ago. From the sweet Ms. Rain from the critically acclaimed Oscar nominated film Precious, to the smooth singing Angel Davenport in the 2006 musical drama Idlewild, versatility is her bread and butter. With her new film Traffik, the gorgeous 42 year old is re-charged, from the inside out.
We caught up with the actress as she talked about her new movie Traffik and her life changing advice she’s learned everyone should read.
The Source: Tell us about your character Brea.
Paula Patton: “My character is a journalist whose having a rough time at work. Her boss is asking her, ‘Can you dig deeper to tell the truth more.’ She’s a woman that’s clearly been through some heart pain- but she’s in love, but she’s scared of it- scared of commitment. Then she goes to this weekend getaway with her man, taking a leap of faith to try to love.
Then they make a truck stop and from there, their life gets turned upside down. And that’s when you get to see who she really is- that’s the beautiful thing; real heroes are the people that don’t just think of themselves in these trying times. And clearly she has some type of moral compass and a fire in her that doesn’t just make her want to save one person or just herself and her man, but sees that’s it something far much greater to effect change. And that’s what true journalists really feel.
You get in that world with the money and the corruption and the fame and the big companies that get in our way of telling these kinds of truth.”
She sounds really deep.
“That’s what I wanted to do with this film when I talked to Deon [Taylor] about it: you have a great genre of movie, but how do we make it more specific? Like “Seinfeld!” That’s what was so brilliant about it- he saw all these things about human nature we all notice but never talk about. Traffik defies genre because it’s a love story, then it’s a thriller suspense and then there’s this social, political commentary that comes out of no where, but somehow works.
I think it’s fun, no more rules – after last year everything blew up; left was right, right was left, up is down and down was up! We should all be asking questions. I used to think, ‘Well, that’s just how it is!” But what if it doesn’t have to be that way? Just reverse that thinking because we’ve been lied to a lot. We need to be vigilant about telling the truth and exposes the truth.”
Can you relate to your character Brea?
“You know I can!” *laughs*
“I feel like there was a chance with Brea to deal with some of the things I’ve been dealing with. I’m 42 years old, I’ve been up and down and all around! It was a new Paula in that way. But no matter what you bring your life experiences to whatever you’re playing.”
Now the saying goes is when a woman cuts her hair she’s ready to take over the world!
“Because we don’t care what men think!”
What inspired the new look?
“I think it was a Joan of Arc moment. I cut my hair, then I cut it once more, then I thought to color it. It was really freeing. I never had my hair this short. I look in the mirror and sometimes I look like a dude to myself- like it was really weird. But then I became less vain. There’s no hair to hide under anymore. Although it takes a bit longer to do my hair, I’m straight out the door, like men! It gives me so much more time to enjoy life, jump in the pool and get my hair wet!
Women come to me like, ‘I’d cut my hair but my man…” Yeah, that’s a man who wants to hold you and control you, but he’s over there looking at the short haired woman! Not that that should matter, but my point is don’t life for anyone else but yourself.”
“I am a little bit because I’ve been through a lot and I want to share with people. Don’t come to 42 years old and make the same mistakes I’ve made. People suffer too much and get caught up in your head and try to please other people, always worried about what other people think when actually no one really cares about you. Even if you’re a celebrity- they talk about you for a second then they got their own life to think about. Don’t make yourself so important to anybody.
People tend to worry like, ‘Oh, I’ve wore this before!’ When they’re worrying about they’re wearing, they’re not thinking about what you’re wearing, they can’t remember! So if we start to do that- we’ll have a lot more happiness and peace.”
What’s something every woman should try at least once in her life?
“Everything! Everything she wants too. And don’t be scared. Fear is the most paralyzing thing. And it’s pointless and it’s no faith in that. Don’t tell me you’re a Christian and you believe in God and tell me you’re stressed out and worried. That means you have no faith. Faith loves the fearless and if you have faith you know you’ll be taken cared of. I’ve lived long enough to tell you that some of the most horrible things I thought would kill me, didn’t. So, why spend anytime worrying about it when you can enjoy all that time until that shit happens, then you deal with it. You’re going to be OK. And you’re gonna keep moving forward. Then you’re going to look back and think, ‘Thank you for that hard thing that I wish had never happened because I’ve grown.’
I’m a hard head. I clearly have to learn the hard way, about everything. Don’t be hard on yourself. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Truly. It’s pointless. You’re not proving any point by staying angry at someone thinking they got away with something. No, let them hold everything and walk off with peace. Let it go. My son said it so great, ‘That was then. This is now.'”
slams into theaters this Friday, with advance screenings on Thursday. Click here
for your tickets!
Photo credit: Gina Ferazzi