Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith is the epitome of a modern-day superwoman. Not only does she comfortably slide into the role of a badass action star when on-screen, but she’s also a nurturing mother and fierce advocate for racial equality and women’s empowerment.
The British model and actress graced the cover of Elle for their upcoming February issue and talked about everything from being a new mother, black representation and storytelling in Hollywood, strong female movie leads, and even shares a few beauty secrets—all while stunning in pieces from North Face and Gucci’s highly-anticipated collaboration.
Read some of her thought-provoking interview below.
When asked about what it was like to film Tom Clancy’s upcoming action movie Without Remorse—which she shot for while pregnant with her daughter, Janie:
““The men think they’re hard-core,” the actress says, cracking up, “but they could never [star in an action film] while also making a baby.
They just couldn’t.” She continues, “True strength is not found in force and brutality, but invulnerability.
I would love to do more action, and action where I’m allowed to be a woman,” she adds, citing Sigourney Weaver’s classic turn in Alien.
“I know we don’t maybe class that as specifically an action film, but I mean, what she’s doing in that? F-cking brilliant.”
When asked about her role in Queen & Slim:
“I really think that we made a classic, and [that] 10 years from now, it will be viewed that way as well,” she says. “Black artists are not only the engine but also the car. We are in the driver’s seat, telling our own stories.”
In addition, Turner-Smith won’t only be telling stories as an actress, but also as a director when her short-film collaboration with Gucci and Dazed Magazine, Jackie, is released this fall:
“[To finally be behind the camera] was so incredible, so empowering. To have my hand in everything—to choose every shot, every look, and approve every piece of set decoration; to see the edit, and sit for hours and select the color grade was [my] idea of heaven.
[My] husband (actor Joshua Jackson) sat with me, being my biggest supporter and my brain trust, and we watched all these references, and he let me bounce all these ideas off him until all hours of the morning.”
She adds, ““working the [Gucci team and Alessandro Michele] is so natural and feels so lived-in.”
On what lesson childbirth ultimately taught her:
“Patriarchal society really is out here, scamming women into thinking that they’re not supremely powerful beings,” she says, chuckling. “Because damn, it’s some goddess-level shit.”
Read the full interview here.