Check Out a Few Thoughts on Love, Beating Fear & Taking Risks From the Cast of ‘Everything, Everything’

I’ve always had a hopeless romantic nature that I couldn’t shake, as if I was born to love fiercely, openly and uninhibited. But aren’t we all? The endless bounds of love’s undeniable hold was surely made with intent to enjoy — to experience in its ebbs and flows of purity and vulnerability, at least once in our lives. Right? Gravitating towards the quote, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all” at a fairly young age, I found the truth to be self-evident in that — love — although it risky, it is a must.

Amandla Stenberg  (A Saint Heron fav) agrees with such sentiments in her role as Maddy in her upcoming film, Everything, Everything. Directed by Stella Meghie and based off of the book of the same name written by Nicola Yoon, Maddy’s run in with love is reminiscent of a forbidden fruit. Her terminal illness keeps her trapped within the four walls of her home. However, life is peculiar in its tactical schemes, creating moments in time that change our life as we know it. For Maddy, that time-juncture lied in the eyes of the boy next door, Olly, played by Nick Robinson.

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Before his untimely arrival, Maddy shared her life with three women: her mother, her nurse and her nurse’s daughter.  Carla, her nurse, played by Ana De La Reguera, was a breath of fresh air to Pauline’s (played by Anika Noni Rose) harsh restrictions. But acting as her mother and physician could only cause as much. A mother, who knew extreme lost and a nurse who wanted nothing more than to comply to the young lover’s needs created a bit of a conundrum for the family of four. Carla enabled Maddy’s curiosity and desire to connect with another being, while her mother lived in fear.

Maddy, now 18, was denied many firsts, but this one she refused to miss. And why should she? First love is extraordinary in that, it is your first lap around unfamiliar territory, only succeeding the proverbial scrapped knees and ice cream cones of childhood. It’s your first deep connection with an individual who doesn’t share your DNA, but it feels just the same. Olly’s incoming inspired a chain of fortunate events that resulted in freedom, love and everything in-between.

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Maddy was ready to live and love. But at what cost? At what point should you risk it all? Who defines when rules are meant to be broken? Who controls your decision to live? The film begs such questions and Saint Heron got a chance to sit with the cast to discuss their own thoughts on the above. Below are a few life lessons we learned from the chat:

1. Scared money don’t make no money

Taking risks is essential. Most things in life are not guaranteed but those magical moments can be found on the outskirts of fear. Live life with no regrets and you’ll find fulfillment somewhere down the road. “When I was 20 I just packed a bag and moved to NY,” said  Meghie. “It doesn’t always work out but I think you have to try and get out of your comfort zone.”

2. Keep your heart three stacks, Keep your heart

Love exist, guys. It’s real, and a possibility for anyone who chooses to receive it. But make no mistake, the accompanying heartbreak is no joke. However, with the right person, it should be effortless. “Love is easier than you think,” shared Yoon. “I remember suffering through so many unrequited loves and it was so hard, and when I finally met my husband it was so easy.”

3. You gotta tip on the tightrope

Fear is ever-present and many times, inescapable. But we can’t allow our emotions to disable us from the pursuit of our dreams.  “We shouldn’t be frightful of fear,” mused De La Reguera. “We’re always going to be fearful of something. Accept that you are having fear in that moment and let it go.” There’s no rush to dive in head first, taking your time is also an option, as long as you just do. “Sometimes I jump in. Sometimes I am twofeet in,” Rose followed up jokingly. “Sometimes I procrastinate or talk it over with friends, sometimes I take a nap. Sometimes it’s really helpful to be like, ‘wow I’m really frightened’ and that’s a release.”

4. Let’s get arrested for Disturbin’ the peace

Since mass incarceration has attributed to many (too many) of our brown kings behind bars, this is not to be taken literally! But some rules are definitely made to be broken, especially those created with the intent to hold you back. “If your placing limitations on yourself out of fear, if your letting people keep you trapped in a certain way of being or even a certain mentality, you gotta break that,” shared Amandla.

5. Lastly, Black Girls are Magic

The author, director and lead character are all shining examples of incredible and talented Black women. We continue to shine in adversity, beat the odds and break every glass ceiling, not to mention looking damn good while doing so. “I want people to be affected by being able to see a lead character like this–who gets to be lead, and wears her hair natural, and is Black as hell, has a black ass momma. I think it’s really important to see us existing,” Amandla concluded.

And you can’t beat that. Everything, Everything will hit theaters May 19.

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