Gabrielle Union is all smiles

Gabrielle Union Recalls ‘Dark’ And ‘Disturbing’ Time When She Hid Her Upper Lip

Home / Stars / Gabrielle Union Recalls ‘Dark’ And ‘Disturbing’ Time When She Hid Her Upper Lip

By Favour Adegoke on November 18, 2022 at 9:00 AM EST
Updated on November 19, 2022 at 5:41 PM EST

Hollywood star, Gabrielle Union, is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ and African-American communities, but she wasn’t always proud of her roots. After a successful three-decade-long career, the actress revealed that she was once afraid to be seen as a black person.

Things got better for the 50-year-old, who later found it hard to play her homophobic character in her new film “The Inspection.” In the film, Union played Inez French, a prison officer who kicked her teenage gay son Ellis (played by Jeremy Pope) out of their home after discovering his sexuality.

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The star, who is vocal about her stance with the LGBTQ community, was surprised that the crew members considered her for the role. However, she eventually found a connection to the character, and viewers loved her performance. Union became a popular ally for the LGBTQ community due to her open support of her transgender stepdaughter, Zaya.

Read to find out more.

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Gabrielle Union Spoke Speaks On Her Role In ‘The Inspection’

Gabrielle Union with short hair.

According to report by Yahoo, Union spoke about her role in “The Inspection” as Inez French and how she was able to find common ground with the character. The “10 Things I Hate About You” actress revealed that she was very confused about being offered the role and recalled asking herself why the production team thought she would make a good fit.

She said, “Initially, I was like, ‘I live differently. What have I ever given off to make anyone think that I could pull this off convincingly?’” Union also said she found it hard to connect with her character since she was openly against homophobia in real life. She, however, later reached a “common ground” with her by reflecting on her self-identity.

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The star explained that the “ground” was everything she had to compromise for “white” acceptance. She said, “That common ground is all of the things that we are willing to do in order to be seen, in order to move that much further ahead for a check, for a relationship, for acceptance, validation for white supremacy.” While she didn’t “gamble with her children” in real life, she did with her own blackness.

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She Was Scared Of Being Black

Gabrielle Union with long hair.

The “Deliver us from Eva” star recalled “gambling” with her top lip at some point in her career. Union shared that she often tried to hide it while smiling in public so that it wouldn’t be obvious. When asked why, she said, “I thought if I let my full lip be seen, then they would know I was Black.”

Admitting that it sounded “illogical and silly and stupid,” Union explained that she wanted to “minimize her blackness” at the time. She also recalled having “multiple personalities” and trying to change who she was. She would “shapeshift” to suit any room she was in to increase her chances of getting opportunities.

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The star also tried to change her personality to get validation from people. “All the things that you do for whoever you think that is going to deem you worthy, deem you good enough,” she said. “Deem you worthy of all the opportunities in life, riches, you’ll do anything. You will barter with anything.”

Recalling the experience, she explained that it felt like selling her soul. “It’s dark. It’s just very dark and disturbing.” Union shared that while her role in “The Inspection” reminded her of her identity crisis, it also helped her become a better person.

The Movie Helped Gabrielle Union

Union, who is herself a parent of someone in the LGBTQ community with husband and ex-NBA star Dwyane Wade, revealed that the movie helped her grow as a person. She explained that the role helped shift her opinion of homophobes, whom she’d previously considered “trash.”

She said, “But through the process of [making The Inspection], it’s like, Oh, maybe I’m not so different in terms of what lead me to that point. I’m never going to reject my child. None of my children are disposable. But I get the deep desire to be seen as worthy. And anything that threatens that can go. And for some people, that includes their children.”

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Gabrielle Union Shares Advice To Viewer’s Of Her New Movie

Gabrielle Union

While she starred in several top-rated films before “The Inspection,” she was specifically proud of her performance in the film and the storyline in general. She noted that the movie had a powerful message for people who could relate to the characters.

The “Bad Boys 2” star also encouraged viewers to learn from it and choose to “love completely.” She also explained that wanting to be a better person was a step in the right direction. Union said, “I think hurt people hurt people, and healed people have the ability to help heal other people."

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