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January 27, 2021
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The Undoing Star Noma Dumezweni’s Most Challenging Scene to Film Isn’t What You Expect

“The most challenging scene to shoot was those first two scenes you see of Hayley, when she meets the family,” she said, explaining they were filmed early on in production, before she found her footing. “I remember those three particular days were the ones where I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’ve got this.’ I’m an actor. I’m not a lawyer. I am not of this world. I am not wealthy by any means as Hayley is wealthy. And that’s the joy about being an actor. You go and investigate these worlds and experience them and explore them and therefore get to be these different types of people.”

Part of the privilege of playing Hayley was also getting to see a Black woman stand in her power and dominate at work. “Post George Floyd, we’re seeing things in a very different way,” she said. “How can you not see this Black woman arriving in a world of elite power and money? I’m fascinated by that. Our lenses all now look at things slightly differently.” 

Dumezweni said that in addition to slowly finding her confidence as Hayley, she also found great pleasure in getting to know the cast—which also included acting legends like Donald Sutherland, plus Lily Rabe, Edgar Ramirez and Ismael Cruz Córdova. “These are people I’ve loved watching as actors,” she said. “There’s something really gorgeous about meeting your heroes and then finding out that they are good people.”

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