The mistreatment of Felicia in the 1995 stoner comedy Friday is no laughing matter for actress and producer Angela Means.
In a recent interview with Comedy Hype, Means spoke about how she prepped for the role, her experience portraying Felicia, and the film’s mistreatment of the unkempt character.
Means said she familiarized herself with Felicia by writing an “intense” biography for her. “It was one of the greatest processes that I’ve ever been allowed to be a part of,” she said. “I wrote a very intense bio on her. Some of the things that had happened to her. Her background…where she went to school, everything about her. I put everything down on paper and then I put it inside. I trusted it and Angela went away and this person, Felicia, emerged.”
As the intensity of preparing to act in the film grew, Means said that she was moved by Felicia being misunderstood and dismissed by fellow characters Craig and Smokey. “I was really feeling her emotions, I was feeling a lot of fear, a lot of things that happened to Felicia,” Means recalls. “Maybe people were tired of her… Why was there so much hate for such an obviously beautiful woman? She’s kind, you didn’t hear her using any profanity… Why would they be so unkind to a family member?” Means asks in an emotional outpouring.
Means also shared that she’s been publicly harassed since starring in Friday, which was helmed by co-stars Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. “Why would they be so dismissive? Why would no one defend her? And I’ve asked this question for 30 years,” she continued while shedding tears. “Why is it so easy for us to dismiss each other like that?… When people come at me and even to this day, I’ll see people saying, ‘Bye, you dirty b****, you f***** up bitch, you dumb b****.’”
While Means commended director F. Gary Gray and screenwriters Ice Cube and DJ Pooh for creating the film, Means expressed that Felicia’s experience “fell through the cracks.”
“Not one time, not even the mother said, ‘Hey, it’s Felicia. I wonder what’s going on with her.’ Not one person,” she said.
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