Teyonah Parris on Candyman: ‘I only said it when I had to, I’m not testing fate’

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I saw Candyman over the weekend, go here for my spoiler-free review. It was an excellent horror movie and it was genuinely scary. If you’re not a horror fan I would recommend against it as it can be a lot to take. Candyman was top at the box office, earning over $22 million and marking the first time a film directed by a Black woman opened at number one. That’s likely just the start as director Nia DaCosta also has The Marvels, the sequel to Captain Marvel, coming out next year. Star Teyonah Parris was on Seth Meyers promoting the film. She said that she used to say Candyman in the mirror when she was a kid but that she and her brothers would chicken out before they said it five times. The interview was fun to watch and I could relate to a lot of what she said. Here are some quotes and the video is below.

On saying Candyman
I only said it on set when I had to, I’m not messing around with that any other time, I’m not testing fate.

On the lore of Candyman
I had not seen the movie but it was a thing that permeated the culture, the community,. You’re summoning spirits here, but I guess you could say it was a game. Me and my brothers would go in the bathroom and start to say it but chicken out. Then we would start fighting trying to get out of the bathroom before somebody actually says all five.

On wanting to be true to the original and working with Nia DaCosta and Jordan Peele
I cared about the original. I wanted to be a part of working with Jordan and working with Nia. I knew it would be elevated and it would have something to say so that definitely made me want to work with them. At the same time I was like ‘look ya’ll we can’t mess this up.’ I think that we did a great service to continue the legacy. I’m so proud of being a part of it.

On going back to the movies
It’s been such a long wait and I’m excited that the fans have stuck it out and waited for us. I just went back to the movie theater. Black Widow brought me back to the theater. I went at a matinee, no one there, with my mask. I loved it. I missed the movies so much. I’m excited that people get to [see] this as a collective experience.

[From Seth Meyers on YouTube]

Teyonah is currently in London filming The Marvels. I first got to know her as Monica Rambeau in WandaVision, although I realize I’ve also seen her in If Beale Street Could Talk. She told Seth that she loved working with everyone on WandaVision and that they supported each other while filming during lockdown. She said it was even more special to watch it during the pandemic and that it “took on a deeper meaning.” It really did. WandaVision was one of my favorite shows to watch earlier this year. I owe that to Karen and Zakia who watched it with me over Zoom, encouraged me to stick with it and explained so much of the background. Everyone needs friends who are patient Marvel experts! It felt like Monica’s story was unfinished though, and like her character was underutilized. I’m really looking forward to seeing her in The Marvels, especially with DaCosta directing.

I agree with her that the collective experience of seeing a movie is special. And I won’t say Candyman five times either. In fact I yelled at some teen girls trying to say it in the bathroom in the theater afterwards. That movie was so scary, why would you do that?!

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