Christina Jackson on Netflix’s Shirley & Playing Barbara Lee

SHIRLEY. Regina King (Producer) as Shirley Chisholm in Shirley. Cr. Glen Wilson/Netflix © 2023.

In an exclusive interview, Christina Jackson, the actress portraying Barbara Lee in “Shirley,” takes us behind the scenes of bringing historical figures to life on screen. As she discusses her character’s role in Shirley Chisholm’s groundbreaking presidential campaign, Jackson offers insights into the complexities of navigating politics, activism, and personal conviction.

“My role as a young Barbara Lee is…a young woman who sees a Black woman running for president and decides to have a conversation,” Jackson shares, describing the pivotal moment that sets her character on a transformative journey. She emphasizes Lee’s desire to make a difference and the serendipitous alignment of her path with Shirley Chisholm’s.

Shirley Trailer:

What drew Jackson to the role? “I love period pieces,” she admits, recalling her initial attraction to the project upon seeing the names involved. However, it was her deep dive into Barbara Lee’s remarkable career that truly captivated her. “I was floored!” she exclaims, highlighting Lee’s extensive and inspiring contributions.

Working alongside Regina King and the rest of the cast proved to be a memorable experience for Jackson. She describes King as “phenomenal” and commends her dedication to the project. Reflecting on memorable moments on set, Jackson recalls the excitement surrounding pivotal scenes, underscoring the camaraderie among the cast and crew.

A Personal Connection

One of the most significant parts of Jackson’s experience was meeting the real-life Barbara Lee. She had deep talks and saw Lee on set, which made a big impact. “It was like going back in time,” Jackson said. Handling the pressure of playing a real person, Jackson felt nervous but happy to make Barbara Lee proud. She admires Lee’s strength and work for overlooked voices.

Talking about Barbara Lee’s life, Jackson praises her honesty and sharing. “She’s generous,” Jackson adds, noting Lee’s dedication to helping others. Discussing the movie’s messages, Jackson links Shirley Chisholm’s time to today. She highlights the film’s call for recognizing power and working together for change.

Encouraging Civic Engagement

SHIRLEY. Regina King as Shirley Chisholm in Shirley. Cr. Glen Wilson/Netflix © 2023.
SHIRLEY. Regina King as Shirley Chisholm in Shirley. Cr. Glen Wilson/Netflix © 2023.

“I think in watching this film, it will show people just how difficult a campaign is to just get on the ticket,” Jackson asserts, emphasizing the importance of civic engagement at all levels of government. Jackson encourages viewers to embrace the opportunity to learn from “Shirley” and gain a fresh perspective on Shirley Chisholm’s legacy. “Even if you know the story of Shirley Chisholm, you don’t know it this way,” she asserts, highlighting the film’s unique narrative approach.

With its compelling storyline and nuanced performances, “Shirley” promises to leave audiences informed and inspired to make a difference in their communities. As Jackson aptly puts it, “You will leave this experience, these two hours, you will know more than you came in there with. And then it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to do with it.”

Viewers can watch Shirley on Netflix on March 22, 2024.

Shirley Netflix Regina King shirley Chisholm Christina Jackson (5)

Director: John Ridley
Writer(s): John Ridley
Stars: Regina King, Lance Reddick, Lucas Hedges, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christina Jackson, Michael Cherrie, Dorian Crossmond Missick, Amirah Vann, W. Earl Brown, Brad James, André Holland, Terrence Howard
Shirley  comes to Netflix on March 22, 2024. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

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About Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette

Emmanuel is a Rotten Tomatoes Approved, Chicago film critic who founded Eman's Movie Reviews. He's contributed to other outlets such as ScreenRant andThe Wrap, and has been featured on television such as MSNBC. Be sure to join the other fans on his Facebook Fan Page for even more movie opinions and fun. Feel free to contact him with any professional inquiries: [email protected]