Jurnee Smollett-Bell Made Sure a Black Hairstylist Was on Set For Birds of Prey
Jurnee Smollett-Bell's relationship with her Birds of Prey costar Margot Robbie goes far beyond their work together on screen. The actress recently sat down with BUILD, where she briefly opened up about how producer and actress Robbie helped advocate for her during production when she stressed the importance of hiring a Black hairstylist for her character, Black Canary, who's known for having blond hair.
"In preproduction when we were creating a look for the hair, for me it was very important to bring a woman of color on in the hair department to create the look for Black Canary," she explained. "My hair, my texture, the kind of blond we were going for — I called her up and said, 'Honestly, Margot, it's just different.'" Since her hair is of a curlier texture, the actress insisted on hiring celebrity hairstylist Nikki Nelms, whose client list also includes Yara Shahidi, Zoë Kravitz, and Janelle Monáe.
She went on to express her gratitude for Robbie and Sue Kroll — who both serve as producers on the film — because of their openness to her suggestion. "It wasn't something that they were aware of — the importance of Black women hair and having a woman of color do it," Smollett-Bell continued. "But they were open and they were able to listen, and when I explained it to them, they said, 'Absolutely, we'll bring her in.'"
Listen to Smollett-Bell's full comments in the video above.