Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker were left shocked while shooting new film Beyond the Lights after director Gina Prince-Bythewood secretly hired fake photographers in a bid to help the actors authenticate a dating scene in the movie.
Mbatha-Raw plays a troubled pop star who falls in love with a police officer, played by Parker.
In one scene for the film, the characters are enjoying lunch when they are suddenly bombarded by members of the paparazzi – and Mbatha-Raw reveals the shock on their faces was for real as the Love & Basketball filmmaker hadn’t told them they would be photographed.
Parker tells Wendy Williams, “Gina is such a big visionary… she’s so talented, she’s such a genius. She wanted to create these circumstances and environments where we could just be our characters and kind of just navigate the space and see what would happen, kind of an improv (sic) situation.
“One of the things she did, she told us we were going to go to lunch as the characters and she set us up at lunch in Los Angeles in this nice little sidewalk cafe and… and all of a sudden a guy walks up and says, ‘Can I get a picture…?’ and we took the picture and kept going and all of sudden two other people came, then like four or five, and I look out and a whole motorcade came. There were people on motorcycles and they were jumping off cars running towards us.
“It happened so fast and we were frozen and they were just surrounding us and we were like, ‘What are we going to do?’ and they were screaming… and we were like, ‘OK, Gina I get it,’ but they were getting aggressive and we had to go inside and the people in the restaurant didn’t know what was going on and they were calling the police for real. So we’re in the kitchen in between the grill and the refrigerator hiding.
“It was crazy and then I had to get the driver to come to the back door and we ran out to get into the car and they ran after us and they were chasing us… and we were like, ‘Wow this is what that life is like’.”
Beyond the Lights is now playing in theaters.
Photo Credit: Relativity Media