In Netflix's Lou, Jurnee Smollett stars as a desperate mother who, after her young daughter is kidnapped, teams up with Lou (Allison Janney) and the two women end up on a rescue mission that will see them risk their lives as well as expose dark secrets about pot of their pasts. It's an action-heavy film that sees Smollett's character take on some major physical — and emotional — challenges all in the name of saving someone she loves. For Smollett, playing such a tough and resilient character is hardly new as many know her for her role as Dinah Lance/Black Canary in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and it sounds like that, while the two characters are very different, there are also some similarities as well.
Smollett told ComicBook.com that for both Hannah, her character in Lou, and Dinah, it's about "tapping into the truth of the color of womanhood" and all of its complexities.
"I think with Hannah in Lou, she's a survivor. She comes from a very broken background and a very abusive background, but she is so resilient and it's really that resilience that women have that we really wanted to tap into with this story," Smollett said. "While these women feel so very different, there's a lot more in common that they have together, and they find this out when they're forced to work together and work against the elements and work against conquering this villain."
She continued, "While yes, my research for Hannah was very different than my research reading a bunch of comic books for Black Canary, I think it's about just tapping into the truth of the color of womanhood and how complex it can be. For Lou, she's spent her whole life in service. For Hannah, she's dedicated her life to motherhood. It's a very different conversation we're having about womanhood in the film."
Here's how Netflix describes Lou: "Thinking she'd put her dangerous past behind her, Lou (Allison Janney) finds her quiet life interrupted when a desperate mother (Jurnee Smollett) begs her to save her kidnapped daughter. As a massive storm rages, the two women risk their lives on a rescue mission that will test their limits and expose dark and shocking secrets from their pasts. Academy Award winner Allison Janney and Emmy Award nominee Jurnee Smollett star in Lou, alongside Logan Marshall-Green and Ridley Asha Bateman. The film is directed by Anna Foerster from a screenplay by Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley, with Bad Robot's JJ Abrams, Hannah Minghella, and Jon Cohen producing."
As for Black Canary, a second outing for Smollett in the iconic role is in the works with Misha Green penning the screenplay for a solo Black Canary movie and Smollett has previously
"I'm just so incredibly excited about a number of things that I can't talk about," Smollett told us. "I mean, I'm excited, that's what I can say. I'm excited about getting to explore a lot... I feel like we've only touched the surface with Black Canary. And she's one of the dopest martial artists in the DC Universe. That is something that is a real challenge in my head that I'm just excited at the possibility of being able to explore deeper and further and wider and greater."
Lou debuts September 23 on Netflix.