Colman Domingo knows the power of having a Black woman at the helm. The actor, who starred in Janicza Bravo‘s Zola and Nia DaCosta‘s Candyman, says there’s something special about having a Black woman behind the lens.

“As we know in our experiences in this entertainment industry…it’s hard to get any job, especially if you’re a Black woman in this industry,” Colman shares. “And by the time you get to the plate, to get your opportunity, you were ready to meet it.”

Colman says that that readiness is what made Bravo “the perfect director for Zola” and DaCosta the “perfect director for Candyman.”

“They were ready,” he emphasizes. “They’re young, they’re smart, they’re innovative, they are willing, they’re game. They are great collaborators.”

Domingo says getting to work with all that talent actually helped to make him a better actor.

“When I tell you I feel like I’ve done some of my best work in both of these films, it’s because there was such a level of care and love and grace,” he says. “And also interrogation and intelligence. And also saying, ‘Colman, do the thing that you do. Go forward and try that thing.’”

He continues, “But then I listened and I’m guided as well. So there’s an ease, honestly, working with both of them. They didn’t come in with some bravado and something else. They came in with strict talent. And they came in with grace and love, and appreciation for the moment. And I think that’s why they’re two of my favorite directors that I’ve worked with recently.”

Candyman is in theaters now. Zola is available on Video on Demand.

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