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Quentin Tarantino’s Djan­go Unchained has been rack­ing up the awards nom­i­na­tions, and new­com­er Daniele Watts is get­ting atten­tion for her small but mem­o­rable role as Coco in the film. We caught up with the up-and-com­ing actress to talk hair, career and work­ing with Ker­ry Wash­ing­ton.

Where are you from orig­i­nal­ly and how did you find your­self in Los Ange­les?
DW:
I moved quite a bit grow­ing up. I was born in Cal­i­for­nia and I lived in Orlan­do in mid­dle school. I moved to Atlanta in high school.

I decid­ed to go to col­lege and I had a great guid­ance coun­selor who made me real­ize it was pos­si­ble to pur­sue my dreams in enter­tain­ment. She had worked for VH1 for a short peri­od of time. She said, “You need to go to New York or L.A.” Had she not said that, I don’t know if I would have made it out here.

When did you get the act­ing bug?
DW:
When I was in high school I was very involved with a com­mu­ni­ty the­atre orga­ni­za­tion called ARCH pro­duc­tions (Artists Rais­ing the Con­scious­ness of Human­i­ty). We would tour shows to dif­fer­ent high schools about rel­e­vant teen issues. Then after­wards we would host a ques­tion and answer ses­sion.  That made me real­ize the trans­for­ma­tive pow­er of the arts and how sto­ry­telling and self-expres­sion can be a win­dow for peo­ple to under­stand them­selves bet­ter.  It actu­al­ly can con­tribute to peo­ple liv­ing more full lives.

You played the role of Coco in Quentin Tarantino’s lat­est film, Djan­go Unchained. How did you get the role?
DW:
Well. I’m a hus­tler. Part of my suc­cess has to do with the fact that I do a lot of research. I was read­ing the trades and talk­ing to friends who work in cast­ing offices or interned for pro­duc­ers. I tracked down the script. I filmed myself in my apart­ment and sent the tape to the cast­ing office and start­ed writ­ing them let­ters and I got a call from my man­ager say­ing Quentin Taran­ti­no wants to meet you on Fri­day.

DJANGO UNCHAINED

Let’s talk about your upcom­ing film, “You are What I Want” Can you give us a brief syn­op­sis?
DW:
A hook-up turns into an obses­sion. In a short film that exam­i­nes the ques­tion­able fall­out in seek­ing one’s hap­pi­ness in oth­er peo­ple. The char­ac­ter I play, Whit­ney, goes on a jour­ney of meet­ing a guy, decid­ing he’s the guy she wants and pur­su­ing him. I was inter­est­ed in show­ing a black girl vul­ner­a­ble in a way that I don’t’ typ­i­cal­ly see in movies. A lot of times they are very strong and sassy. For us it was an exam­i­na­tion of humil­i­a­tion. [……] So many peo­ple are afraid of putting them­selves out there.

How do you take care of your nat­u­ral hair?  Do you have any sta­ple prod­ucts or a par­tic­u­lar reg­i­men?
DW:
I can’t real­ly say that I’m that dis­ci­plined. Part of the rea­son that I grew my hair out is so that I didn’t have to fol­low a regime. My hair real­ly responds well to the Mixed Chicks live-in con­di­tion­er. I also real­ly like Deva-Curl no-poo. I wash it with Deva Curl no-poo and that gets it all smooth and soft and I comb it. Then I put in some kind of con­di­tion­er like Dove or Suave Coconut. Then I wash it out real­ly good, comb it. Leave some in and then put Mixed Chicks on in the show­er, kind of rin­se it out and then shake the rest of the water off and don’t touch it after­wards.

What is one thing that you dis­cov­ered about your hair that you wish you knew before going nat­u­ral?
DW:
My hair loves water. I can go swim­ming as much as I want. I can run around in the sprin­klers.

Check out the video to hear Danièle talk about why she decid­ed to go nat­u­ral, and what it was like to work with Ker­ry Wash­ing­ton…

Rinny

Tex­an by birth, Los Ange­leno by sit­u­a­tion. Lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Come­di­an by trade. Mac­a­roni and Cheese con­nois­seur by appetite.

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31 Comments on "Django Unchained Actress Danièle Watts on Natural Hair and Working with Kerry Washington"

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Jo Somebody

She has an infec­tious smile! :-)

Najah

“Djan­go Unchained” = Blax­ploita­tion of the worst kind. Quentin is a mon­ster. And he LOOKS the part too!!!! God I hope I’m allowed to see what’s com­ing to this bas­tard.

Intreegme

She is marvelous!.…simply beau­ti­ful, bub­bly, and u can tell she has a great spir­it her­self. I salute her:-)!

Natasha

She stood out to me in the movie. Adorable girl and I love her hair.

TWA4now

NICE INTERVIEW! What a nice, bub­bly young lady! All the best to you and love the hair too! GBU<3

krise

Such a bright, bub­bly, and per­son­able young lady! So refresh­ing to see her embrace her nat­u­ral hair AND be a work­ing actress in Hol­ly­wood. I live in LA, and I def­i­nite­ly see a shift for more black actress­es being WORKING NATURALS, and it’s awe­some!!

Nana

She’s sooo adorable. I love her!!! Wish­ing her great suc­cess in her act­ing career..

Shon

What a sweet­heart! I think she was in the last sea­son of Weeds! Hope she con­tin­ues get­ting big breaks!

Sue

I loved how hap­py and vibrant she is. Def. would like to see more videos.

Brittany

I can’t wait to see what her future holds for her. She is def­i­nite­ly tal­ent­ed. I think she’s an awe­some per­son inside and out. I love her nat­u­ral hair and she’s real­ly cool!!!!

taimatsuko

She is so cute <3 I loved her in that movie!

kinkykhick

That is one hap­py young wom­en. Bless her lit­tle ray-of-sun­shine heart.

Mimi

OMGeeee!!! She’s so bub­bly and I love it! She reminds me of me. lol

Amma Mama

Nice, her next movie souds quite inter­est­ing.

Amma Mama

*sounds

dagnatz

Love this inter­view! How can I see the film “You are What I Want”??? Love her work!

dagnatz

Love this inter­view! How can I see the film “You are What I Want”??? Love her work!

neochasez

So glad to see her success…I loved her char­ac­ter on Weeds!

80sbabee

I loved this inter­view. Shes awe­some.

Jacky

So hap­py for her!

Phuong
Every one is say­ing seeirs one, Well check, cause they only put one seeirs out and stop pro­duc­tion (accord­ing to all news arti­cles). The fig­ures are actu­al­ly GREAT, but i’ve seen them upwards of $8K for a com­plete set, that’s kin­da crazy. Its a sell­ers mar­ket, if you got them at cost. I have 5 except for Broomhilda who wouldh’ve ever thought the price would sky rock­et over 100x the cost, well folks it did, Now that some online sites are ban­ning the sale, it will even get a high­er demand for them. Good luck to any one who wants… Read more »
deb

oh god she’s so adorable i lit­er­al­ly want to hug her face

Cherelle

Just watched the inter­view :) what a love­ly lady!

Cherelle

Please share where the french maid out­fit from the film is from lol I real­ly want one :P

Mai

Try Cos­play web­sites. They have loli­ta maid out­fits that look pret­ty sim­i­lar.

Virginia

The cos­tume design­er no doubt made that specif­i­cal­ly for the movie.

Cherelle

I could only dream :P thanks for respon­se

Gloria

She is absolute­ly adorable!!!! Love her hair!

Coley Cole

What a cutie! I wish her the best!

MissAfrobella

Love her per­son­al­i­ty. She’s absolute­ly gor­geous!

Donna R. Sampay

I was so glad to see her in Djan­go Unchained. I remem­ber her from when she played Don­a­lyn Sul­li­van in the Cold Case episode Read Between The Lines, which was one of my favorite episodes.

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