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30 Sep

Courtney Taylor On ‘The Invitation’ And Portraying An Authentically

As a horror fan herself, Courtney Taylor knows all too well the tropes that include Black people in scary movie situations. But together with her role in Sony Pictures’ recent gothic horror thriller, The Invitation, she’s helping change that narrative.

“Stereotypically, the Black person dies at first,” Taylor laughed. “[This time] we get the possibility to see us fight.”

As The Invitation opened primary on the U.S. box office this past weekend, thousands and thousands of moviegoers got the possibility to see not one, but two Black women get their probability to tough it out through the film’s runtime.

Article continues after video.

The film follows Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel), a recently orphaned artist with no other immediate family. After a DNA kit points her toward long-lost relatives, she embarks on a journey to get to know her recent, wildly aristocratic family when she’s invited to a lavish wedding within the secluded English countryside. Initially taken in by their zealous hospitality and exorbitant wealth, she makes a horrifying discovery about her heritage and the reality of their intentions that lands her in a harrowing fight for survival.

Other than the exciting and suspenseful horror storyline, Taylor says she was initially drawn to joining the forged attributable to how her character was penned.

“If we’re being honest, it was definitely how the ladies characters were written,” Taylor said. “I feel it’s something I desired to see more of within the theaters anyway, so why not be a component of it?”

As Evie’s best friend Grace, Taylor got the possibility to be the character that claims what we’re all yelling on the screen while watching a horror flick.

Courtney Taylor Talks ‘The Invitation’

“I feel what’s fun about my character is the best way that they’ve written her, she’s mainly the voice of reason throughout all the film,” Taylor explained. “Evie’s doing this daring thing, but additionally there’s Grace letting her know, ‘All right, we’re still Black. Let’s not forget!’”

That extra nugget of authenticity is what truly sets off the film that centers Black female protagonists. Too often, Black characters are tossed into horror flicks and feel inauthentic and placed in last minute. But Taylor says each the script and the actresses own intervention kept these characters on par with more natural reactions.

“I do feel like there have been moments within the script that had it,” Taylor said. “Nevertheless, working with Jessica Thompson (director, The Invitation) – she is phenomenal – not only did she write us rather well, but she also gave us free range to offer our feedback and say what we predict would make essentially the most sense for our character, especially as black women who’re interacting with each other as best friends.”

Courtney Taylor Talks ‘The Invitation’
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 04: Actress Courtney Taylor attends the special screening of “Send Help” at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills on August 04, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

“I feel like we all the time desired to see that, especially me, myself, a fan of horror movies,” Taylor said. “It’s just refreshing to see us be the lead in something and battle it out that way. Being a component of that, as well…It’s a dream.”

The Invitation is in theaters in all places now.

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