You pull off the crop that Mia Farrow [Rosemary in the original telling] also did, but she did it in real life. What was behind the decision to do the iconic haircut for the movie?
I loved it. I wasn’t going to [really] do it, because I have other obligations. In this day and age with all the great wigs out there… I don’t know. I didn’t want it to be about a fashion trend. What Mia did was a very bold decision and I’m pretty sure she was following her character’s trajectory, because as a person who has been around so many pregnant women, sometimes your hair gets fuller and sometimes your hair gets really thin. So some women do have to have a little bit of a makeover. I was trying to focus on that as a character, and not pressure myself going ‘what am I going to do?’ because I didn’t want it to be about the hair. And I found the less and less I would think about those things the more I would create a distance between the original Rosemary’s Baby and this retelling. It’s not a remake. I didn’t want to touch what Mia did.
Did you seek out this project or did it come to you?
My sisters [Cisely and Mariel Saldana] and I with our company [Cinestar Productions], we have a deal at Lionsgate, and Lionsgate was producing this with NBC. And one of the producers at Lionsgate was talking to my younger sister Cisely about it and I’m at my nieces’ Christmas show and I get an email from my sister, who’s sitting in front of me by the way, and she goes ‘what about Rosemary’s Baby?’ and then she turns around and gives me this look. So I remember immediately my mom, my grandma, my in-laws, everybody’s looking at this exchange. And then it was a very quick decision.
Was it an explicit decision to go with a woman of color for the main part?
No, I think the people that they had gone to before were Caucasian, and then they tossed out my name and they all said, sure. And they sent me the script… and it all felt, that was one of the last things we covered, after the second glass of champagne. [laughs] But it felt right to me.
What was the number one concern you had about the retelling?
I was very adamant about us casting an actor that would be of my age to play my husband. I did not want an actor that would be older than me. I felt like if Rosemary was married to a professor that was much much older, it would probably give you the idea that it wasn’t his first marriage, it was definitely her first marriage, and that it would be easy for him to sell her out. As opposed to them being this young, vibrant, starry-eyed couple together coming into an ancient world of lust and malice, it was going to be a much more enticing scenario.
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