Meagan Good has been in the entertainment industry for almost 30 years, having received critical acclaim from Eve’s Bayou in the late 90s, she went on to star in hit shows and movies like Cousin Skeeter, Roll Bounce and more recently Prime Video’s Harlem.
Good returns as Super Hero Darla for Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Teenagers, who transform into adult superhero alter egos, are now tasked with saving the world from the Daughters of Atlas, a vengeful trio of ancient gods who arrive on earth in search of the magic stolen from them.
LA Magazine: I read that when Zachary Levi was pitched the Shazam sequel he was onboard without even reading the script. Was this the same for you?
Meagan Good: We were all looking forward to getting back together and working with David [F. Sandberg] and Peter Safran and everybody. It was such a great experience the first time where we only got a little snippet, but the cast got close because even though we were only filming for a couple of days, we were in Toronto doing fight training and working on stuff. It was kind of a no-brainer, we were all waiting on part two. So yeah, we were all on board before we even read the script and then once we read the script, we were like, “Woah! This is crazy, epic and I can’t believe all these things are going on. It’s awesome.”
Shazam is empowering as it allows children to see themselves as heroes. Is this one of the most important aspects of your character and the franchise for you?
For me yeah, I love the character in general just because she has so much heart and she’s such a lover and such a believer of all good things and then on top for her to be an actual little girl and for little Black girls to see themselves in this character. It’s been pretty amazing and honestly a dream come true.
You’ve said in the past that acting gave you a safe space as a child, therefore, is it important that the child actors in this movie have someone to look up to like yourself who has been there and done that?
Yeah definitely. For me, looking up to people like Halle Berry or Angela Bassett or Whitney Houston and seeing someone who looked like me made it tangible and real for me and made it not even a question of “could I do it?” And so that representation definitely was huge.
Also seeing other little girls from all walks of life, I remember seeing Halloween 5 and the little girl Danielle Harris, who played Jamie. I was just like, “Oh my gosh, I want to do horror like this and be this little girl!” I think it’s female empowerment all round, but also specifically women of color for me because that let me know that I was included in that conversation.
On the subject of representation, this movie is forward thinking for the ages of the characters as well. You have older people like Helen Mirren starring. Typically in the superhero genre it has felt like there has been a cutoff point after a certain age, but here is Shazam championing all ages.
For sure. All ages and all ethnic groups. I mean, I don’t think I’d ever seen an Asian superhero before Ross [Butler] and then coming into this time now we’re seeing every demographic, every age, every walk of life and that’s something else that I really love about Shazam. Then seeing Helen Mirren getting in there and doing her own stunts, I just heard today that she broke her finger and she didn’t even tell anybody because she wanted to keep doing stunts, that’s so badass!
What was it like working with Helen Mirren? Over here in England she’s a huge national treasure, was it empowering to work with someone like her?
Oh, for sure! I mean she’s a national treasure here too. She’s just so kind and normal and gives no airs. Today when she saw me, she just gave me the biggest hug and just held on to me for a while and asked how I was doing. She’s just really, really wonderful and just beautiful and sexy. She’s just dope!
What was it like behind the scenes as you’ve got such a range of ages working together?
Coming back for part two was like coming back for summer camp. You really love everyone and look forward to seeing them again; you understand the dynamics. On set, we would be in our costumes listening to music and dancing around. Off set, we were gathering at Zach’s and cooking for each other, swimming, playing games, having all kinds of talks of life and Ross is playing the guitar and Jack [Dylan Glazer] was making up songs and it was a really wonderful family atmosphere and it also it was just a really beautiful summer in Atlanta. It was just perfect.
The first Shazam was almost a renaissance of your career because even though you’ve been in the industry for almost 30 years it must have brought a whole new audience and fan base. Did you feel that yourself?
Yeah, I did. It’s just there’s something super epic about this. The fans are crazy and intense and it’s so interesting to see people online posting themselves wearing costumes of Darla, and this is not just like little Black girls, this is like girls of every nationality and every age who have made costumes for Halloween or comic con or they do little videos and stuff. It’s really cool.
The second season of Harlem has just come out too, what has that response been like?
It’s been insane. I could not have anticipated how much the audience loves it, how loyal the fans of the show are and the conversations it’s sparked online about things from healthcare to freezing eggs and all kinds of stuff. The response has honestly been tremendous and I’ve never worked on such a massively successful show that people don’t just like but love. And they feel seen and they feel like they’re parts of these characters. Again, it’s not just Black women, It’s across the board and that has been really special to me.
As an actor one of the most gratifying aspects of the job must be that you can raise those questions to the public sphere.
Yeah, or they glaze over the top of it and then they just go down the rabbit hole. These are real discussions like: “Are you going to freeze eggs?”; “You’re in your mid-30s, what if you don’t want to get married?”; “What if you don’t find a husband until later?”; or “What if you don’t want kids?” I think they’re really important conversations and Harlem has found a way to talk about them with levity and honesty, but also humor, joy, and pain and still maintain the quality and integrity of the type of show it is.
When you’re not too busy saving the World from Greek Goddesses, where is your favorite place to unwind in LA?
Any place that has karaoke.
What’s your song of choice?
It’s either going to be Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’ or Whitney’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody.’
You’ve chosen tough ones!
I be holding a note though [laughs].
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will be released in cinemas on March 17.
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