Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Spank Bank: Sanaa Lathan

In overwhelming numbers, you asked for it, and now it's back! The coveted Spank Bank column has returned after a nearly one-year hiatus! Why this feature fell through the cracks for so long I cannot say for certain, but I am glad you stargazers have given me permission to spank out new inductees until I'm silly!

With the resurgence of the Spank Bank comes one new adjustment to the feature; from here on out, inductees will be named monthly. In theory, this will keep both you and I in fresh, spankable material on the regular. Time to stop flapping my gums about format so we can all start drooling.

To describe my latest inductee in a single word: charm.
This special lady has been working in film and television for fourteen years. I hope you've seen her at least once. It'd be a crying shame if you haven't. Her name, a Swahili word meaning 'work of art,' is a fitting representation of this talented, beautiful and woefully under-appreciated actress.

Join with me in showing our appreciation for Spank Bank inductee:

Sanaa Lathan

The First Time My Eyes Met:
I watched both Moesha and In the House back in the day, so it's possible I glimpsed Sanaa in some of her earliest work. The most definable first impression is looking into her pain-riddled eyes as she reaches for her newborn son, Eric. As Vanessa Brooks, mother of Blade, I was amped to see her return as sexy Vamped Out Vanessa complete with weave-tastic curls.

She Had Me At ‘Hello’: There's no denying that mutha fuckin' Nia Long is as sexy as she wants to be, but Harper had it right in The Best Man. Why go out for steak when you got Kobe beef at home?

Sexiest Movie Moment: A whole lotta sexy can cover up a little bit of crazy. In Out of Time, Denzel wasn't sweating from the heat of those Florida summer nights; Sanaa's character, Anne Merai Harrison, had his blood boiling.

Let’s Never Speak Of This Again: I have yet to see a film where I have been disappointed by Ms. Lathan's performance. That said, I was none too pleased that her role in Powder Blue was nothing more than three tiny, tiny, tiny scenes as Charlie's late wife. Beautiful as an angel? Yes, but shame on the movie for not having a meatier role for her.

It Brings A Smile To My Face: Watching Monica Wright struggle to prove she got game and can still rock a prom dress. Love & Basketball follows the relationship of ballers Monica and Quincy from childhood to the pros in this realistic romance. Sanaa's portrayal of the hot-headed tomboy remains my favorite performance.

My Biggest Regret: Never seeing Catfish in Black Bean Sauce. I vaguely know the plot concerns Vietnamese siblings who meet their birth mother after being raised by an African-American family. Given Sanaa's track record, I expect it's worth checking out.

Her Winning Feature: Those dimples. Whether she's steeling herself for certain death in AVP or unleashing her anger on a frustrating lover in Disappearing Acts, no one stands a chance once they square off against that lovely face.

If I Could Walk In His Shoes: I'd have to swap places with Brian Kelly in Something New. I am confident I could take excellent care of Kenya McQueen's lady garden.

Most Anticipated Upcoming Project: Sadly, her upcoming projects slate is looking slim with only Macbett and The Middle of Nowhere on the horizon. Seeing Sanaa in anything that puts her front and center of the screen would be appreciated.

My Dream Of Working With The Enticing Ms. Lathan: With such a versatile actress, there are oh-so-many possibilities. The best way to make them all come true? I'd be the great and powerful Oz of casting directors. With a nod of my massive floating head, I'd dub Sanaa Lathan Queen of the Casting Couch, granting her leading roles in sci-fi, drama, action, comedy, horror, romance movies. Roles repeatedly given to the likes of the Aniston-Hudson-Alba-Garner-Fox's of the acting world would be hers to rule. The box office registers ring in harmonious unison as time and again her performances bring in the bank. Sanaa and I would even agree on a nice side-indie project to set her up for the inevitable Oscar. All this she'd accomplish without even the need for a "ride" on the casting couch. But if she wanted to show her appreciation, she'd be more than welcome to pull back this mighty wizard's curtain.

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  1. Sanaa is a talented woman. I remember her vividly in the TV movie A Raisin in the Sun, true Audra McDonald and Phylicia Ryshaad (sp.?) knocked it out of the park but Sanaa completely sold the mannerisms of a young scatterbrained girl, and she's really good-looking while at it.

  2. I missed Raisin in the Sun when it came on. I've got it on my NFQ now. She is so talented. Why she's not a Hollywood go-to actress is beyond me.