Meagan Good pulled triple-duty when it came to her latest project, If Not Now, When? which will be released on Friday. Not only did she star in the film as Tyra, a young mother who struggles with addiction, but she also produced and co-directed the film alongside her longtime friend Tamara Bass, who also stars. During an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Good explained how she managed to juggle all three of these roles in order to put together a truly moving film.
If Not Now, When? follows four best friends, played by Good, Bass, Meagan Holder, and Mekia Fox, who met in high school and were bonded by a major life event. In the film, they reunite 15 years later due to an event that occurs with Good's character, Tyra. Because Good was tasked with directing and producing the film, in addition to filming some very emotional scenes, she had plenty on her plate with the project. But, the Think Like a Man Too star was up to all of the challenges that the film presented. As she explained to PopCulture, she was even most excited about directing the project alongside Bass, as If Not Now, When? marks her directorial debut.
"What's crazy is the hat I was most excited about was the director hat. I've directed a lot of music videos and some short films, but once I made the decision to direct this, I knew I was going to shut down my whole life and really give all my energy and time and focus to this," Good said. She went on to explain that while she was most excited about taking on director duties, she was also thrilled to put on her producer hat, as well. "So, for me, I love producing as well. I love problem-solving, putting together the pieces, making sure I'm really big on just the integrity of the film and the integrity of what we're filming. I don't cut any corners. I'm just very specific about all those things. So, it was just a lot of things that I enjoy doing."
Even though she was up for the challenge of directing a film for the first time, that doesn't mean that there weren't some nerves involved. When it came time for her first day of being in the directors' chair, Good recalled that she was a bit nervous due to the scope of the scene.
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"But, my first day when I was directing by myself was the pool scene. And it was nerve-wracking because every single character in the movie, in essence, was in that pool scene," Good shared. "And it was like a massive crane shot. And that was like my first day for Tamara was on camera, and it was just me. And I felt like I was going to throw up. But, it was amazing because you realize that you are conditioned and you know these things, when you've been around it your whole life you really do know what you want, and you surprise yourself how much you actually know what you're doing. So yeah, just I love it."
Of course, Good has the most familiarity when it comes to the acting realm. So, when it came to transitioning from her director or producer roles to acting in If Not Now, When?, she noted that it took a fair deal of "practice" to be able to make that transition. "When I started acting when I was like 4 and started being really serious about it at 13, and so you learn that you may be on set filming a scene, but life is still happening," the actor explained. "And I learned to condition myself. I could be in a scene and be crying, I could literally be breaking up with a boyfriend on the phone in between a take, and then they say action. I'm happy-go-lucky, I got this scene, I'm so excited that we're going to the mall. And you just learn that there's just different gears."
"Then also as two black women who are really running the show and completely in charge of all the money for the film and all the production and everything, there is a lot at stake, and there's a lot of anxiety in terms of just trying to make sure everything is getting done right," Good added. "And so any anxiety that I had, I put it into that scene. Every time I had a chance to do a scene, it was like, "Cool. Whatever I'm feeling today, whatever stress or emotion, I'm just going to put all that into the scene and then I'm going to leave it right here in this scene and let it go for the day and then be done with it. And step out of the scene and step into some different energy and what's next."