Meagan Good Describes the Importance of Highlighting the Black Experience in Film (Exclusive)

Meagan Good is making her directorial debut with If Not Now, When?, released on Friday. In addition to co-directing the project with co-star and longtime friend Tamara Bass, Good also produced and stars in the film. If Not Now, When? follows four women, played by Good, Bass, Mekia Cox, and Meagan Holder, who come together 15 years after high school due to a serious event in one of their lives. While speaking to PopCulture.com about the film, Good not only opened up about taking on producing, directing, and acting duties, but she also talked about the importance of showcasing complex stories featuring Black individuals onscreen.

"We [Good and Bass] set out to make this film because my feeling was like when I was a teenager, I got to watch movies like Waiting to Exhale, or Set It Off, or The Women of Brewster Place, and films that were really meaningful to me. Because growing up in the area I had grown up in, it was a predominantly white area, and I dealt with a lot of bullying and a lot of racism," Good explained to PopCulture.com exclusively, when asked what attracted her to If Not Now, When?. She went on to say that those films helped her to see "Black women in a way that I hadn't seen them before," and, as a result, she wanted to make sure that If Not Now, When? left a similar impact on viewers.

"And those films... really painted a picture of what was possible for me, and really empowered me and just did something really powerful for me in how I saw the world," she continued. "So, when I read this script, I thought, here's an opportunity to do that for this generation. Because we don't have a lot of those films anymore. And a lot of times when you're dealing with films that have a Black female cast, it's more comedies and different things like that. And things are totally a part of our culture, but they're not always simple, honest slice of life drama that is really complicated and really things that all women deal with, but the characters happen to be Black women."

If Not Now, When?, which was penned by Bass, showcases each of the women, all of whom are Black, in the film with their own unique storyline. As Good continued to explain, some of those storylines haven't exactly been explored on film, particularly, as they relate to Black women. For those very reasons, the Shazam! actor was instantly drawn to the project.

"I fell in love with it. I wanted to do it, and we set out to do it. It took us four years to get the funding for it. And it's been a total labor of love," Good said. "But, I just knew that this was the kind of thing I wanted to put into the world. And then also just the storylines of each woman, I felt like these don't get explored. You don't talk about the woman who can't have the baby. Don't talk about the woman who is pregnant but not really sure she wants to be a mother at all. You don't talk about the woman who gave up everything for this life that she thought she would have and then she didn't get that, and now she's determining at this junction in her life she wants to be selfish, and she wants the things that she gave up. You don't talk about the young mother, or opioid addiction, or any of those things. So for me, everything about the movie was just really, really rich and a story that I wanted to tell and I felt needed to be told."