Paula Patton has reached a point in her career where she is shown a lot of scripts—some good, some bad and some, well, probably pretty ugly. So when the script for her upcoming flick Baggage Claim came into her reach, she knew she had found something special.
“I read the screenplay when I was making a film called Just Right with Queen Latifah,” she remembers. “I wasn’t even pregnant yet. I laughed out loud. I hadn’t read the book yet. So I said to my husband and my best friend—we’ve got to read it out loud. We all laughed out loud and I knew I wanted this.”
Baggage Claim revolves around the ups and downs of flight attendant Montana Moore’s love life. When she finds herself single and in desperate need of a date (and a fiance!) for her little sister’s wedding, she sets off on a high-flying pursuit of of past boyfriends to see if she can rekindle an old flame.
The role presented the opportunity for Paula to pursue one of her dreams.
“It’s a rare thing for a black woman to be the lead in a romantic comedy and I’ve always wanted to be,” she explains. “I love romantic comedies. They just feel good. Don’t we all love those?”
But snagging the role of Montana proved to be easier than actually getting the film made.
“The movie went away and I had my son and did some other films and then they called me and said, ‘Baggage Claim is back,’” says Paula. “I always asked about it. I was like, ‘What’s going on with Baggage Claim?’ And then they said, ‘They’re going to make it and David (E. Talbert, the director) wants to make it with you.’ It brought a tear to my eye and I jumped up and down with joy. I was thrilled. It’s been a dream come true in every way. It’s been a labor of love, a complete passion project for both of us.”
Baggage Claim opens in theaters Friday, September 27.
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