With her turn as Cookie, the film's outrageous but wise hooker, Goodman, 38, is enjoying her first high-profile role since making a splash with her one-woman 1995 HBO comedy special, Hazelle! By her mere presence in the film, she is also making a bit of cinema history. Goodman is the first black actress Allen has ever cast in a major role. Allen has dismissed as "meaningless" criticism that he hasn't cast more blacks, and Goodman herself says the distinction is no big deal. "To me," she says, "this was just an opportunity to work with a great director."
Goodman, who emigrated from her native Trinidad at 8, has endeavored to entertain since 1985, when she began her one-woman cabaret act. "I take from my life experiences," says the actress, who is filming a Showtime movie, The Seed. With film offers following in Harry's wake, Goodman won't leave Brandon home with her church pastor mother for just any movie. "I want roles that are funny," she says, "because laughter heals."
On Newsstands Now
- Brad's Devotion: The Inside Story
- Oklahoma Tornado: Heroic Rescues
- Michael Douglas on Catherine's Health
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine