Meet Michelle Mitchenor, Star of Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq
Michelle Mitchenor wants her work to start important conversations.
“Just knowing that every day when I went to work I was going to be a part of something revolutionary and part of something that’s different from what everyone expects, I really just loved that. I loved the idea of that,” said Mitchenor.
The film, also starring big names like Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, is set in the south side of Chicago where there is a war between two major gangs. Mitchenor plays the character Indigo, the leader of the Trojan gang’s women. The film is based off of the classic Greek comedy Lysistrata when the women go on a “sex-strike” in order to stop the violence.
“It mostly just stems from feeling as though our men, our boyfriends, are the main ones causing the senseless violence in the city so they are the source. So we need to go to the source and get the source to change and the best way to do that is to take away something that they hold so near and dear to their hearts,” said Mitchenor.
Mitchenor says that these issues are prevalent in today’s cities and that films like Chi-Raq can lead to conversations and change. Mitchenor said:
“The conversations that the film has started is allowing people to understand that there is a lot of gang violence happening in Chicago and cities with demographics very similar to it, and it’s just like okay, enough is enough. What are we doing? What’s really going on here? What’s going on with these people that we’re voting for? Whether a person likes this movie or not, at least they can say that they thought about the seriousness of what’s happening.”
Mitchenor studied dance at Towson University and got her start in the business as a back-up dancer for stars like Queen Bey and Cee-Lo Green. This is her second time working with Spike Lee, the first being when she starred in his first ever video game, “NBA 2K16,” as the character Cee-Cee. Mitchenor said:
“[Spike Lee] expects a lot out of you and expects you to be just as fearless as he is. He really ignited a fire in me of ‘I can do anything.’ I’ll always be so grateful to have my first two films be Spike Lee,”
The actress says she has many projects lined up for 2016 and to keep an eye out for her. You can follow her on Twitter @