The 1997 film Loves Jones is one of the most beloved films in the history of Black cinema. The romantic drama was set in Chicago and followed the story of Nina Mosley (Nia Long) and Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate). The cult classic captured a generation of twenty-something African-Americans all wanting a romance like Nina and Darius. Now we are finding out the chemistry between Larenz Tate and Nia Long was sizzling off-camera.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tate revealed the energy between the two began at the screen test, “Immediately, we just kind of had a nice little spark and a connection and it just felt natural. I didn’t feel any pressure going into the room [for the screen test], I don’t think she felt any pressure. Once we began to do our scene, I think they saw immediately that we were the right pair.”
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Tate recalled their vibe continued during rehearsal, “I do remember once we got to rehearsal in Chicago that the real connection really happened. In a moment where Darius and Nina had gone on their first date, and he takes her back and drops her off at her doorstep. And he’s talking about [whether] he should come upstairs or not and she doesn’t want to take things too fast, and he approaches her and they kiss.”
He added with a grin, “Listen, it was very easy to want to kiss Nia Long. Let me just say that.”
Entertainment Weekly pointed out Darius Lovehall was pretty forward, Tate responded with “The thirst was real. That’s that love jones. When it starts hitting, man, I’m trying to tell ya!”
Love Jones celebrates its 24th anniversary on March 14.