If you want to see crazy defined, look no further than the 1996 film A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. The film, starring Martin Lawrence and Lynn Whitfield, showed a woman who developed a fatal attraction for a man that she does not know had different intentions for her, initially. On an upcoming episode of TV One’s docuseries Uncensored, Lynn Whitfield is revealing details of where she drew inspiration for an intense scene in the film. The scene in question involved a psychotic episode where she harms herself, and according to Whitfield, her father was a source of inspiration.
Prior to doing A Thin Line, Lynn Whitfield’s acting had already been widely recognized. The storied actress made appearances in television shows such as Hill Sreet Blues, Miami Vice, and Matlock. It was her portrayal of Josephine Baker in the 1991 film The Josephine Baker Story that propelled her career further in the right direction. Her performance garnered multiple award nominations and wins, including an NAACP Image Award and an Emmy.
For A Thin Line, Whitfield was chosen to play the role of Brandi Webb. She flawlessly delivers a performance of a woman who has an unhealthy obsession after falling for (and being heartbroken by) Darnell Wright, played by Martin Lawrence. When reflecting on the classic film in a 2019 conversation with Page Six, Lynn Whitfield says that it is not meant to be “disposable entertainment.” Although comedic in nature, the film’s subject matter, she says, can be utilized over and over. “The theme is so real to humanity,” said Lynn Whitfield. “People will always be able to use that mirror to help themselves and that is part of what I love about this work.”
Because of the Lousiana native’s phenomenal works over the last many decades, she’s now giving the chance to go more in-depth of some of her most iconic moments. In a clip from the upcoming episode of Uncensored, Lynn Whitfield touched on the role, as well as the scene where she bruises herself using fruit in order to set Martin Lawrence’s character up. In preparing for the film, Whitfield says that Lawrence gave her free reign to go as crazy as possible and encouraged her to “take as many chances as possible.” Whitfield at the time recalled a story that her dentist father told her pertaining to one of his patients. This patient was able to have her husband arrested upon finding out that “if you beat yourself with oranges, it doesn’t hurt, but you bruise.”
Once she told Martin the idea, Whitfield expressed that he loved it and repeatedly said “We gotta do it!” From there, they were able to spiral and build the other aspects of the scene. The “Greenleaf” actress also recalled other scenes in the film where Martin encouraged her to go the extra mile. Her performance would live on for years as “anthemic”. Lynn Whitfield also stated that a longstanding friendship would be birthed from working with Martin Lawrence on the film. The episode airs Sunday, October 10 on TV One at 10 pm. Check out the clip below.