Tessa Thompson and Teyonah Parris on the hardest part of filming ‘Dear White People’

Teyonah Parris and Tessa Thompson have two of the most dynamic roles in “Dear White People,” a movie that's crackling with vivid characters and provocative scenes. But not every moment in filming was fun and challenging as the wicked satire itself. 

“Dear White People” takes place on an Ivy League campus where a riot breaks out after a bunch of white students throw an African-American themed party. Parris, who plays Coco in writer-director Justin Simien's first feature, talked to us about the grueling nature one particular scene where her character makes herself look Caucasian.

“Going into this party scene, having to put the makeup on — it was maybe four shades lighter. Having to put on the blue contacts and the blonde hair, it made me sick, really. Because I realize there are women who think this is the only way to be beautiful. That's the way [they think] they have to navigate the world.”

We talked with Parris and Thompson about their character influences and what to take away from “Dear White People.”