'BlacKkKlansman' Star Laura Harrier on Auditioning for Spike Lee, Black Representation & Beyoncé (Exclusive)

Laura Harrier, Blackkklansman
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Representation matters and this 28-year-old actress is using her newfound fame to lend herself to the cause.

Get to know the name Laura Harrier -- though you probably already know her face.

Harrier began her career at age 17 as a fashion model, gracing magazine covers and quickly becoming the face of brands like Louis Vuitton and an ambassador for Bvlgari. Then, she started acting in soap operas, starring as Destiny Evans on One Life to Live, before breaking through in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Peter Parker’s love interest, Liz Allan.

With a standout performance in BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee's joint about how a Black police officer successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, Harrier is making a name for herself in what is set to be one of the year's most talked-about movies. In the film, the 28-year-old plays Patrice Dumas, the president of the local university's Black Student Union, who strikes up a romance with the officer, Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington). While the story of Stallworth and the KKK is true, Harrier’s character in the film is not based a real person, but instead serves as an important representation of the female voices of the time.

"[Patrice] is an amalgamation of the different women of the Black Power movement," Harrier said of drawing inspiration from the likes of Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver. "I can't think of any instances where you see the female side of that, or at least very few. But these women were so important."

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When ET phoned Harrier ahead of the film hitting theaters, the actress reflected on the message the movie sends to young people, Black representation in Hollywood, Beyoncé's historic Vogue cover and setting her sights on even bigger career moves: "Working with Spike was an honor and such a huge learning experience, [so] that the bar's pretty high."