Sanaa Lathan Talks 'Hit & Run' and Joining 'Succession' Season 3 (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
After most recently starring in Shots Fired and the final two seasons of The Affair, Sanaa Lathan is returning to TV in a big way. First, she’s playing a journalist caught up in an international murder investigation in the Netflix series Hit & Run. Then, she’s playing a high profile lawyer in the long awaited third season of HBO’s Succession. While speaking with ET, Lathan talked about joining both series as well as reuniting with TheBest Man cast for an upcoming Peacock series.
Co-created by and starring Lior Raz, Hit & Run follows a man named Segev whose life is turned upside down when his wife is killed in a hit and run in Tel Aviv. Convinced it was no accident, he hunts down the people who he thinks is responsible for her death.
“It’s such a page-turner and so engrossing,” Lathan says of the series, revealing that she was initially only given the scripts for the first four episodes to read and then was unable to wait to find out what happened.
Lathan, meanwhile, plays Segev’s former lover and a New York-based investigative reporter named Naomi, who finds herself helping him with his investigation when his chase leads him to Manhattan. “She, against her better judgment, gets involved. She gets hooked and she can’t not follow a good story,” Lathan says. “She gets involved and then just can’t get out.”
Completed before the pandemic, Hit & Run was filmed all over New York City, which was a nice change of pace for Lathan, who is used to working on projects set in the iconic location only to be filmed on a set or in Canada.
And the Netflix series was even able to shut down Times Square for a scene that reminds her of stylish ‘70s films like The French Connection. “It was beautifully shot,” she says, adding that “the best time in the city is in the fall and we got to film in the fall and the locations were spectacular.”
When it comes to Succession, which is set to return this fall, Lathan admits that she had not seen it before being offered the role of Lisa Arthur, making her one of this season’s many A-list guest stars. But as soon as she watched, she quickly became a fan. “I wound up bingeing both seasons and I was blown away by the writing and the acting,” she says. “It’s just, you know, pure entertainment.”
While she can’t share anything specific about her role (“They’ve been very explicit, so y’all are going to have to wait”), she says that being part of the series was worth filming on location in New York City during the pandemic -- even if it was a very different experience from Hit & Run.
“It was definitely challenging with all of the PPE,” Lathan says, referring to the COVID protocols required on set to ensure everyone’s safety. “In between takes, you have on several layers of PPE. At first, I felt like I was swimming with weights on. But I think, you know, it still worked out.”
Looking beyond Hit & Run and Succession, Lathan is set to reunite with her Best Man co-stars in the limited Peacock series The Best Man: Final Chapters. Announced in February, the franchise will pick up after the 2013 sequel, The Best Man Holiday, with Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Nia Long and Harold Perrineau all set to return.
Expected to explore how certain relationships have evolved and what happens after past grievances resurface, Lathan says “the idea for this incarnation came to us about maybe four or five years ago, and it just didn’t work out as a movie.”
Looking back on the first, Lathan says that a part in another 1999 film, The Wood, led her to playing Robyn. “It was a two-scene part, but an important part. And I almost didn’t take it,” she recalls. “Then I met Taye on that and I met Omar [Epps, her co-star in 2000’s Love & Basketball]. And I’m sure those relationships helped play a part in getting The Best Man.”
Since then, the cast has stayed friends and the actress says they’re “all looking forward to getting back together.” And even after the second, the cast joked that if they come back for a third installment, “we’re going to do Best Man: Old Folks Home.”
But Lathan quickly adds, “Clearly, we’re not quite there yet.”