Gabrielle Union ‘The Inspection’ Oscar Buzz on Awards Circuit Podcast

Gabrielle Union ‘The Inspection’ Oscar Buzz on Awards Circuit Podcast


Gabrielle Union gets the best reviews of her career in A24’s “The Inspection” — proving that it’s never too late to make your mark on Hollywood. “I thought it was late for me,” she says Variety‘s Awards Circuit podcast. “I’m treated like the resourcefulness I probably should have been treated with after ‘Bad Boys 2’. Your strength, power, ability and beauty, it does not decrease with age, it shifts. As long as you don’t fight the shift, it can be a wonderful second, third, fourth, or fifth chapter. My grandmother turned 110 and was up [Phil] “Donahue.” I am looking at the next 50-60 years.”

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we talk to Union, who was recently nominated for Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards for her work in Elegance Bratton’s film “The Inspection.” She discusses her advocacy for LGBTQ rights, what’s next for her, and even weighs in on some of the media obsessions, including “The Slap” at last year’s Oscars. Listen below:


“The Inspection” tells the story of Ellis French (Jeremy Pope), a young gay black man rejected by his mother Inez (Union). With few options for his future, he decides to join the Marines and does everything he can to succeed in a system that would sideline him.

Standing proudly next to Pope is a career best move from Union as French’s mother, a homophobic prison guard who can’t accept him for who he is. Channeling a bit of Mo’Nique’s Oscar-winning turn in “Precious,” and with the right support and already off to a strong start, she’s a contender to receive her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Union is unapologetically herself and doesn’t care what her naysayers say as she stands up for those she loves. “The bunch of bigots who wouldn’t spit in my direction if I was on fire? These people? I can’t care about them. Because I could never live with myself if I didn’t say anything. And look how my child, and many children, old and young, suffer.

In a divided era of culture and politics, Variety asked Union to explore how Will Smith and Chris Rock might reconcile after the blowout on last year’s broadcast. Union has worked with both actors on separate previous films such as ‘Bad Boys II’ and ‘Top Five’.

“I think Chris and Will are two grown people, who had a moment that was public, that probably should have happened 25 years ago, and it just festered and spilled over,” she shares. “Unfortunate time. Whatever I said to Will or Chris, I would say it directly to them. But for the rest of us, there was a lot of hand-wringing and op-eds about the violence. But then the eerie silence that reminded me of when there was all this heartache, rightly so, about the gorilla, Harambe, in Cincinnati, but nothing was said about innocent black and brown people being slaughtered in the streets by the state. It’s the same group of people talking about two very rich men.”

Union is ready to take on the world, and a recent trip to Africa with her family has changed her. “I know I’m just getting started. I do believe I’ve found my superhero origin story.

Also in this episode, actor Claire Foy talks about the complexity of her role and working with a dynamic ensemble of women in Sarah Polley’s emotional drama “Women Talking” from MGM and United Artists Releasing.

In addition, the roundtable discusses the latest shakeup at Disney, with Bob Iger returning as CEO and Bob Chapek being ousted after a tumultuous year of scrutiny.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listening point for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about price races and industry headlines; and much much more. Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you download podcasts. New episodes are posted every week.


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