Influential Screenwriters and Directors Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Bythewood are more than industry executives, they’re soulmates. Their love story began when Gina had an internship at Quincy-Jones Entertainment. Unbeknownst to Gina, everyone at the job would speak on an amazing writer out of New York, which was Reggie. She had the opportunity to read one of his scripts for the first time, and was completely blown away by it. Within that week she went to a taping of the 90's hit show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Reggie was also in attendance.
“I was with the executive from another company and he brought me to a taping of Fresh Prince. I happened to look over my right shoulder at the few rows up, and there was a young lady that was glancing my way, more than once, and the person that was next to me told me, “Oh, that’s Gina Prince,” Reggie mentions. It was there when cupid stuck his arrow.
“We became best friends very quickly because we had the same kind of mindset of what we wanted to do in the industry and what we wanted to say.” - Gina Prince-Bythewood
From there, the two were both hired on the 90’s hit TV Show, A Different World. Reggie as a staff writer and Gina was hired as a writer’s assistant for the Apprenticeship Program. As the younger writers on the show, they were put together to work on different scenes. This later grew their spark and drew them closer.
When it comes to balancing work and family, the dynamic duo has expressed that they have learned to bring their kids into the process. Together we went through the process of why we feel at this time, we have to do this project, and put this out in the world, what it is we aspire to change. We really talked to them a lot about some of the lessons we’ve learned, and having a cause bigger than yourself. This is a family project and our kids understand why we’re digging in so hard. I think that allowing them to be a part of our mission helped them and it helps us.
When asked by ESSENCE MAGAZINE, What makes the couple excited about working together?, Gina shares, “I think that what I love most about being able to do this project together is the fact that, meeting on A Different World where we became best friends and having these dreams of what we wanted to do and then now to say to the world that we’ve never lost that idealism to impact the world. Maintain that optimism, still, fight for the opportunity as well. The fact that we’re just always on the same page together, shows what art can do. To be able to do it together and put out projects in the world that we’re so proud of feels really good.”
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Written By: Taylor Reeanna