Though her screen time is short—only about 10 minutes—her performance was memorable enough for the Academy to take notice. "If you blink you might miss me," she jokes.
Ruby says the experience of working on American Gangster was an amazing one. "It came right out of the bowels of where I grew up, and in myself, too. This whole thing, the character Denzel plays, Frank Lucas, and these kinds of men I grew up with and have known in Harlem who didn't have the opportunity, couldn't get the money to go into business—that whole racist ghetto thing. The banks, can't get money. But still, that doesn't mean you've got to go and shoot people's heads off. And that's where I come in, I think, as a relief. Somebody at least spanked the boy."