Jurnee Smollett

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To prepare for their roles as debaters, Jurnee, Nate and Denzel attended a debate camp at Texas Southern University. During the course, they learned the two different types of debate—impromptu and parliamentary. "We took it very seriously," Jurnee says. "We were watching CNN. We were reading The Wall Street Journal." In fact, they learned so much that in a match with the school's freshman debate team, they won. "Sure did!" Jurnee says.

That work paid off for all the debaters, but especially for Jurnee. In one scene in the film, she gives a passionate on-screen speech on equality that hits close to home. "It was such a personal topic," she says. "You internalize all of the words that you are actually saying."
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FROM: Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker
Published on January 01, 2007

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