Sanaa Lathan: “You don’t see women portrayed in movies at these high-level types of jobs”

“American Assassin” opens in US theaters September 15.


From “The Best Man,” “The Wood,” to “Love & Basketball,” actress Sanaa Lathan has portrayed several eclectic characters and in “American Assassin,” she plays a CIA Deputy Director.

Sanaa Lathan

Sanaa Lathan

Based on the New York Times bestselling book by Vince Flynn, Lathan plays Irene Kennedy, a tough government official who turns an Ivy League scholar into a killing machine.

“The fact that she is African-American and a woman and has this high level elite intelligence job is just fascinating to me,” Lathan shares. “It says a lot about who she is and how layered and intelligent she is. Irene has her own arc and there was some meat for me to bite into and really develop as a character.”

Directed by Michael Cuesta (“Kill the Messenger”), it’s a tension fueled spy thriller, which follows CIA agents on the quest to recover stolen Russian plutonium and stop a possible World War from occurring.

“These scripts come along every now and then. The fact that she is a black woman but is not black in the books is also very admirable and open minded of the studio to cast me.” Lathan adds.

A globe trotting drama which will appeal to action junkies, “American Assassin” is not your typical formulaic action flick. The film kicks off as Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) is proposing to his girlfriend Katrina (Charlotte Vega) on a Spanish beach. The blissful occasion quickly turns into a nightmare after a mass shooting in which Katrina is killed.  Consumed by rage and revenge, Mitch tracks down the terrorists, but also manages to get on the radar of the CIA who then enlist him to their organization to help hunt down other bad folks.

“Michael did ‘Homeland,’ which is one of my favorite shows and he brings a lot of depth to this,” Lathan continues. “He gives us as viewers a real look at what these agents and agencies go through. And you don’t see women portrayed in movies at these high-level types of jobs.”

Check out the trailer for “American Assassin,” which opens in US theaters September 15


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