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Gabrielle Union says she pulled from her own life experiences for 'Strange World' role

By Tonya Pendleton
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Gabrielle Union arrives at the world premiere of "The Inspection" at the New York Film Festival on Oct 14, 2022. Her latest film, "Strange World" with Jake Gyllenhaal, is out on Tuesday. File Photo by Gabriele Holtermann/UPI
Gabrielle Union arrives at the world premiere of "The Inspection" at the New York Film Festival on Oct 14, 2022. Her latest film, "Strange World" with Jake Gyllenhaal, is out on Tuesday. File Photo by Gabriele Holtermann/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Gabrielle Union and her husband, former NBA star Dwyane Wade, are preparing for their holiday dinner, but not before the actress appeared on Good Morning America to promote her new movie Strange World.

Union stars with Jake Gyllenhaal in the animated Disney film. They play a married couple, Meridian and Searcher Clade, who must go on a mission to save their world. Union says that she prepared for the role by pulling from her own life experiences.

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"As a demonstrably affectionate married mother and wife, I brought that to the role," Union told Robin Roberts, T.J. Holmes, and George Stephanopoulos. "And we do try to be partners in every aspect of our life and business. At least, you know, I try to consult with the young gentlemen I married.

"It's bizarre that some people find that controversial. I think he said, someday she leads, some days I lead, but most days we walk side by side," Union continued.

She says there are folks who found that problematic.

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"You're like, 'Who are you?'"

Union attended the premiere of Strange World with her husband and four-year-old daughter, Kaavia. She said that Kaavia is her "personal Rotten Tomatoes. She was like 'I had some trouble with the second act,' but no, she loved it. She was like 'Mommy, it's so fun and you were so beautiful. I was like, 'Let's get back to that last thing. How does Mommy look?'"

Union also talked about starring in The Inspection, now in theaters. The film is based on the true story of writer/director Elegance Bratton.

A young, Black gay man enlists in the Marines to gain the approval of his mother, who believes the military can change his sexual preference.

"I play his not-so-great mother, Ines, who put him out at 15, 16, so they were estranged for ten years, and he returns to try to get his birth certificate to join the Marines," Union says. "...But the mom really believes that the Marines can change someone's identity. You'll have to see the movie to see how it all turns out."

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Union says that she and Wade will host 50 people for their Thanksgiving dinner, organized by Wade.

"Thanksgiving is D's holiday, so he goes big. He turns it into the Budweiser Superfest (the popular 90's R&B multi-act music tour). It's basically Summer Jam (Hot 97's annual concert) It's multiple performances...I just show up."

Strange World opens in theaters Tuesday.

Gabrielle Union turns 50: a look back

Gabrielle Union poses for pictures at the 8th Annual GQ "Men of the Year" Awards in New York on October 21, 2003. Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/UPI | License Photo

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