Nia Long felt empowered when she served as an executive producer for the first time on her new movie Fatal Affair.

In the new Netflix thriller, the Big Momma’s House actress stars as Ellie, who realises that her old college friend David, played by Omar Epps, is dangerous following a brief passionate encounter.

It marks the first time Nia has starred in a thriller and her first time working as an executive producer, and she admitted the experience was empowering.

“I was saying to myself months prior to reading the script, ‘Wow, it’s really crazy in all of these years being in the industry, I’ve never done a thriller,’” Long told Variety. “So, ultimately, I decided this was a great opportunity to ask for a producer credit, to be involved in the beginning, to help with casting, to have ideas about the script and Netflix was very supportive of that.

“For the first time in my career I felt heard… I felt like I was being respected for my ideas and that I was heard.”
She was involved in almost every aspect of the filmmaking process, from making notes on the script, to getting the hair, make-up and wardrobe personnel who could achieve the look she was after, and reaching out to personal friends – singer Estelle and her In Too Deep co-star Omar – about being in her film.

“He’s been doing a lot of TV lately, where he’s played doctors and very educated, put together, amazing characters,” she said of Omar’s casting. “I just thought, ‘I want to switch it up and I want people to go into this not expecting him to be the crazy one’… Omar was so amazing, because he came in with his ideas and they were right in alignment with my ideas.”

Fatal Affair is streaming on Netflix now.