‘The Young Wife’ Director Tayarisha Poe And Star Kiersey Clemons Talk About Their Magically Melanated Unconventional Marriage Movie

We recently had the chance to speak with director/writer of one of the most visually stunning projects we’ve seen recently, The Young Wife, along with the film’s star Kiersey Clemons. Poe is known for her work on Selah and the Spades and “The Twilight Zone.”

'The Young Wife' key art and production stills

Source: Courtesy / Republic Pictures

The film is about a young couple who take a unique approach to their wedding day. The film finds Clemons’ character Celestina preparing for her unconventional wedding with her soulmate River. With a storm threatening to unleash around them, Celestina awaits River’s arrival while doing her best to survive the chaos and expectations of their family and friends as all the elements come together to intensify her spiraling panic.

The film also stars Leon Bridges, Kelly Marie Tran, Michaela Watkins with Sheryl Lee Ralph and Judith Light.

“I love love,” Tayarisha Poe told BOSSIP. “I just love watching people be in love together. I don’t like that now, it’s like there’s a pressure to make every wedding like a three day long experience, as opposed to just like — I love this new thing of like ‘Let’s have a brunch wedding and then go home. Like let me go about my day!’ I love a backyard wedding. I just love ceremony.”

“I like when you’re celebrating the two people but not making up for the fact that the bride wasn’t the homecoming queen,” Kiersey Clemons interjected.

“I think a lot of people who got had to have gone through the process of getting married have expressed that to me and when I went through one, I found that weddings are very much for other people, more so than just for the people getting married, which is honestly like totally chill when you go into it with that mindset,” Poe continued. “I also think that when you when you approach it with that mindset there’s something really potentially powerful that can come out of it and this idea of weddings being about a community marrying another community as opposed to two individuals being like narcissists and in love with themselves.”

'The Young Wife' production stills

Source: Courtesy / Republic Pictures

One of the film’s most impactful scenes occurs between Clemons’ Celestina and Judith Light’s character Cookie, who is River’s grandmother. Cookie tells Celly that marriage is when a woman has to kind of break herself into bite sized pieces. We asked Tayarisha Poe about how the message reflects the reality of marriage for many women.

“As a woman I find that it feels like there’s not even freedom within freedom to really choose what you want to do,” Poe told Bossip. “In choosing to get married to a man it feels like, ‘Oh my God am I really gonna like get married to a man? And then like that’s what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna like be at home with my child?’ I do those things because I love those people and those are the people in my life and it makes me happy and it brings me joy and it feels contrary to the ideas of freedom that I thought would feel free. I think that maybe I’m just pushing back against people telling us what to do and maybe freedom for us as women means being able to choose what we want without the pressure of society saying that you choosing that means you have to now do XY and Z.”

'The Young Wife' writer/director Tayarisha Poe

Source: Courtesy / Republic Pictures

“I was just blown away when I read the script and I remember my agent talking about it, and she’s like, ‘There’s this movie! There’s this movie! I’m so excited about this movie! You gotta do this!’” Clemons recalled. “I was reading the script understanding why. This story that can feel really melancholy and has this like misty kind of coldness. I get why it would make someone like her feel excited and happy. I obviously saw the lookbook, the deck or whatever before I read the script and I was already a fan of Tayarisha and I was just so excited to seeing all of the the colors and it just reminded me of like the ocean and jellyfish and then to take that feeling and those visuals into reading the words, it was exciting and I cried and I laughed and I really felt like I was Celestina and like I was on the precipice of being this tornado that was going to destroy everything in my path.”

Kiersey Clemons in 'The Young Wife' production stills

Source: Courtesy / Republic Pictures

THE YOUNG WIFE is currently available on digital