Tika Sumpter brings the Obamas’ iconic first date to life in the highly anticipated Southside with You.
Sumpter’s sweet spot? McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams. “It’s old-school,” she says of the Studio City haunt.
Why you should know her: Tika Sumpter stars as Michelle Robinson—aka the future First Lady of the United States—in the indie film Southside with You, which the Studio City resident also produced, in theaters August 26.
Living legend: “It’s something that people haven’t seen—it’s not who she is right now—but it’s leading up to what we see,” says Sumpter, noting that it was “exciting and overwhelming” to portray Michelle Obama at age 25.
Character development: “When we were filming, they were like, ‘Michelle!’” laughs Sumpter. And while the romantic drama centers on Barack (played by Parker Sawyers) and Michelle, the Windy City also plays a starring role. “It was great to be in Chicago to actually feel the thread of where these two people were,” observes Sumpter. “It made a huge difference. It just felt right.”
Behind the scenes:Southside with You marks Sumpter’s first time as a producer, and it won’t be her last. “I like putting the pieces together—it’s like a puzzle. I don’t understand ‘no,’ so it’s all about figuring things out and making things happen. I loved it.”
Extracurriculars: “I like to travel and try to continually learn and keep my mind open,” says Sumpter. “You never know where you’re going to get inspiration for your next thing.”