Gabrielle Union admits she used a “special voice” for part of her career because she thought that would make her look less threatening when it came to bagging jobs in Hollywood.
The 45-year-old has been in the showbiz industry for over two decades now but she says she had to use a specific tone when it came to business negotiations when she first started out.
Union tells Elle Canada: “When I spoke in my most authentic voice, I got what I wanted – I got what I deserved. And I’m 45.
“I think I’ve been in this business 22 years using that dumb-ass voice that I thought was helping me, and I’m sure it did at certain times. But I wonder how my career could have been different if I had let that real voice out.”
Despite usually being able to hold herself together during such moments, the actress admits she “lost it” on one occasion during a meeting in Los Angeles.
“I was tired. My eye was twitching. They took too long to circle back to my opinion, and I lost it. I spoke my truth, but I was sure I really blew it and lost that deal,” she adds, without giving too many details about which part she was talking about.
Union, who is married to NBA star Dwyane Wade, also speaks out about sexual harassment in the candid chat.
The “Being Mary Jane” star was raped at gunpoint when she was 19 in the back of the discount shoe store where she worked and has since described the aftermath in her book “We’re Going to Need More Wine”.
She says of whether she thinks it’s brave to speak out: “No. No. It’s a social responsibility, a duty, to say ‘I survived, and this is how you can too.’ That’s just basic human decency. So it’s not very brave.”
Union adds, “We’re all women, we’ve all been suffering—everybody’s got to be in the same line to be seen and each story recognized in its own place. You have to recognize and identify people and hold them accountable in every facet of life.”