Oscar Grant Film "Fruitvale Station" Premieres in Oakland

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Stars of Oscar Grant film discuss movie. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Thursday, Jun 20, 2013)

    The premiere of the Oscar Grant film "Fruitvale Station" brought out a little bit of Hollywood and family on the red carpet inside the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland.

    Local director Ryan Coogler said he took on the project because the shooting death of Grant was something he could relate to.

    ”I think this affected everyone in the Bay Area even if you didn’t know Oscar," Coogler said. "I’m the same age as him from the East Bay. I got friends who look like his friends.”

    Coogler said he wanted the film to show who Grant was before he was shot in the back and killed by a BART police officer on New Year's Day 2009.

    Nigel Bryson was on the platform with Grant the night he was killed.

    ” People die every day and be forgot about," he said. "My friend’s name is still alive -- it’s a hard thing to go through."

    Melonie Diaz, who plays Grant's girlfriend, said she hopes her role in the film helps shape who Grant was.

    “Sometimes when you’re 22 we all make mistakes," Diaz said. "We are all trying to figure out who we are and it’s not easy.“

    "I think Oscar was not a saint and we’re not trying to paint him that way," she added.

    Octavia Spencer, an Academy Award winning actress, plays Grant's mother in the film.

    “A young man lost his life on a day he was celebrating his mother’s birthday with the people he loved most," Spencer said. "He was trying to change his past and we really didn’t get to see that happen for him. It was difficult."