‘The Perfect Find’ Star Gabrielle Union Says Netflix Rom-Com Is About Embracing Vulnerability and Self-Love

“Once she is firm in who she is, she can love completely and she can allow herself to be loved completely,” Union tells TheWrap

Gabrielle Union’s Jenna Jones stumbles upon a forbidden love in more ways than one in the Netflix adaptation of Tia Williams’ book “The Perfect Find.”

Shortly after landing a job under her old fashion world nemesis Darcy Hale (Gina Torres), Jenne meets Eric Combs (Keith Powers) at a party and kisses him. She learns the next day that Eric is Darcy’s 22-year-old son as well as her new coworker at Darzine, Darcy’s fashion magazine. Jenna has just entered her forties, so the age gap between the two of them is glaring.

“Jenna’s focus was basically self-love in a nutshell, but when every way that you validate yourself is taken from you, and you have to figure out who the hell you are and what you do want what you don’t want, ‘What is joy to you, has it changed?’” Union told TheWrap. “Once she gets on that path, then everything kind of opens up.”

Jenna previously dated a man closer to her age Brian (D. B. Woodson) for 10 years, but they never got married, and they never had children, which Jenna desperately wanted. Eric is Darcy’s only son, and his father died when Eric was very young.

Despite the fear of Darcy’s wrath, Eric and Jenna can’t help but gravitate to each other. A big commonality they share is the love of Old Hollywood and Black icons that they both admired.

“It’s old Hollywood. When we think of old Hollywood, we rarely include people of color, and we had, have and will continue to have a thriving, creative community of Black folks, and that is the inspiration that we drew upon,” Union said. “Everyone’s like, well, where’s Marlin Dietrich or where’s the Betty Davis all the people that we normally take fashion inspiration from, Joan Crawford. We were like ‘You know we had our own stars, and we don’t have to emulate the ones that y’all know because we can introduce you to some of ours. And that’s what we leaned heavily into, Black cinema from yesteryear.”

The Perfect Find. Gina Torres as Darcy in The Perfect Find. Cr. Alyssa Longchamp/Netflix © 2023

Getting to know Jenna also changes Eric’s standing with his mother, who does eventually find out about their clandestine affair.

“His relationship with his mother changed around the time his and Jenna’s relationship starts to evolve. His relationship with his mother kind of evolves as well more in the opposite way, but in a necessary way too, because I think they needed to be able to really hear each other and have these certain conversations that they’ve always held back from,” Powers said. “Darcy isn’t really an open book, and she doesn’t like to speak on things like [how] his father passed away when he was a kid. There’s a block and a wall there, and it actually passes as we follow Jenna and Eric’s relationship.”

Aside from the aftermath of Darcy’s discovery of the relationship, Jenna and Eric emerge with a stronger bond than before.

“Jenna, once she is firm in who she is, she can love completely and she can allow herself to be loved completely, and to be seen fully,” Union said. “It allows her to be vulnerable in a way that she did not feel like vulnerability was afforded to her as a Black woman in this space. Once she claims her space, she claims her love.”

“The Perfect Find” is now streaming on Netflix.