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M. Night Shyamalan’s Daughters Discuss “Privilege” Of Following Their Own Passions Amid Big Screen Debuts With Dad

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With two new movies premiering this summer, M. Night Shyamalan is expanding the family business. The Oscar-nominated director’s daughters Ishana and Saleka told The New York Times “it was unplanned” but “it feels right” that their respective movies, The Watcher and Trap, are debuting within months of each other. “I feel like in some ways we’ve always done that, since we were growing up, experience things together,” said Saleka, the 27-year-old R&B singer who plays pop star Lady Raven in her dad’s latest directorial outing, Trap.

She and M. Night took inspiration from Prince‘s Purple Rain as they conceived the idea of Trap together, a thriller about a man (Josh Hartnett) taking his daughter to see her favorite artist, played by Saleka.

Additionally, Saleka wrote 14 songs for her character to perform, all of which had to fit into the film’s narrative. Although the father of three admitted that he first found Saleka’s contemporary musical aspirations “ridiculous,” M.

Night has since admitted he was wrong. Meanwhile, Saleka has since gone on to some real-life musical stardom, opening for the likes of Boyz II Men. “I think once he saw that I had passion for it in the same way that he had a passion for film, he understood it and was like, all right, I’m with you, let’s make this happen,” recalled Saleka.

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