KiKi Layne felt a "spiritual" connection to 'If Beale Street Could Talk'.
The 27-year-old actress was instantly drawn to the character of pregnant Tish - whose boyfriend Fonny (Stephan James) is jailed for a crime he didn't commit - when she first read the script and felt it was the role she had always been "waiting" for.
She said: "I literally said, 'It's me.' I don't know what it was about her. It was a very spiritual thing.
"I felt something on the inside, like, 'That's it.' It was what I'd been waiting for."
And as soon as she started working on the movie, which is directed by Barry Jenkins, Layne and the rest of the team on the project knew it would turn out to be something "special".
She told Closer magazine: "We all knew we were working on something special. I had never seen a love story like that before: two dark-skinned people in love on screen. That definitely drew me into the story.
"[It offers] so many things that people can connect with. It's interesting to hear what's resonating."
The actress has also had a positive reception for wearing her natural hair in the movie, admitting it has been "affecting people on a very personal level".
Layne can next be seen in 'Native Son', which is based on Richard Wright's 1940 novel, and while it was another "exciting" project, she's not sure what will come next, though she's determined to make "smart" choices.
She said: "It's important to me what I follow these films up with.
"I'm going to be smart and I'm really going to take my time. I listen to my spirit when it comes to picking roles. If I don't feel that thing on the inside, I'm not going to do it. So far, it's led me down a great path."