Slumberland's Agent Green Was Inspired By Pam Grier 'And A Dash Of Denzel Washington' [Exclusive]

Netflix's latest original movie just dropped, and it's a family-friendly fantasy romp featuring Jason Momoa in horns and fangs, a bearded lighthouse keeper played by Kyle Chandler, and a whole host of fantastical elements that could only exist in a dream world. That is, after all, what "Slumberland" is about. The story follows Nemo (Marlow Barkley), a girl who disappears into the titular dream world in hopes of finding her dad (Chandler), who passed away.

Francis Lawrence's film is a riff on the famous "Little Nemo in Slumberland" comic strip by Winsor McCay, which appeared in newspapers in the early 1900s. One of the film's cast members, though, takes inspiration not just from the source material, but from a legendary on-screen icon of decades past. "I May Destroy You" star Weruche Opia plays Agent Green, a member of the Bureau of Subconscious Activity who attempts to stop Nemo as she travels through the dream world. Rather than draw from the police procedurals of the current era, Opia looked to classic Black excellence.

Funkytown set the tone

Weruche Opia spoke with /Film alongside co-star Chris O'Dowd in time for the film's release, and the actress revealed her inspirations for the Afro-sporting, smart suit-wearing character of Agent Green. "That character is inspired by Pam Grier and a dash of Denzel Washington in there, but mostly Pam Grier," Opia shared, adding that she "absolutely loved" the '70s style look she got to rock for the role. The "Coffy" and "Foxy Brown" actor is one of the most powerful and recognizable '70s action stars, and Opia apparently channeled her vibe on set.

"I was walking in that kind of energy, I was singing constantly," Opia adds, before revealing the tune that kept her in character. "I don't know what the song's called, but [sings] 'Won't you take me to Funky Town?' That was my inner song all the time." Lipps Inc's "Funkytown" is a great song to get stuck in your head on any given day, but it seems especially relevant in her role, given that the Bureau of Subconscious Activity on the whole has a '70s aesthetic.

"I think that just gave her a little pep in her step," Opia says of her character. Agent Green is nearing retirement in "Slumberland," but her plans keep getting thwarted by Nemo's chaotic and zany dream guide, Flip (Jason Momoa). "I think [the Bureau of Subconscious Activity] are boring buzzkills, but she has her own flair on how she handles stuff," Opia says of Agent Green. So where does the Denzel part of her character fit in? She didn't mention that, so I guess we'll have to find out for ourselves.

"Slumberland" is now on Netflix.