In 1998, Lathan earned a degree of recognition with her role as the mother of Wesley Snipes' title character in Blade. She followed this the subsequent year with a role in "life" with Martin Lawerence and Eddie Murphy and back-to-back turns in The Best Man and The Wood. The Best Man was a comedic ensemble film, starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long and Morris Chestnut. The Wood, another ensemble film starring Diggs and Omar Epps, cast her as the love interest of Epps, who at the time was also her real-life boyfriend. The relationship fell apart due to infidelity and they both moved on with their careers.