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Confession, I have never seen an episode of blask-ish before last month. I was invited on a press trip and on the itinerary was an interview with Tracee Ellis Ross, Rainbow Johnson from black-ish. I figured I better “do my homework” and watch a few episodes before the interview. Let me tell you, I was hooked from the very first episode I watched! The show is right up my alley; it has a great cast, interesting story lines and is extremely hilarious! Now I never miss an episode!
black-ish, on ABC Wednesdays 9;30/8;30c
|Photo Credit: ABC|
Did you know Tracee Ellis Ross is the daughter of Diana Ross?! I had no idea, until I did a bit of research on her beforehand. Wow. The daughter of a Legend, her Mother should be proud! Not only is she a talented actress but she is poise and extremely nice! When we met her outside the studio set, she made it a point to shake ALL 25 of our hands and introduce herself. How sweet is that?!
|Photo Credit: ABC|
She then took us on a tour of the set and answered all of our burning questions. Lets first talk about her wardrobe because girl got style! Just look at those shoes she had on for the tour, LOVE!
Her Style versus Rainbows
I do have a lot of input on my wardrobe. We have a wonderful costume department led by Michelle Cole. I do have input but they do the shopping. I don’t really specify any designers. My style is a little bit different than Bow. Oh yeah, which I kind of love. Bow doesn’t wear heels ever. I wear heels all the time. Bow like rarely wears a heel, which I find liberating-ly wonderful. It’s so great to not put heels on. One of the things that was very clear to me that I really wanted to bring to Bow is that she doesn’t have time for hair and makeup. I don’t know a mother of four with a career and a husband that can spend a ton of time putting together looks.
So, I usually don’t wear mascara. I don’t wear eye shadow and stuff like that. It’s sort of like the mascara and the lipstick is kind of her sort of regimen and routine. There’s usually not a lot of jewelry. I feel like the way she pulls from her closet is the way people pull from their closet, so it’s usually like a dress and sneakers or jeans and a cute top. Like I wear a lot more stuff than she does, but I like to keep it really authentic.
|Photo Credit: ABC|
The furniture on set has signs asking cast and crew to “keep off”, that doesn’t stop her and Anthony Anderson from taking naps on the bed!
On Working with Talented Actors
Honestly, talent aside, they’re just wonderful humans. It’s really joyful. I had such a good experience. They’ve been on the planet for less time than us and they’re not jaded. They just have a pure joy. They run for hugs in the morning.
It’s magic. Usually between takes, there’s a lot of giggling, laughing and videos being taken and pictures and everything. They’re extremely talented. For example Miles, who loves sports. He loves basketball. He loves LeBron James. And I can’t get them with me. They’re kids so you say something like focus. Get focused.
I was going to bed one night and it occurred to me maybe he doesn’t know what that means. I was like I need to explain that a little bit more. So I thought about it. What’s a really good metaphor that I could use on him. It hit me! He loves basketball. I was like well it’s like who has the ball? And so now that’s what I say, I’m like who has the ball. He doesn’t have the ball, even if you’re not the one with the ball you need to know who has the ball? It helps him stay in the scene and then he can stay in the game, right? So I was really proud of myself. They’re so young and they have such a grown-up job on their shoulders and they’re kids. They’re great kids, so it’s really fun.
|Photo Credit: ABC|
If you open a kitchen drawer on set, you might find Tracee’s script. She is known to hide her scripts and even cell phone in various drawers between takes.
Her Favorite Episode(s)
I really liked Churched. In terms of funny, I just thought everybody was so funny. I thought the writing was great. I thought the direction was great. I felt like, even just the little moments between the kids was awesome. I thought it was a great one.
I loved the N-word episode just because I thought writing-wise, that subject was handled like pitch perfect. And that was difficult, like how do you make that funny? Somehow they did, and yet we weren’t laughing at the word. One of my favorite episodes too, by the way. I thought that was just so beautifully handled and the fact that it was introduced through Jack was such an interesting way to flip that on its head like. My character, which I liked, she had such a stanch like clear like no hate speech whatsoever, but when I was her kid, she got tangled. I just thought that was so real. Like she all of a sudden was like a little bit on the fence like maybe it’s okay, you know.
|Photo Credit: (ABC/Eddy Chen)|
Tonight’s episode: “Man at Work”
Dre has always looked out for the crew he grew up with, but when his childhood friend Sha (guest star Faizon Love) comes to stay at the house for a few days, Bow thinks he is taking advantage of Dre’s generosity. Meanwhile, Daphne Lido (played by Wanda Sykes), the now ex-wife of Stevens & Lido’s founding partner, gains control of half of the company and wants to start inserting herself in company business. When Daphne starts to question Charlie’s work ethic, Dre must decide who he remains loyal to.
|Photo Credit: (ABC/Adam Taylor)|
Tonight’s Guest Star: Wanda Sykes
Watch Tracee Ellis Ross in black-ish on Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.