Actress Gabrielle Union has already had quite a year. Not only is she starring in BET’s new drama series “Being Mary Jane”, she was recently engaged to NBA star Dwayne Wade. Although her pending wedding nuptials are making her smile, the premiere of her new television series is also creating a huge smile for Union. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published on Jan. 6, the actress talked about her new role and also how she got the role.
Union has appeared in many movies and television shows in her career. But “Being Mary Jane” may just be that breakout role for the talented actress. She gets to play a very complicated woman. As an Atlanta news anchor, Union’s character struggles with romance, her career and family. It’s a role that has Gabrielle Union excited.
“I’ve shot a lot of stinkers, and you’re just like, ‘Eh,’ but this one, every day I was like, ‘This is so good’, it’s authentic and it’s brutally honest. You’ll see characters that within an episode you may love, you may hate, you may cry with.”
Sounds like the kind of show that would draw anyone in. The role also comes as a second chance for Union who was initially up for the role of Olivia Pope in the hit series “Scandal”. Although she eventually lost out on the role to Kerry Washington, just auditioning made her realize the type of material she could do. So when the role of Mary Jane was presented to her, it was a no brainer.
She tells EW about what attracted her to the character:
“She’s not a caricature. That was the first thing. I wanna see people who I know reflected accurately and authentically on screen. The thing about her is she doesn’t get it right – she doesn’t even get it right like 50% of the time which is life! Most people are jerks on Tuesdays and then Wednesdays they can be saints. That’s the reality of human nature but it’s very rarely reflected accurately on screen.”
In a show that does have some suggestive sex scenes, Union goes on to talk about doing sex scenes, including a masturbating scene, as well as her comfort with doing such scenes. It all just added to the complication of her character who only adds more complication with an affair with a married man.
Gabrielle Union is pretty excited about the show, but will it draw in the same viewers that have made “Scandal” a success? Only time will tell.
“Being Mary Jane” premieres on BET Tuesday, January 7 at 10 p.m.