Photo Credits to ABC
We had so much fun on the set of Black-ish. The great Tracee Ellis Ross took us around the set and made us all feel right at home. I loved meeting her. She’s sweet and funny and real. She’s Diana Ross’s daughter. I had no idea. Diana you raised an awesome daughter. She’s a rock star of an actress. Let’s meet Tracee the lovely Bow.
Photo Credits to ABC
And now the Tracee Ellis Ross interview!
Every room here is bigger than my house, said every blogger in the room!
Photo Credits to ABC
Well, the nice part about the big rooms is it’s easy for filming. I mean, on Girlfriends, our set was smaller but they were all open. Like there was always a wall missing because we shot on multi-cam. Which means you shoot more for a live audience. So these walls, they all close. This wall is usually off ’cause they mostly shoot from this side for this room or through the door.
But it does make it easy. It allows us to do less set up. a friend of mine was like, so what, like it’s a 22 minute show. How long does it take to shoot an episode, like four hours? Uh no, five days. I was like no. It’s a long week. It is kind of amazing to think of how long it takes and how many angles we have to shoot from to get 22 minutes.
Check out Anthony’s closet!
They’re bathroom is the size of my bedroom!
Can you see me hiding in the picture I took in the kids room?
How long are the kids allowed to work?
I don’t know legally what is required. I know there are real hard outs that they have to do. Like they have to do school that they have to get in throughout the day. There’s a big calendar that shows us when they’re blocked out for school. They also have hard outs on lunch. So Anthony and I can push lunch later. The kids can’t.
They can’t shoot on Thurs. On Fridays they can shoot till 10 o’clock. It still means that their hours are the same, but you can start later ’cause they can go later. So if there’s night scenes, you can only have them till 10 o’clock. So there’s a lot of protection for the younger kids who are 10 and 11, and then Marcus and Yara are both 15. I think when they turn 16, there’s like an extra hour we get them, but they’re really protected. They all have great teachers and they have a great school in a trailer that is half for the younger kids, half for the older kids.
How great is it to work with such talented actors?
Honestly, talent aside, they’re just wonderful humans. I mean, 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.
Are you mothering them also?
I guess so. I mean sort of it’s my way. I mean, you know, they’re kids and when they get tired, they have to keep working. That’s hard.
About the last episode with Brown University, you went there?
Did you film there?
We didn’t. I was excited too and was hoping we’d go. But we have a budget. lol
Photo Credits to ABC
As a biracial woman, how important is it to you to get that story out there?
Honestly they have not explored that story that much. I have been very clear, I’m not playing myself. I think it’s really exciting that she’s mixed. I’ve actually never got to play a mixed character on TV. I usually play a black girl. The truth is we haven’t really been exploring that story line, and I have a real clarity that this is a role that I’m playing.
In terms of what my character’s doing, I leave that to the writers and it’s kind of like magic when you get the new script because you’re like this is crazy or hilarious. But it’s not me. It’s not my story. So Bow doesn’t really have a matched experience for what my experience has been. I’m not married. I don’t have four kids, you know.
Do you have any input on your wardrobe? Any designers you love to wear?
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 heals ever. I wear heels all the time. Bow like rarely wears a heal, which I find liberatingly wonderful. It’s so great to not put heals 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.
Do you have a favorite episode?
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 that writing-wise, like that subject was handled like pitch perfect in my opinion. And that was such a difficult, like how do you make that funny, and somehow they did, and yet we weren’t laughing at the word.
One of my favorite episodes too btw!
And 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.
It’s hard. I love this show. I mean, I laugh when I watch it. Yeah, it’s, and I love that you can watch it with your kids and it’s like it’s really fun. The stuff in the office kills me. It’s just great. Yeah. I’m really, I feel really proud to be on the show.
Make sure you check out this week’s episode. It comes on tonight at 9:30/8:30 CST and it’s got a very special guest star Wanda Sykes. There’s quite a quandry that Anthony gets in!
Who’s your favorite character on Black-ish?