If you’re anything like us, you are eagerly and IMPATIENTLY awaiting the return of “P-Valley”.
With its bevy of diverse beauties, colorful wardrobes and gritty storylines the STARZ series was easily the best thing to happen in 2020. Now that the first season is done, our Sr. Content Editor Janeé Bolden chatted up Brandee Evans, the beautiful and talented star of the show about how this wait has us fiendin’something serious!
“The whole world is,” Evans tells BOSSIP about our impatience. “I honestly sometimes am like, ‘Do I really need them groceries? I don’t even want to go to the store because somebody gonna ask me when Season 2 coming out. It’s so much but I am so grateful for all of the love.”
Unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed on TV (except MAYBE Michael K. Williams brilliant portrayal of Omar on HBO’s “The Wire”), the plot on P-Valley was driven by Evans’ Mercedes, an independent businesswoman with her mind on bettering herself, and Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) a complicated non-binary strip club owner secretly being romanced by an aspiring rapper named Lil Murda.
BOSSIP: Were you surprised that the community has been so supportive of the storyline with Uncle Clifford and Lil Murda?
Brandee Evans: Like completely received it right? I’m excited, I’m happy about it and impressed with us because we can be judgmental at times, so I was happy with the openness in our community for that dialogue especially and I know it was something that Katori truly wanted.
BOSSIP: We saw the screeners before the first season and we spoke with J. Alphonse Nicholson about it and we were like, ‘Are you ready?’ And he was!
BE: Love him. We’re all a family. I’m proud of him, because as a heterosexual man, tackling that role, I’m sure was very difficult and he handled it like a champ. A lot of people ask is he really gay? Hell nah. He’s an amazing actor, that’s what you’re watching. You are watching an actor work, you are watching a thespian work.
BOSSIP: You’re a caregiver for your mom. Do you find it ironic that Mercedes and her mother have the opposite dynamic?
BE: Yes, but not really. I laugh and I go, ‘Patrice is Diana back in the day in a sense and Mercedes is Brandee in a sense back in the day.’ So you see what Mercedes is probably going to be later in life in Brandee and you see what Patrice, outside of the disability, could be. Just that openness and that true unbreakable bond that I feel I have with my mom now, that Mercedes and Patrice do not have, but it took a lot of work, so they’re in the throes of what I’ve been through with my mother back in the day. Forgiveness is real so hopefully one day we’ll see the forgiveness in Mercedes and Patrice.
Where are the sex scenes for Mercedes? Are we going to see her get some finally in Season 2?
BE: Oh My God. Lord girl, I am nervous. I don’t know what Katori has up her sleeve. I think a lot of people want to see that. You know who don’t want to see it,? My Daddy and my brothers, that’s who doesn’t want to see that. A part of me is like, I’ve never done that so a part of me wants to see. So if that happens, know that Mercedes gave me my first sex scene or any love interest moment in my life on a screen. But if that happens, what better way, because I’ve never felt so safe playing a character,having female directors, having Katori and just every one on that set making me comfortable. So if I have to get my cherry popped on a tv show why not “P-Valley”?
BOSSIP: Mercedes is celibate. She’s been through a lot.
BE: That’s very similar to Brandee too because that’s where my priorities are – my mama and my work.
BOSSIP: You and Shannon be out here breaking Instagram
BE: I love Shannon, that’s my buddy right there, we’re so close. We live in the same building too.
BOSSIP: Do you guys work out together?
<blockquote>BE: We did and that’s why we had to come back hard because we were like who is going to fit in this floss? We gotta get it together. We ain’t got time to get wardrobe to get new sizes. When we first got to Atlanta we were like, ‘let’s workout hard together.’ We have different body types, which is important for women to know. Alot of times they look at us or any celebrity or women in general and compare bodies. Shannon and I have very different body types. Shannon does a different type of workout. We love working out together, but we have to do pretty much opposite workouts. I’m into the cardio, because child I have to workout or the hips I got from my mama will get out of control. If I weight train too much I bulk up too fast.
BOSSIP: What was it like seeing all the responses to the show on social media?
BE: I was overwhelmed. I forget about Twitter sometimes. I am more of an Instagram girl where I can just post it and leave. You have to be so interactive on Twitter, sometimes I’m like, ‘Dang somebody responded back!’ and I’m like days late with Twitter. I am definitely more of an Instagram girl and it will automatically share all over Facebook.
BOSSIP: How about the comments? Do you ever get caught up by what people are commenting?
BE: I keep it moving. That’s been a blessing from a lot of my friends that have been in the industry longer than me give me advice. I try to respond to everyone because I’m that girl, especially the people that can relate to me and my mom. If I see they’re going through that I want to talk to everyone. But it can be overwhelming and I’m an empath too so I’m taking it on. I’ll be sitting on Instagram all day long looking at everybody’s story and I’m laughing and crying so hard I had to cut off my DMs.
BOSSIP: We noticed you have a really supportive group of fellow actresses in your friend circle.
BE: It’s amazing. Even in Atlanta. From the beginning, when I was going through the audition process I was talking to Gabrielle (Dennis) asking questions, ‘How do you do this scene? How do you that scene?’ Her and Karimah from “All American.” Lots of friends who have been there every step of the way, I’m so grateful they have been the big sister mentors to be there for the late night calls to help me handle situations. A lot of times I think we don’t talk about things in the industry because we’re afraid of someone taking a job from us, but in my mind and in my circle we don’t believe anyone can take anything from anyone, because what’s for you is for you. If we’re winning, then you’re winning and we’re all looking and that’s how we look at it. I’m grateful because I’ve been watching most of them, clapping in the background so to have them right beside me as my peers is just amazing.
BOSSIP: If you could be a little birdy in Katori’s ear, what things would you want to see happen for Mercedes?
BE: What I learned in Season 1 is that her ideas when it comes to this storyline, are always going to be better than mine because she’s thought so far ahead. She’s been in this world way longer than I have and she’s always open to me expressing creativity to her. I sent her an outfit and she loved it, I think Mercedes is going to wear it on the show now. Those collaborative ideas she’s always open to. But storyline, I like to stay in my lane because she is so creative and it would be an injustice for me to try to change what she has planned because what it is is so much deeper than what I’m thinking . So I’ve definitely learned what Katori is doing is for a reason. I might not even understand until episode 8, but I’ll be like ‘oh my gosh, she did this in Episode 1 because of this!’
BOSSIP: Last year we interviewed Jamaica Craft, who choreographed the show. What was it like working with her? We know you danced professionally before acting.
BE: I absolutely love Jamaica and I remember them telling me she was going to be the choreographer and I screamed and then, when I got off the phone, I cried. I truly love Jamaica. If you are a professional dancer and you really do your research, you know that Jamaica is the queen. To work with her is amazing. I had gotten to a point in my career where I was actually tired of dancing, so actually Jamaica has been the lighter back on that fire, to light that fuel, light that fire in me with dance, because if it wasn’t for “P-Valley” I could never dance a day in my life and truly never miss it. But when you have someone like Jamaica being your choreographer it brings all that joy back. And then what’s funny is last year Mercedes only danced three times but it feels like she did more. That’s what I really love about “P-Valley” . It’s serving what and where I stand right now and what I really want right now in my career, which is to be truly focused on the acting and I have the dance heritage to serve the storyline, but I don’t feel like my career is dancing anymore. Brandee is focused on the acting.
BOSSIP: If you could do a biopic, which celebrity biopic would you want to star in?
BE: I think the whole world knows it’s Angela Bassett at this point. I love Angela. Forever she’s been my favorite. On the screen to my right – it may be a little creepy at this point but I have her over there, I have Viola and I have Regina King.
BOSSIP: Can you give us any hints about what to expect from Season 2?
BE: You’re going to see us tackling the things we’ve been dealing with in the past year. So everything that was hot, or impinged us in any way, you’re going to see that. I think that’s something that Katori likes to stay true to. Real-life situations, some things that we’ve all seen, been through, or known somebody else who went through it. 2020 gave us a lot to deal with. I think we’ll be able to address that on P-Valley.
We can’t wait!