After years of wanting to come to the Shadow And Act offices, Ryan Michelle Bathe is finally a part of our “Reel It Back” series!
Bathe commented on several of her television roles, including her roles on NBC’s This Is Us, FOX’s Empire, and her appearance with her husband Sterling K. Brown in the OWN documentary series Black Love.
Regarding Black Love, Bathe said that she was glad she didn’t know everything about the project.
“I just think I thought that [Black Love creators] Tommy and Codie [Oliver] were just like, I don’t know…getting information for themselves so that they could have a great marriage,” she said, laughing. “I’m glad in a way I didn’t know because I was a lot more vulnerable than I think I would have been otherwise. And Sterling has no business, so I was like, ‘Oh my god here we go.’ Because he loves to tell all the business.”
Her role on This Is Us as Yvette, a mother who checks Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore) at the public swimming pool for not introducing little Randall (Lonnie Chavis) to the other Black children and families.
“I don’t think I remember being that pointed with Mandy, and she’s so sweet. I was real shady in this!” she said.
“…I remember thinking the entire time that I was filming that I have to step up and be somebody that I’m actually not in real life. But I would never, ever dream of saying [what Yvette says] in real life. So, for the character, I had to really sort of be like, ‘Okay. If you just had no filter, and if it was really just about the child, what would you say?'”
In Empire, Bathe played Celeste, one of several women battling over the same man, Eddie (Forest Whitaker), a mysterious man from Lucious’ (Terrence Howard) past. One of the actresses playing Eddie’s fellow ex-wife was actress Nicole Ari Parker, the wife of actor Boris Kodjoe.
“I played Boris’ wife in a movie called All About Us so it was really interesting to come all these years and play fellow ex-wives with Nicole[,]” she said.
She also gave some information on her character in BET+’s First Wives Club, Ari.
“Ari is the glue that binds this little merry trio together. When we meet Ari she is at the crossroads of her very long-term marriage,” she said. “…The way they show us all kinda come unhinged is kinda great and it’s just so touching and poignant. Everybody is going to be able to see themselves in these characters.”
Watch the whole video below:
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