*Regina Hall opens up about the second season finale of her hit Showtime comedy “Black Monday,” starring Don Cheadle.
The show is an 80s comedy that follows the employees of second-tier Wall Street trading firm the Jammer Group in the year leading up to “Black Monday“, the day when international stock markets crashed in 1987.
Hall plays the ruthless and ambitious Dawn, who is “brash like the boys” and totally ride or die. SPOILER: season two ends with a twist – Dawn locked up after “having taken full credit for the titular Black Monday scam in order to help her on-and-off again beau Mo (Cheadle) avoid life in prison,” per Vulture.
“Dawn just never gets it right,” Hall joked as she discussed the finale with the outlet.
Check out excerpts from the conversation below.
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— Black Monday on Showtime (@SHOBlackMonday) July 20, 2020
We’ve gotta discuss the twist ending. To protect Mo, Dawn goes down for Black Monday and winds up in jail. What went through your mind when you got that script?
I was like, “Oh, no. Dawn just never gets it right. No credit for Black Monday, prison.” [Laughs.] But I didn’t see it coming, so I always like that. And I did like that it was another layer of Dawn and Mo’s relationship. Her understanding that those three strikes would have put Mo in jail. And it’s not like they get the happy ending, but it’s another level and element to their connection and their love for each other.
There were a lot of nuanced and hilarious conversations about race this season, like the double date scene with Dawn, Mo, Marcus (Dulé Hill), and FBI agent Connie (Xosha Roquemore). What’s it like to get to work on that type of material?
Well, the fun of it is that it’s very true to the time period, but it’s also really still true. We were talking about that same conversation of voter fraud that was happening in the ’80s, and we’re still talking about it, maybe actually even more now. Maybe we weren’t talking about it as much ten years ago even though it existed. But now it’s incredibly… [phone rings]. Hold on one second. [To mother:] “Hi, Mommy I’m doing a phone interview, I’ll call you back in 15 minutes. I love you.” Sorry.
Monday on “The [email protected]” actress @MoreReginaHall dishes on the complicated relationship her character Dawn has with Mo Monroe played by Don Cheadle, 80s fashion and what viewers can expect this Sunday, on the season finale of the dark comedy #BlackMonday. pic.twitter.com/tk3OJ3jSl0
— The Talk (@TheTalkCBS) July 13, 2020
No, I love that. Please tell her I say hi.
Thank you. [Laughs.] It’s all just incredibly relevant now. You know, we’re looking at Blair and dealing with his sexuality and everything. It’s real and it’s true and we’re even seeing it now. Even the Casey [Rose Wilson] story line with the crosses on the knees. It’s like we have this segment of the population that is so extreme … there’s quite a division. But, you know, it is fun to play, because as we do it, the writers and then the actors on set get to ad-lib with so much of what’s going on. And then I love that [Connie] is, here it is, a Black woman who is actually the FBI agent. It works even better than if she were, you know, white. They think they’re in one conversation at the table, but there are two different points of view.
Absolutely. I must say, I love that your mom called because my mom was a Black woman working in finance in the ’80s and ’90s and I’ve never really seen her represented on screen until Dawn, basically.
Was she? That’s so amazing.
Yeah. The stereotype of Wall Street in the ’80s is that it was dominated by white, straight men, yet Black Monday has found a way to tackle the finance industry while being one of the most subversively queer, diverse, and Black shows on television. Was that always the intention or did it develop over time?
You know, I don’t know that that was the intention when they were creating the show. But once they got the cast, they realized where they could go, what they could play with, and that was what changed the voice. Being like, Well, what was it like navigating the reality of what existed? I think that’s when they decided to explore with Keith (Paul Scheer) and his character being married and Jewish and thinking, “Well, that’s really not my truth.” And then Blair (Andrew Rannells), who is literally in politics and then falling in love with a congressman who calls his wife “mother,” ironically enough. There are certain subliminal messages there. [Laughs.]
[Black Monday] shows the reality of how these worlds don’t allow us to be who we fully are and explores the nature of how these people and lives intersect in that space. Clearly, this is a cutthroat world. What the writers did that was smart was make the firm a place where no one else would hire any of us. Then we got to be the Bad News Bears of Wall Street.
You’re known to be quite hilarious on set, specifically with your Little co-star Issa Rae. Are you a troll on every set?
[Laughs.] I love to troll Issa. I’m like the bad older sister. Like, she should be doing it, but I end up doing it to her. But she does it too! I said to Issa, “I’m going to make a video of you and all your trolling moments.” You know, we just like to have fun. You’re on set for a lot of hours and it’s great when there are people you get to have fun with and just enjoy and feel comfortable around. It naturally happens. And Issa’s so hilarious, she always gets the joke. But she always has a subtle one right there, waiting for me. We have fun going back and forth a lot.
Read the full interview here.
Abby Phillip of CNN: A Next-Gen Star is Born
*In this age of fast-talking and often overbearing television news correspondents, many have been in the business far longer than CNN’s Abby Phillip. Yet Philip, 31, is a breath of fresh air.
During the recent presidential election night coverage, and the days that followed, more people turned to CNN than any other news outlet, to get their information about the historic election.
What viewers witnessed was a strong team of correspondents, with Phillip at center stage. She has been touted for presenting journalistic brilliance, rooted in deep perspectives and wisdom of the political landscape. Phillip was superbly praised, especially when she talked about the role Black women played in the presidential election.
“For Black women, this has been really a proving moment for their political strength, in carrying Joe Biden to the Democratic nomination through the primary,” Phillip told the NY Times.
And even before Biden’s win, Phillip predicted the former vice president would become president-elect.
“Not only would Black Women put Joe Biden in the White House,” Phillip said on the air. “but they would also put a Black woman in the White House as well. And while Donald Trump’s political career began with the racist birther lie, it may very well end with a Black woman in the White House.”
While what Phillip said on the air is profound, it’s just as important how she said it. Phillip is methodic in her vocal delivery, with a cadence and inflection in her voice that draw viewers to her solemn and insightful take on an array of political topics.
Born in Virginia and raised in Bowie, Maryland to parents from Trinidad and Tobago, Phillip ultimately graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor’s degree in government. After working at ABC News and the Washington Post, CNN hired Phillip in 2017 as a political news analyst.
While she has been a valued news analyst and contributor on many segments at CNN since joining the popular cable outlet, her star began to rise exponentially after she was chosen to help anchor the coverage of the 2020 Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention. The ultimate shine on the star came when CNN’s executive producers tapped her to be a major political contributor on election night, which has been called the most important election in American history.
“I was excited, but I was stressed,” Phillip said. “I knew it was a big deal.”
Faizon Love Hits Universal with Discrimination Lawsuit Over ‘Couples Retreat’ Poster [VIDEO]
*Faizon Love has filed a race discrimination lawsuit against Universal Studios for removing him from the international poster for the 2009 comedy “Couples Retreat.”
“This film was a big money-maker for Universal, but instead of honoring my work and my contract, the studio chose to render me invisible to billions of moviegoers,” Love said in a statement, Variety reports.
Love claims he only recently realized that he and co-star Kali Hawk are not on the international poster, and their names aren’t even mentioned.
“Rather than enjoy maximum visibility with the film’s release, Mr. Love was demoted to the proverbial ‘Invisible Man,’” the lawsuit said, referring to Ralph Ellison’s civil rights novel.
“Although Couples Retreat achieved a first-place box office opening weekend ranking, and went on a spectacular run that grossed more than $171 million worldwide, Universal Studios placed Mr. Love in the back seat of the ride enjoyed by his six White costars,” it said.
Universal allegedly apologized when first called out over the edited poster, and Love says he was promised future “lucrative, career-making film roles”… but that never hapened.
The lawsuit claims the movie’s lead actor Vince Vaughn “went so far as to tell Mr. Love that making a big deal about his removal from the poster would not be good for his career.”
Love is taking legal action of behalf of all Black artists who have been mistreated in the industry.
“They have not only hurt me financially, they have hurt me in a deeper way by dismissing me because of my Blackness — and they have hurt all Black performers by continuing to perpetuate racism in the movie industry,” Love said. “I want to ensure that future generations don’t have to endure the racism and whitewashing that I have experienced.”
The suit accuses Universal of fraud, breach of contract, and violating California’s fair employment act and civil rights law.
Scroll up and hear Faizon talk about the lawsuit via the YouTube clip above.
‘Bachelorette’ Star Tayshia Adams Gets Emotional During Rare Conversation About Race [VIDEO]
*“Bachelorette”Star Tayshia Adams opened up about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement during a rare conversation about race on the hit dating series.
Adams confessed to biracial contestant Ivan Hall on Tuesday’s episode that the death of George Floyd changed her perspective as a Black/Latina woman. She became emotional during their date while explaining her experience as a woman of color in America.
“Being in Orange County and surrounded by a lot of people that don’t look like me — being the only person that looks like me — I’m realizing that I’ve been trying so hard my whole life to blend in because I knew I was different,” said Adams of her California upbringing. “I didn’t really want to cry about it or open up about it, but hearing people yell ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it hit me more than I realize just because those are people in my backyard that I’ve been trying to prove for so long that I’m the same as them.”
— Tayshia Adams (@tayshia) November 24, 2020
Hall also shared his own experience as man of color, and recalled how his younger brother was mistreated in prison by correctional officers.
Adamsl told the camera, “He understands me more than anybody else can. That’s obviously what I’ve been looking for.”
The casting of Adams and the discussion about race comes months after Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black lead, called out the “Bachelor” franchise for “systemic racism.”
In response, producers diversified the popular series both in front of and behind the camera.
“We made a concerted effort, before the pandemic, to make better strides for diversity and let people see themselves and their love represented on the show,” host and producer Chris Harrison told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think the best thing we ever did was realizing and admitting there was an issue, and then saying, ‘Let’s get to work and let’s do better.'”
Speaking to the publication earlier in the season about starring on the show, Adams said: “Not only am I African American, but I am Mexican, and I’m going to have an opportunity to have a platform to relate to so many women who look like me, who haven’t had the opportunity to relate to someone in the past. How can you not want to take that opportunity and be an amazing role model for people? That was something that I took on and was really excited to be able to do.”
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