Friday, May 27, 2022

‘Grand Crew’ Stars Explain Importance Of Mental Health In The Black Community (Watch)

*NBC’s new comedy series “Grand Crew” follows a group of friends – Wyatt (Justin Cunningham), Fay (Grasie Mercedes), Sherm (Carl Tart), Anthony (Aaron Jennings), Nicky (Nichole Byer), and Noah (Echo Kellum) – as they hilariously navigate through all of life’s ups and downs and general awkward moments. Whether it’s a bad job interview, bad hair day, or failed relationship story, you can trust that the crew is going to talk about it when they meet up for their weekly wine down at their favorite Los Angeles wine bar!

EUR Correspondent Tifarah Dixon sat down with the stars to talk about their characters, favorite filming experiences, and their thoughts on mental health in the Black community.

Grand Crew
GRAND CREW — “Wine & Fire” Episode 103 — Pictured: (l-r) Justin Cunningham as Wyatt, Maya Lynne Robinson as Kristen, Carl Tart as Sherm, Grasie Mercedes as Fay — (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

TD: Grasie! As an actress, do you prefer playing Fay from a place of mystery or are you just as excited as we are to learn more about her?

GM: As an actor I did my background work for Fay.  I got to episode three and Fay was married – from a reality show – she spoke different languages and I was just like, ‘WHAT!?’ I surrendered to that.  I love that she’s the eccentric character whose had such a fun and colorful life and now has this new crew. We definitely get to learn more about Fay and I think the second half of this season is where I really ground myself in this character and figure out exactly who she is and where she fits in this group. Whereas the first couple of episodes it’s really an introduction to Fay.

Grand Crew
GRAND CREW — Season: 1 — Pictured: (l-r) Justin Cunningham as Wyatt, Nicole Byer as Nicky, Echo Kellum as Noah, Grasie Mercedes as Fay, Carl Tart as Sherm, Aaron Jennings as Anthony — (Photo by: Kwaku Alston/NBC)

TD: Justin, Wyatt introduces the concept of therapy into the crew by encouraging Noah to visit a therapist, which is usually a taboo subject in the Black community. Do you think this is a topic that should be normalized in the future?

JC: Absolutely! It must be normalized. I know so many men of color who need therapy and not in a negative sense. Historically, specifically men of color, have not necessarily been allowed to be vulnerable or express feelings that sort of encompass what it means to be weak. And people see going to therapy as weak but you need to confide in somebody. I think that type of behavior and mentality towards your issues and problems can best be helped and guided through a professional. I think therapy is extremely helpful for any individual in spite of race.

Tune-in to “Grand Crew” Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC or Peacock and Hulu.

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