Take a look at what the two talented young ladies had to say about their roles on the popular Amazon Prime Video series and much more to the popular news outlet.
Tell me a little bit about your characters and who you play.
Melody Hurd: Gracie Jean is fierce and more like her mom than her dad. She loves to have fun, and she’s most definitely a fun person. But I’m very strong, so she’s really like her.
Shahadi Wright Joseph: Ruby Lee Emory is a very intelligent person. And she’s very intuitive as well, just like her little sister. I feel like she’s most definitely a protector when it comes to Gracie Jean, because she has endured a lot of the generational trauma that her parents have experienced. And that’s affected her a lot.
So, I think that she really tries to protect her sister in ways that nobody else can, and I love their relationship together. I think that’s probably my favorite part about the two of them.
Your household should be one of the safest places you have, but there is no peace for your family at all. Melody, can you talk to me about Miss Vera and that bone-chilling song and dance scene that you had in in that first episode?
Melody Hurd: First of all, racism definitely caused all of this to happen. Because right when we moved to Compton, everybody started to make all this stuff happen. And then right when Miss Vera came, it starts to get really, really bad.
Miss Vera was always a scary person. She always made stuff that happen. She was very strong like me, so she always had the magic. Bad magic. Absolutely.
Shahadi, that classroom scene got my blood boiling. Ruby is sent to the principal’s office and meets Doris. What can you tell me about that relationship?
Shahadi Wright Joseph: I would say that Doris is probably everything that Ruby wants to be, especially with her being a teenager in high school and being the only black girl in her high school. It’s really, really tough for her, and I understand the wanting to fit in. That feeling that she always had, those emotions that she had, were most definitely magnified like 100 times. But I completely understand where Little Marvin’s vision was coming from.
Them also explores Lucky and Henry’s mental trauma, and both of you view what your mother is going through very differently. Can you talk to me about how that’s explored in the show?
Shahadi Wright Joseph: Most definitely, Ruby has always been way more like her father than her mother. And I feel like her her and her father have a different relationship than her and Lucky, which I really, really like. Ashley and I got to play with that throughout the entire show.
But I feel like when it came to specifically Henry’s trauma, Ruby could see him changing, see him growing distant, and could see his whole personality changing. And that was really hard for her. She was taking that stress in on herself even when she was Gracie Jean’s age, so that part was most definitely difficult to really showcase.
I feel like she has this resentment with her mother sometimes, when it comes to that. But I feel like there is a part in her where she really is trying to help her parents as well; not just herself.
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