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Interview: Bresha Webb on NBC’s ‘Truth Be Told,’ HBO’s ‘Brothers in Atlanta’ and Black Women in Comedy

Interview: Bresha Webb on NBC's 'Truth Be Told,' HBO's 'Brothers in Atlanta' and Black Women in Comedy

Premiering Friday, October 16, NBC’s new
comedy “Truth Be Told” is about two diverse couples “for whom no
topic is off limits.”

We spoke with actress Bresha Webb, who stars
opposite Tone Bell, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Vanessa Lachey, about her role on
the show, new projects and her career outlook.

About ‘Truth Be Told’:

BRESHA WEBB: The show is four friends, two
couples who live next door to each other and talk about everything together – relationships,
sex, race. It’s very similar to how you and your friends would talk about
everything, and even though it might be a little offensive or you’re not sure
how to say it, we tackle it together in a circle of trust and love.

Tracy and Mitch, Mark-Paul and Vanessa’s
characters, have been married longer so they’ve become our marriage counselors
in a way. It’s like a new definition of family.

On her character Angie:

Angie is Russell’s wife, she’s a pediatrician
and newly married. She’s opinionated in her stance a lot, but she’s lovable and
she’s figuring it out as well. Russell and Angie are a young black couple a lot
like myself and my boyfriend. We identify with these characters, all of us do.

The true story behind the series:

It’s based on DJ Nash, the creator of the show,
Will Packer, and DJ’s best friend, who is a comedian and is also black. So they
would get into these situations that are naturally funny and already there. And
then they let us find our own voices within these characters.

So it’s not a bud-um-ching type of comedy, as most sitcoms are. We’re kind of
grounding the material, and it’s hilarious to watch these events affect the
characters.

Tackling tough topics on the show:

I don’t think any show really has talked
about these things in a long time. Shows in the ’70s and ’80s were a lot more
provocative. Shows that are coming out now – like “Black-Ish,” “The
Carmichael Show” – are showcasing people of color in a new way. It’s not
stereotypical.

So just expect the unexpected. We’re going to
talk about it all. I’m so excited to be on a show that tackles real issues and
is provocative and funny and smart. I love it and I know people will love it
too because it comes off organically. It’s art imitating life.

On HBO’s “Brothers in Atlanta”:

It’s just a really funny show about two
friends who are tackling Atlanta together, and I’m one of the characters that makes
them realize how different Atlanta is from what they’re used to. I love the
show because it gives a nice commentary on the industry there.

Atlanta is the Mecca right now for black
people. When I go to Atlanta, I’m famous. I can get on a flight, anything.
Because they’re watching every show and if you’re black, you famous.

Lorne Michaels from “SNL” is the
executive producer, and Bashir Salahuddin
and Diallo Riddle who created it are hilarious. They’ve written on a lot of
shows and they do a lot of improv, so it was a blast. They comment on how
reality TV has painted a picture of black America and Atlanta, and it’s really
a clever show.

On this year’s groundbreaking Primetime Emmys:

I was really inspired. I won’t say we should
just be happy that we were there. I think it’s about time – that the Academy is
looking at us and acknowledging us, and that writers are writing for us, for
shows like this, that give new insight and a new way of looking at black women.
We still have a long way to go. We’re still building, but it takes one step at
a time.

Recognition for black comic actresses and #blackwomenarefunnytoo:

Niecy Nash was nominated, and she’s a comedic
address. It was her first time being nominated, for a show that was a different
style of comedy in that category, and that’s groundbreaking. When you think of
black women that have been honored, you think of — what’s baby’s name from
227? Jackée Harry. And that was back in the ’80s. So we’re making leaps and
bounds.

Inspirations and influences:

I started off in drama and there are so many
women that I admire. Women in this industry are gladiators. Cicely Tyson, Viola
Davis, Taraji Henson, Regina Hall, Regina King. There are just so many women
that are fearless, and that can be funny and can sing and dance.

Tracy Ullman, I grew up watching her shows
and standup and improv and specials. Bette Midler and Whoopi Goldberg. They
inspire me to do it all. I always wanted to do it all, I never wanted to be put
in a box. And I’m very proud of my career and doing “Love That Girl”
playing characters like Imunique, and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and now
playing Angie, I think I’ve given a full spectrum already in my career. The
best is yet to come, so I’m excited.

“Truth Be Told” premieres this
Friday on NBC. 

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