"Steel Magnolias"
Lifetime "Steel Magnolias"
Moving on to "Steel Magnolias." People are no doubt curious to see a new take on the source material. Did you get Julia Robert's blessing to take on the role of Shelby?

No, I've never met her. It's so funny because in theater we do this all the time. When films are remade it often becomes a big deal. In theater it's called a revival. Julia Roberts played this role, this role is not Julia Roberts. It's a really interesting dynamic. It's not her role and it's not mine either -- I'm just playing it right now. It's a role that exists. We're all just actors. When I went into "Steel Magnolias," I had to drop all of that do try and do it successfully.

You no doubt must have learned so much on that set by working with such an amazing cast.

The cast was really what held that together. Everyone was so supportive. I think the original was made in 53 days, and we shot ours in 18. So there was a lot of action going on in a such a short amount of time. It wouldn't have worked if it wasn't such a supportive ensemble. I realized that the most successful casts are the collaborative ones, where's there's no ego and drama. Everybody was awesome. There wasn't one bad seed.

You share the screen in "Steel Magnolias" with another breakout, Adepero Oduye. Did you two bond on set, being the newcomers?

I love her! She was the first person in the cast that I met, other than my mother obviously. We were on the same plane down there. We sat next to each other and became best friends. We're both foodies, so we both ate a lot down there. Also, she's just one of the most clear, open-minded and also still very focused people. I'm glad that she's my friend, because as another actor it's tough to find real friends in this business.