May 22, 2015 | Updated at 07:11 PM EDT The Latest Entertainment & Celebrity News

Gabrielle Union, 'Being Mary Jane' Star Talks On 'The Year Of The Black Actress' On TV

Gabrielle Union thinks it's a good time for black actresses to jump into the world of TV, with the success of Kerry Washington on Scandal and Taraji P. Henson on Person Of Interest.

By Xiomara Martinez-White, EnStars on May 20, 2013 04:00 PM EDT
facebook tweet this pin it plus
Sign Up for Newsletter
  • Gabrielle Union On 'The Year Of The Black Actress' On TV
  • The actress on joining the ranks of other successful black actresses on TV: "I’ve big shoes to fill, but it’s dope." (Photo : Reuters)

Gabrielle Union thinks it's a good time for black actresses to jump into the world of TV, with the success of Kerry Washington on Scandal and Taraji P. Henson on Person of Interest.

The actress just wrapped her new BET show Being Mary Jane, in which she plays a news anchor balancing family, friends, and her search for Mr. Right. The actress thinks that television might just be the most viable option these days because it's allowed for more diversity on both sides of the screen than film has. As a new television star herself, she realizes she has a lot to live up to in terms of other actresses gracing the small screen.

"I've big shoes to fill but it's dope," Union told the website CocoaFab.com, adding, "There are so many amazing writers that weren't getting put on with film that have all these amazing stories to tell and they're being able to tell them in a different medium."

"If you just humble yourself and be open, amazing things can come your way and that's what we've seen," she said. "You [have to] take advantage of every opportunity and I think that's what you have seen us do in droves."

Union remains optimistic that recent success of black actresses on television could lead to a new era for black male actors. She said "the time of the black man is coming" for viewers to then see "black love and black dysfunction." She referenced the shows Scandal and Deception, both which has black characters in the lead roles. 

Union also thinks her race and her age has somewhat complicated her career. In one of her breakout roles, as the rival cheerleader Isis in Bring It On, she played a teenager even though she was 28 at the time; her next role, on the television show City Of Angels, found her portraying a doctor.

"At the time, it was a concerted effort because it was like, I'm well into my 20s, I'm hanging out with people's parents after work and I just wanted to kind of segue into more adult roles," she said. "It was jarring for a lot of people... I wanted to be more intellectually stimulated. I'm not going to be able to do that on the Disney Channel doing H-E Double Hockey Sticks as a double agent." (That 1999 film co-starred Matthew Lawrence and Will Friedle of Boy Meets World fame.)

"So yeah, I played a child bride doctor in City of Angels to try to escape that."

Even now, at the age of 40, Union said her former teenager roles lead people to not believe her birth certificate. She cannnot understand the confusion - stating that perhaps it was because she was associated with "young projects" for so long - but she said people refuse to believe that she's 40. She joked, "It's been more like, 'You're 40?!?!' They put my age with everything nowadays. You can't escape it."

Being Mary Jane, announced during BET's upfronts presentation, is due to air early in 2014 but will premiere as a film during this summer.

© 2015 Enstarz, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

facebook tweet this pin it plus
Contribute to this Story send us a tip send us a tip send us a tip
Sign Up for Newsletters

Around The Web

  • SEARCH ENSTARS

Porsha Williams

'RHOA' Star Porsha Williams Is Still Beefing With Co-Star Cynthia Bailey

The cameras aren't rolling but the ladies of Bravo's 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' are still playing out their feud.

Adam Levine Behati Prinsloo

Behati Prinsloo Shows Her Support Of Adam Levine's Performance On 'The Voice'

Behati Prinsloo is supporting her husband on his latest performance on 'The Voice.'

Nick Collins, Missy Peregrym and Ben Bass

Nick's New Girlfriend On 'Rookie Blue' Might Be Nothing But Trouble

Nick has found love again on 'Rookie Blue' but this one might not end the way he hopes.

David Letterman

Where To Watch David Letterman's Final 'Late Show' Ever

Watch a free live stream of David Letterman's last 'Late Show' ever.

Bobbi Kristina Brown

Bobbi Kristina Brown's Neighbor Reveals Nick Gordon's 'Out Of Control' Behavior Morning She Was Found

Nick Gordon is under the spotlight once again as Bobbi Kristina Brown's neighbor describes what he was like the morning she was found unconscious.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, Whitney Houston

Brown Family Slams Cissy Houston's Claims That Bobbi Kristina Is 'Not Progressing' 'It's Not Helpful'

Bobbi Kristina Brown's dad's side of the family is not happy with the Houstons after her grandmother, Cissy Houston, made cryptic claims on her recovery recently.

Jake starts becoming an issue for Sam's relationship with Patrick on the May 21, 2015 episode of 'General Hospital'

Jake & Sam Try To Uncover What Hayden Knows On 'General Hospital'

Hayden's claims about knowing who Jake really is are investigated.

Sawyer Fredericks

Sawyer Fredericks Admits He's 'So Happy' People Have Been 'Enjoying' His 'Voice' Performances

Team Pharrell's Sawyer Fredericks shares some insight into his 'Voice' journey heading into the finals!

Maya and Caroline's secrets will both finally be out in the open on 'The Bold and the Beautiful'

Maya & Caroline Have Both Been Keeping Secrets On 'The Bold and the Beautiful'--And They Could Dramatically Change Their Relationships

They've both been keeping secrets from their loved ones, and now, the truth could drastically alter the relationships Maya (Karla Mosley) and Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) share with Rick (Jacob Young) and Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Dancing With the Stars

Who Will Win 'Dancing With the Stars' Season 20?

Who is going to win this season of 'Dancing With the Stars'?

'The Young and the Restless' Logo

Is A South American Drug Cartel Leader Responsible For Killing Austin & Courtney On 'Young and the Restless?'

Will viewers finally know who the real killer of Austin and Courtney is on 'The Young and the Restless' come Monday, May 18?

David Letterman

Where To Watch David Letterman's Final 'Late Show' Ever

Watch a free live stream of David Letterman's last 'Late Show' ever.

Juliette Lewis as Detective Cornell and Ryan Phillippe as Ben Crawford  on 'Secrets and Lies'

'Secrets & Lies' Will Be Back Sooner Than Fans Expected

The Crawfords won't be back for season 2 of Secrets and Lies, but Detective Cornell (Juliette Lewis) could be looking into another family sooner than fans realize.

Kaitlin Doubleday and Trai Byers

'Empire' Actress Kaitlin Doubleday Gets Engaged, TV Husband Trai Byers Responds 'This Is Epic!'

Congrats to an 'Empire' actress who's ready to wed her longtime boyfriend; and the man who plays her husband on the series had a few words for the couple.

Zoe Sugg, Alfie Deyes

Zoe Sugg & Alfie Deyes 'Obsess' Over One YouTube Star's Magical Music Video

British vlogging couple Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes have sent out kind words to YouTube star Joey Graceffa on his intriguing new music video.

Latest News

Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham

'Gilmore Girls' Reunion In The Cards? Series 'In Talks', Scott Peterson Explains

A trip back to Stars Hollow may be in the near future

Brooke Brinson & Kim Richards

Kim Richards' Ex-Husband Monty Brinson To Daughter Brooke: 'I'm Right There With You'

Monty Brinson posted a message to his daughter, Brooke, just days before she's set to wed in Mexico.

Brandi Glanville

Brandi Glanville Is Still Close With Adrienne Maloof's Husband

Brandi Glanville and Dr. Paul Nassif are still on good terms, despite their season three feud on 'RHOBH.'

Anna and Josh Duggar

There Are 5 Questions About The Josh Duggar Molestation Scandal That We Want Answered

The child molestation allegations against '19 Kids & Counting' Star Josh Duggar have left us all wondering. Here are the five questions we want answered.

Soleil Moon Frye

Soleil Moon Frye Drops 40 Pounds

Soleil Moon Frye just lost a ton of weight -- and she's put her new body on display in a sexy bikini.

'Southern Charm' Cast

'Southern Charm' Season 2 Finale Sneak Peek

Do Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis finally call it quits during the 'Southern Charm' season 2 finale?

Supernatural

What's Next For Rowena On 'Supernatural'? Ruth Connell Dishes On Season 11

Now in possession of the Codex, Rowena could be looking at a big arc after the season 10 finale.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift & Friends Wore $13,000 Worth Of Sex Shop Clothing For 'Bad Blood'

Taylor Swift dropped a ton of cash at a sex shop before creating the music video for 'Bad Blood.'

American Horror Story

Sarah Paulson Talks 'Disconcerting' Emmy Obsession

Sarah Paulson may love the Emmys a little too much.

Vanessa Hudgens & Selena Gomez

Did Vanessa Hudgens Keep Justin Bieber Away From Selena Gomez At The Met Gala?

Vanessa Hudgens had Selena Gomez's back at the Met Gala.

Featured Videos

From Our Partners

Destiny

'Destiny' Trials Of Osiris Gameplay Video: Watch Our First Runs Through The New Competitive Crucible Mode

Destiny's Trials of Osiris mode became available today for the first time, challenging Guardians to fight through the toughest Crucible matches yet.

Destiny

'Destiny: House Of Wolves' Secret Area Discovered, Can Only Be Accessed By The Best Trials Of Osiris Players [VIDEO]

Destiny's new expansion House of Wolves has a secret area that nobody knew about until today, when Trials of Osiris became available.

Game of Thrones

'Game Of Thrones' Musical Video Featuring Coldplay & The HBO Cast Is Hilarious, Includes Jon Snow & Tyrion Solo Numbers

Yesterday was Red Nose Day, an international fund-raising event to benefit those in poverty, and the Game of Thrones cast teamed up with Coldplay to bring us a highly entertaining short film.

Marvel Future Fight

'Marvel Future Fight' Downloads Reach 10 Million In Two Weeks on iOS & Android

Netmarble games has announced that Marvel Future Fight, their F2P mobile action RPG, has surpassed 10 million downloads across 118 countries in two weeks.

Puzzle & Dragons

'Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition' Launches Today On 3DS

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition has released today, a two for one package on Nintendo 3DS.

Total War Arena

'Total War Arena' Gameplay Revealed: Watch The First Footage Of The Upcoming Free Online Multiplayer Title [VIDEO]

The first gameplay footage of the free-to-play Total War: Arena has been released in a trailer.

Cavaliers vs. Hawks

CAVALIERS vs HAWKS: Watch FREE Live Stream Online & Listen: GAME 2 Cleveland at Atlanta

The Cavaliers and Hawks go head-to-head live from Atlanta. Game 2 can be live streamed for free here.

Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire Live Stream Free Online: MLS Standings 2015, Projected Lineups and Tactical Preview

Two teams in the Eastern Conference of MLS will do battle today in a match between the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire. The first-division clash scheduled for 8 p.m. ET will be held at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus and can be live streamed here free. Additional TV coverage can be found on UniMas.

James Harden

James Harden Rumors: Feud With Rapper Lil B Getting More Intense As Playoffs Wear On? [VIDEO]

James Harden may end up getting himself cursed by Lil' B if he doesn't change his ways.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant Retirement Rumors: Lakers Legend Calling It A Career?

Nobody plays forever, and Lakers fans now have an idea of when beloved superstar Kobe Bryant will hang 'em up.

Real Time Analytics