By Jean-Paul Eliard
The December 09 th, 2019
Hi Rhoda, I'm very happy to do this interview.
Hi Jean-Paul. Thanks for the interview.
When you read the script, what did you like about the storyline and in your character Judge Pamela Bachab in Just Mercy ?
I had not read the book but started with the script.
The wonderful Ed Bradley interview on 60 Minutes about Walter McMillian's case was eye-opening .
I was not aware of Bryan Stevenson's amazing journey helping death row inmates in Alabama and was thrilled to be a small part of his story of redemption. I found now retired Judge Pamela Bachab on social media and reached out to her....what a shock she answered back !
She told me she hadn't spoken of this case in many years but was willing
to open up about her personal feelings about this case (her 1st case as a judge,) and her memories of the defendant and lawyers.
I found her insight and human perspective incredibly helpful to me and to be true to the story.
How was the filming with your co-stars and the director Destin Daniel Cretton?
Daniel is a wonderful director & storyteller who has an amazing eye.
He is very laid-back and "actor-friendly" allowing us to make choices then shaping them to the scene.
Michael B. Jordan was open and giving as an actor.
I was truly impressed with his friendliness and hard work as an actor.
Jamie Foxx played gospel music during breaks and stayed focused to keep in character.
Did you perform with your co-stars before ?
I have had the pleasure of working with Karan Kendrick "Minnie"~ HIDDEN FIGURES, PARENTAL GUIDANCE and THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN. Michael Harding "Sheriff Tate" and I played husband and wife on Lifetime's ARMY WIVES.
I have enjoyed working with many Atlanta actors: Steve Coulter "Judge Buren," Ron Clinton Smith"Woodrow Ikner" and Mary Kraft "Prof Bartholet"....so many talented actors.
What was your parents' reaction when you told them that you wanted to be an actress?
I consider myself so fortunate to have known at a very young age that I wanted to be an actor.
Age 7 I performed in my 1st professional show in the theatre.
I've trained my entire life and continue to be a working actress that lives outside the major markets of NYC or Los Angeles.
What is your next challenge ?
Not sure if it's a challenge but I have a few films coming out in 2020~
THE BANKER, THE 24th, CHARMING THE HEARTS OF MEN and can be seen on Lifetime's A CHRISTMAS WISH throughout the holidays.
I can hardly with to see what projects the New Year brings! I am so lucky to do what I LOVE.
Do you wish to add something ?
I sincerely believe that being a "Character Actor" has been a gift.
While so many American actresses' careers are limited by this business to look younger and prettier, character actors can focus on being the best we can be but looking like ourselves.
I envy French actresses who are naturally gorgeous without all the facial work ! I believe your audiences appreciate beauty in healthier ways.