EXCLUSIVE: Bresha Webb Talks ‘Marlon,’ Supporting Black Women & the RuJohn Foundation
Bresha Webb adores Black women. “It’s all love,” she told JETmag.com. “I love putting that out there as much as possible because people try to create this narrative that Black women don’t get along in this industry and that is false. So false. We all love each other; it’s a love fest. And we all want each other to win, and there’s room for everyone.”
A classically train actress, Webb has shined on everything from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy to TV One’s Love That Girl! showcasing the versatility of her craft and commanding every scene that she’s in. Her latest role, as Yvette on the upcoming NBC comedy Marlon which stars Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins, Webb is completely in her element. Riffing off of Wayans who is also a dear friend of hers, Marlon and Yvette are definitely giving Martin and Pam vibes.
Ahead of the series premiere of Marlon, JETmag.com chatted with the 30-year old actress about why she’s so excited for the new series, her love of improv and what she’s watching on her downtime.
JETmag.com: How did you connect with Marlon Wayans and snag the role of Yvette?
Bresha Webb: I have been friends with Marlon for years. We met doing stand-up comedy. I grew up with stand-up, and I’m good at it — but sometimes it just overwhelms me. He told me that I had good stuff, and we kept in contact, and he saw my career rising on Love That Girl! He’s always been a mentor. He’s always given me great advice. When this show came about, I was on Truth Be Told, and when we found out that we were not extending to a second season, NBC told me that they had Marlon coming. They said, “We’re sure that we can find something for you on that show.” And I was like “That’s great.” I went in, I did a couple of scenes —they laughed and then the rest is history. Marlon, of course, is like, “That’s my homegirl Bresha, I told you she’s funny.” Then Essence Atkins was on board already, and I had been wanting to work with her— she’s such an icon in sitcom comedy. I grew up watching her. We became friends. Diallo Riddle —it’s so funny because I actually did his pilot Brothers in Atlanta for HBO. It was so much fun, and we still stayed in contact and stayed friends.
JETmag.com: Yvette is Ashley’s best friend, and she’s always coming against Marlon. What was that like to riff off of one of your oldest friends who’s been in the comedy game since forever? Was a lot of improv involved?
BW: Oh my gosh, improv is what we all live by so we’re always trying to revitalize the funny on set. Yvette is Ashley’s best friend, and she’s going through a divorce so of course as your best friend when your ex-husband has done you wrong, you have that type of Pam and Martin type of banter. That’s what Yvette is to Marlon. We can play dirty dozens all day. He’s the first person to talk crap to me as soon as I walk in. It’s all out of love, and it’s all out of the space of love. I’m really excited because from what I’ve seen so far I believe that’s coming through the screen. I think that’s essentially why Marlon chose me as Yvette because he knew that I was going to bring that type of flavor to it.
JETmag.com: Along with comedy, you’ve also done a ton of drama. You have an upcoming film with Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good, A Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love On Election Night as well. Why are you driven to do both? Is one genre more difficult than the other?
BW: I’m a classically trained actress. When you go to school, you don’t have a choice to be a comedic actress or a dramatic actress. You just come to act. That’s how I approach every single audition. I just want to play the character to the best of my abilities. It’s not easy or hard; I just look at the character and the complexities of it. Of course, Love That Girl! was so much fun dressing up, wigs, hair, makeup, being ridiculous, but there was still some complexities. It was very physical; it was very taxing, it was like dramatic work.
JETmag.com: I know that you do lots of work with the RuJohn Foundation. Can you talk with me a little bit about why it’s so important for you to work with them?
BW: RuJohn is very special to my heart because I love the RuJohn family. Andrew Bachelor and his sister Christina Bachelor came to me, and some other of their actor friends and they were like we love Jamaica, that’s where their roots come from. They were like we want to have a good time with you guys in Jamaica and have you guys over to do some community service. I love community service. My mom is Delta, and I was raised in the church. I fell in love with the kids there. Their tenacity and their energy. Jamaica is just such a beautiful country and just the people there, the children there. Whether it’s music you want to do, you want to play baseball or football or anything. We’re there as an example that stepping out on faith is possible and you will reap the benefits of that if you just believe in yourself. So that’s what that is about. I want to share that message with as many children as I can because that message was shared with me. I recently was able to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO). It means a lot to me to go back and speak to so many young adults. I was able to go to Baltimore and bring my parents and speak to the kids about what is possible when you believe, and so I have a heart for service. I feel like kids in their teenage years really need our assistance in pushing them in the right direction because it can go so many ways in this culture that we have right now. It’s so overwhelmed by sex and drugs and all of that so as much positivity that I can give, the better.
JETmag.com: Marlon is out Aug. 16, which is so exciting. Besides your show, what else is on your end of summer playlist?
BW: I’ve been watching my Insecure and of course my Power. Naturi [Naughton’s] one of my best girlfriends. The John Singleton show, Snowfall. Ozark with Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. Oh my god, that show, it just started on Netflix, it’s amazing. I have so many books to catch up on. I love podcasts; I love 2 Dope Queens. I’m listening and watching everything. I’m obsessed right now with Midnight, Texas. I’m really excited about Marlon. I just hope that people like it and people keep tuning in because with The Carmichael Show, being canceled now there’s not a lot of Black voices. There’s several when it comes to HBO or cable. But major network where everyone has access to it, it’s just Black-ish.
Marlon premires Aug. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
Photo Credit: Getty/ Loreen Sarkis