“Being Mary Jane” Star On New Series, Career Launch

It’s about to get juicy. caught up with actress Robinne Lee who portrays bold and brazen bread-winner Avery Daniels on the hotly anticipated BET series, Being Mary Jane.  She also just happens to be the wife in a love triangle with “Mary Jane Paul” (Gabrielle Union) in the series that premieres on Jan. 7.

The New York-bred Lee shares what to expect from the series that highlights the lives of African American women committed to bridging their professional ambitions and their personal responsibilities as mothers, daughters, sisters, lovers, and wives.  She also tells us how she got into acting despite a stern warning from her father.

JET: What should we expect from the season premiere?

Robinne Lee: Well, the pilot really set the tone with multi-layered characters. Producer Mara Brock Akil created pretty complex characters.

JET: Can you tell us a little bit more about your character, Avery Daniels?

RL: She is a strong and very confident woman who is very secure in her role as a mother and wife. She is a type-A personality for sure. However, she begins to lose the control that she has always had when she learns of her husband’s infidelity.

JET: Interesting! Much like your character you possess a very ambitious nature. Can you share about your journey from a Yale as a psychology undergrad student to becoming a Hollywood actress?

RL: It’s an interesting story for sure. I remember the ride up to Yale my father made it very clear to me “Don’t think we are sending you up here to study theatre.”

JET: So how did you manage to take the liberty and make the transition to acting?

RL: I just continued to pursue opportunities to audition for commercials, off-Broadway plays, and indie films throughout my college career. I actually landed my first booking in the indie-film Hav Plenty while gearing up for law school. In fact, the movie opened at the Toronto Film Festival during my first week of law school at Columbia University.

JET: Wow, that is amazing! With women leading passionate professional and personal lives being a central theme in “Being Mary Jane” what would be your advice to those still seeking to strike such a balance?

RL: There really is no easy answer for this. It’s definitely a constant juggling of sorts; and often, you will feel as if you are lacking at times. However, simply being present is important. No matter what you are engaging in at any given moment— it could be with your kids, on the job, or otherwise. Just be present. Also, don’t beat yourself up! Be kind to yourself! I got that piece of advice from an instructor at a PTA event. “You see that girl in the mirror? Be nice to her!”, is what she recommended that we all do as mothers, daughters… And to do it daily as an affirmation!

JET: That piece of advice sounds like the very virtue that the characters in Being Mary Jane are seeking to live by as powerhouse women.

KL: Exactly! This is the motive — to love ourselves, so we can be present for our families, our passions… our communities.


Watch Being Mary Jane beginning Jan. 7, every Tuesday at 10/9c on BET.