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Interview: Dorian Missick Talks ‘For Life’

Watch our conversation with Dorian Missick, the star of ABC’s legal drama For Life, as we discuss the significance of the show and how it facilitates a much needed conversation about the justice system.

Shawn Richardz: Hey Dorian, how you doing?

Dorian Missick: I’m very good, how are you?

Shawn Richardz: Good, good, good. So with this show, which I am a huge fan of – huge fan of your DJing and also a huge fan of your work. What is it about this show in this particular time do you think is important?

Dorian Missick: I feel like America is ready, you know, if they are not ready then they’ve been primed enough to where we can get them listening. The conversation about the American penal system has been going on and I just think that we have an opportunity to address it, and to be in people’s living room every day, every week rather, it really brings it home. A lot of times I think that if you are not from certain communities and something doesn’t affect you you feel like this is happening out there, this is not my thing. You can have an opinion about something that’s happening across the river, whereas when we are in your living room every week, there’s a certain feeling of having to deal with it. When you start rooting for Aaron and you like, “I don’t know anybody like this guy” but you’re rooting for him, it starts to open up your eyes and think that there are other Aarons. Or when you’re rooting for Jamal. And I think that’s an important thing about television, and one of the greatest things about our show – is that we’re able to open up a conversation for people that maybe wouldn’t talk about it…

Shawn Richardz: … Or are afraid to talk about it

Dorian Missick: Right! Or don’t even know, [or] have the tools to discuss it. Don’t even know it has to be talked about. I think that’s the biggest thing in America – people don’t realize that certain things have to be addressed. If it doesn’t affect them personally they feel like this is something that needs to be talked about. There are millions of people in this world, people in this country, that have a different experience than you and I. And it needs to be addressed.

Shawn Richardz: Well, I find it very interesting that your wife is playing a judge and you are doing this…

Dorian Missick: You find it interesting, I find it very natural. That’s a judgy lady! (laughs) I’m just kidding. I was like, yeah they picked the right one, you’re a judge for sure!

Shawn Richardz: So what are those conversations like when it comes time to coming home and maybe just decompressing from the character – for you and for her?

Dorian Missick: We talk about our work so much. I’m so glad we’re both doing something we are inerested in because we come home and we unload on each other, or download, however you wanna say it. Discuss our work at nausea. We discuss how to approach scenes. It’s just a lot. So this is just a natural progrssion that we both have shows that deal with the legal ssystem. And it’s a conversation that we have, especially her said of the family. Her side of the family is very political. We do family calls with her parents, and her brother and sister, it’s usually politics. Our family – we usually talk about religion or something, but her family – it’s usually politics. And so it’s like a very natural thing. I love debating with her dad, he’s my dad, I love debating with him about politics. So, it’s a natural progression in our household actually.

Shawn Richardz: Being that you are the DJ, is there a song or a music when you are on set to get in character?

Dorian Missick: I have a playlist that is kind of crazy, it’s all over the place. It really depends on what mood I need to be in for the day. It changes. As time goes by, the character kind of dictates what he needs to hear. And sometimes it’s not at all what I chose. Joy Bryans dressing room is next to mine, and sometimes I feel really sorry for her cause I blast my music. I wonder if Joy has a problem with this, she never said anything to me but I wonder (laughs). And I noticed that I’ve been mysteriously placed the furthest from the set. I think that’s because I make the most noise, Imma just be real (laughs)

Shawn Richardz: Well thank you so much. And we at Hollywood Melanin are so excited for your character and just having you come to the screen and bring all of these elements to your character.

Dorian Missick: Thank you, it’s been a pleasure

Shawn Richardz: Thank you!

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Interviews

Snowfall’s Michael Hyatt Talks Season 4, Cissy Saint’s Evolution and Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin (Video)

Michael Hyatt has graced our screens since before Snowfall. The Howard University alumn is known for playing recurring roles on several television shows, including The West Wing, The Wire, and True Detective, to name a few. Yet, her character Cissy Saint on FX’s drama Snowfall holds an exceptional place in her craft and her heart.

Currently in season 4, the show continues to follow Frankin Saint (Damson Idris), his friends, and associates as things around their drug dealing enterprise get more intense and a bit out of control.

Cissy’s journey from the series pilot to today has been enjoyable to watch. “Cissy has evolved.”Hyatt tells HM, “Over the last four years [you’ve] had the opportunity to see not just Cissy the mom, but the career woman, and the wife. And I don’t think we have enough opportunities to see us in the multi-dimensional consciousness that we actually live in.”

Michael Hyatt as Cissy Saint, ‘Snowfall’ FX

Cast as a series regular by the show’s creator John Singleton, the actress commends the late director for always bringing the authentic stories and talent of people of the African diaspora to the forefront. “When John was here, his whole thing was – it’s gotta be true. People wanna see themselves.” He carried the same vision for his crew behind the scenes. “Many of the crew members that are still on the show today were brought on by John, and I’m talking about the African faces that I have the pleasure of experiencing,” Hyatt says.

Born in the UK to Jamaican parents Vera and Charles Hyatt, the actress emigrated to the United States with her mother and siblings when she was 10 years old. Hyatt always remembers who she is and where she comes from, “I am African, British, Jamaican, American. I am that.” She tells HM. Embracing her West Indian heritage has been instrumental in her portrayal of Cissy Saint. “John [Singleton] would tell me that he has West Indian family members and when he thought of this story and these people, he was thinking of his aunt, grandmother, who are West Indian.” She shared in our interview, “It gave me permission to allow any aspect of myself to come out because they all represent who Cissy is, who all of us are.”

Make sure to check out our exclusive interview with Michael Hyatt above!

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Film

Bria Danielle Singleton Talks Playing The Younger Version of Octavia Spencer’s Character in ‘Thunder Force’

Bria Danielle Singleton had secured a role in Netflix’s new superhero comedy Thunder Force, starring Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer and Emmy winner Melissa McCarthy.

The 15-year-old California native is playing the younger version of Spencer’s character, Emily – a quiet girl who prefers to keep it to herself. Tween Emily lives with her grandmother and does not have any friends. That is until she meets Lydia, and they form a strong friendship. The two best friends lose contact with each other but later reunite when in their 40’s after Emily devises a treatment that gives both powers to protect their city.

Watch our interview with Bria below and stream Thunder Force on Netflix starting Friday, April 9.

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Film & Television

Gail Bean Talks ‘Snowfall’ Season 4, Wanda’s Second Chance, and Making John Singleton Proud / HM exclusive

Gail Bean is on an exciting journey. With several films and television roles already under her belt, the Atlanta native has been a series regular on Snowfall since season 2.

The crime drama, currently in season 4, continues to gain momentum. According to the reports, Snowfall‘s ratings are up 41%. The numbers came as a pleasant surprise – this marks the first full season without one of the show’s original creators, John Singleton, who sadly passed away in 2019.

Keeping the late filmmaker’s legacy alive and making him proud was extremely important for the Snowfall team, including Eric Amadio and Dave Andron, who started with Singleton, and now continue to carry his vision. “We did all meet, we did make a vow to not let the show slip,” Bean shared during our conversation, “He passed the baton to us and we need to continue to build, and continue to make sure that people remember that he went out at a high – he started off great with Boyz n the Hood and ended great with Snowfall.” And yes, he did THAT!

Snowfall cast

The series is a prime example of television excellence thanks to great writing and brilliant performances like Bean’s. Portraying Wanda Bell has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. The hardest part about it, the actress says, is knowing that drug addiction is a harsh reality for so many people, “I am grateful I get to step out of Wanda at the end of the day and wash her off. It’s really hard for me knowing that there [are] so many people who don’t.”

Another challenge Bean encountered in this role is being uncertain about the fate of her character. When Wanda got shot in earlier episodes of season 4, it seemed, for a brief moment, that her journey was over. She, however, got her second chance, which, the actress says, was a surprise because things could go either way for her, “I am just very grateful that she would have a second chance at life. I know so many stories of crack addicts that I know they could’ve gone any way with her, and it would’ve been realistic.” Without a doubt, Wanda’s journey has not been an easy one, but we are ecstatic to see her continue on the show, hopefully into season 5!

Catch Gail Bean on Snowfall every Wednesday at 10/9c on FX.

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