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Interviews

Michele Weaver On Playing The Ambitious and Relatable Luly Perry on NBC’s ‘Council Of Dads’

Best known for her role in Mara Brock Akil’s romantic dramedy series Love Is __, Michele Weaver returns with a new big role in NBC’s family drama Council of Dads.

As a student at Pepperdine University, Weaver majored in theatre acting and media production. The Colorado native now has quite a few roles under her belt, not just on television but on the big screen as well. Her most recent works include Nighthawks with Janet Montgomery and Chace Crawford; Illicit with Vivica Fox and David Ramsey; Sistercode with Amber Rose and Eva Marcille; and Syfy’s 2 Lava 2 Lantula.

Weaver is very picky when it comes to choosing a role. “It’s important to feel the connection,” she says. The star certainly felt a strong connection with her character Luly Perry, the eldest of five children raised by a stepmother and now a terminally ill father, who tasks a group of close friends to father his children when he passes away.

Here is the official synopsis:

Family takes on a different meaning in this transformative and inspirational new drama when Scott Perry, a loving father of five, has his entire life’s plan thrown into upheaval by an unexpected health scare. He calls on a few of his most trusted friends to step in as back-up dads to help guide and support his growing family – just in case he ever can’t be there to do it himself. There’s Anthony, Scott’s oldest and most loyal friend; Larry, his tough-love AA sponsee; and Oliver, his dedicated doctor and wife’s dearest friend. Together, they discover that there’s more to being a father than anyone could do alone – and more to being a family than they ever thought possible.

COUNCIL OF DADS cast / NBC

Weaver says she relates to her character Luly in many ways, “I’m biracial, I’m the oldest sister, I’m an actress, which is very similar to writing…” Luly is an ambitious writer with plans to move from Savannah to New York City. She is also a dream chaser, a big sister, a fiance and then a wife. Luly is relatable and “a great representation of women in this day and age.”

As we move through the season, Weaver says, we will follow Luly’s journey of self-discovery. “She starts to really explore who she is and where she came from. And what came from it, is answers she didn’t really want to hear.”

COUNCIL OF DADS – Sarah Wayne Callies (Robin Perry), Michele Weaver (Luly)/ Photo by Quantrell Colbert/NBC)

Some have been comparing Council of Dads with another NBC hit show This Is Us and wondering if the new drama is here to replace the Emmy-winning tearjerker. Weaver says it is not. As a big This Is Us fan herself, she sees some common themes, like family and the diversity of family, “but our show has a different perspective … Our family is a different family,” she says, “No one has ever seen a family like this on television but at the same time, it’s very relatable. We definitely have our own flavor.” The actress said.

Tune in to watch Council of Dads on Tuesday, March 24 on NBC. The episode will air at 10/9c immediately following the season finale of This Is Us.

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Film & Television

Karen Pittman Talks Playing Willa Hays in Paramount Network’s ‘Yellowstone’

Paramount Network’s flagship drama series Yellowstone is returning on Sunday (June 21) and The Morning Show star Karen Pittman is joining the cast in a recurring role opposite Kevin Costner. The series was co-created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson.

The show follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders – land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park.

Pittman plays Willa Hays, a very smart, confident and intimidating CEO of Metro Capital, who “comes in with a great deal of swagger” and brings the Duttons an offer they can’t refuse. “I loved playing a CEO character,” Pittman shared in our interview, “I loved it. A woman in charge. I think I might be the only African American woman in this kind of storytelling they ever had on the show.” Yellowstone will feature many strong female characters this season, she continued, “I think everyone’s gonna be excited about it.”

New episodes of the highly anticipated third season will start dropping on Sunday, June 21, on Paramount Network. Watch our full conversation with Karen Pittman below.

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Film & Television

‘Little Fires Everywhere’: Lexi Underwood is the Ultimate Dreamer

Hulu’s newest miniseries Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng’s novel by the same title, is nearing its premiere on March 18. We sat down with one of the stars of the show, Lexi Underwood and got some insight on her character Pearl, Mia Warren’s daughter (played by Kerry Washington). Lexi also talks about her production company Ultimate Dreamer that she launched at age 15, her career aspirations and working with the diverse female-led team of Little Fires Everywhere.

Little Fires Everywhere synopsis:

Starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, the story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

The first three episodes will officially hit the streamer on Wednesday, March 18. You can check out the trailer below.

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Interviews

‘New Amsterdam’s Jocko Sims Talks Playing a Black Surgeon On TV

We chatted with Jocko Sims, the star of NBC’s hit medical drama New Amsterdam while attending the network’s press luncheon on Thursday, March 5.

When he was young, Jocko Sims enjoyed science and dreamed of becoming a doctor one day. But as it sometimes happens in life, another passion took over. As a young student at UCLA’s School of Theater Film and Television, Sims knew that acting was the path for him and he followed it gladly. Eventually, fate and hard work will manage to somehow bring things to a full circle for him. Now as an experienced actor, Sims gets to play a doctor on one of the biggest national television networks.

Dr. Floyd Reynolds, “New Amsterdam”

Sims says portraying Dr. Floyd Reynolds on NBC’s New Amsterdam has been a blessing. Not just because the role is perfect for him but also because playing a Black surgeon on national television has impacted many people who watch the show. Sims recalled a tweet he received from a mother whose young son wanted to now become a doctor after seeing surgeon Reynolds on screen.

Inspired by Dr. Eric Manheimer’s memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, the show chronicles everyday dealings of the hospital, its staff, and patients. The show does an outstanding job highlighting some of the most controversial topics, including public healthcare. “I kept hearing that the healthcare system is broken,” says Sims, “now I get to see the details and it’s frustrating and eyeopening.”

Before becoming Dr. Reynolds, Sims played a Navy captain Carlton Burk on TNT’s The Last Ship, guest-starred on The Resident, Grey’s AnatomyMacGyver, CSIBones, Masters of Sex and many more.

Carlton Burk, “The Last Ship”

Sims’ talents, however, go well beyond just acting. The actor now writes and produces. He currently has a comedy in the works that he penned.

You can watch ‘New Amsterdam’ on Tuesday nights at 10 e/p on NBC.

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