From The New Edition Story to season four of Being Mary Jane, BET continues its streak of amazing projects in 2017 and another one added to the list is The Quad. Airing Wednesdays at 10 pm ET, The Quad follows “ambitious yet troubled Dr. Eva Fletcher, the newly-elected President of the fictional Georgia A&M University. Upon arriving, Eva is charged with saving the prestigious HBCU from bankruptcy and her twenty-year marriage from crumbling while managing a tumultuous relationship with her rebellious only daughter. A diverse group of freshman also promises to keep Eva’s hands full.”
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the stars of The Quad and this talented woman is actress, director, and writer Erica Michelle. Alongside an amazing cast of actors & actresses, Michelle stars as Ebonie Weaver. Her resume includes American Horror Story, NCIS: New Orleans, and The Last Exorcsm: Part II with Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, and Muse Watson.
Check out my interview with Erica Michelle where she discusses playing Ebonie, how she got the role, what’s next for her, and more below.
When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in acting?
Acting is an innate ability for me. Performing, Creativity, and Expression is all I’ve ever known. Sure, there was a time(around the age of 6) where I knew I would do this as a career but as far as acting and the pursuit of it, this is my purpose driven life. I was born with an artist gene.
Your first role was in The Last Exorcism Part II. How was that experience?
The Last Exorcism II felt like an award during a rewarding time for me. I was finishing my last semester at Jackson State and I was receiving all these academic accolades and recognition so booking the Exorcism was the icing on the cake. At that time, I had been away from acting for about five years so to be freshly back and book my first feature felt really good.
You’ve guest starred in some great TV series like American Horror Story, NCIS: New Orleans, & Scream. How were these experiences?
Every experience is an opportunity and every opportunity is a lesson. Whether I’m guest starring, co-starring, or day playing, I try to always take from(and add to) every experience I encounter in this industry. I’m grateful to have worked with some of the people that I’ve worked with thus far.
You’re currently playing Ebonie Weaver on The Quad. How did you get this role?
Wow. Now that’s a story. Short version. I auditioned via tape, got a call two days later at 9:30 a.m. to be in Atlanta at 3:30 p.m. that same evening. So, I got on the first flight from New Orleans to Atlanta, went in and read for the casting director. Made it back to New Orleans at 7:00 a.m. the next morning only to get another call three hours later asking me to come in and read for the producers at 2:00 p.m. I bought a ticket for a $1,000 and couldn’t get on the flight, found the nearest bridge to jump off on, and then put it in God’s hands. Two weeks later, I got offered the role.
How does it feel to be part of a series with such seasoned actors like Anika Noni Rose, Jasmine Guy, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson?
Indescribable. There are some things in life that are just so precious and golden that they need to stay a memory. Working with them is one of those things. Just know that they are all amazing individuals.
What’s your favorite moment from set?
Definitely the day that Ebonie made the band. There’s a moment when the freshman showcase their spot on the field and I remember my saxophone not being correctly attached to my neck strap. There was a move where we leaned down and pop back up with our instruments pointing towards the sky and you literally could hear a pin drop. My instrument was laying on the ground and all I could remember thinking was “This is exactly why Ebonie gets hazed.”(Lol)
If you had the chance, which other character from The Quad would you want to play?
Ebonie. I would only want to play Ebonie. There’s a lot of me in her. She was written specifically for me. Aside from that, I think Executive Producers Felicia Henderson and Rob Hardy did an AMAZING job with their cast selection. Everyone plays their role beautifully. I wouldn’t and couldn’t see it any other way.
Who is your favorite actor and/or actress?
My favorite actor is Don Cheadle. What he does on screen is nothing short of brilliant. He won me over as Petey Green in Talk to Me. My favorite actress is the late Della Reese. There was something special about her comedic timing and on-screen presence. I would give anything to be hit with a trash can by her like she did to Eddie Murphy in Harlem Nights.
What is your dream role?
My dream role is to play Oprah in her life’s story. I know…I dream big, huh?(Lol)
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into acting and/or writing?
Becoming an actor and/or writer is a life-long commitment. You have to be willing to risk it all for your dream. Be smart and sensible, take risk, embrace patience but no matter what, NEVER GIVE UP.
What is NEXT for Erica Michelle?
Erica Michelle is working on a special project behind the camera. This project has been 4 years in the making and is finally coming to fruition. If all goes as planned, this will be a groundbreaking opportunity for a lot of people in the entertainment industry.
Photo Credit: Annette Brown/BET