With today being a celebration of love, it was only appropriate that the Black Talent TV interview the creator and stars of Just a Friend, an upcoming romantic comedy. Created by Annette Galloway, Just a Friend focuses on a man and a woman who try to defy the odds and prove to everyone that men and women can be just friends. Be in the Talk hosts Symone Jackson and Philip Hernandez spoke with Galloway and three of the Just a Friend stars—Erica Hubbard, Trae Ireland, and Toccara Jones—about the film, whether or not men and women could ever be friends, and more. Check out the interview below, as well as bios on the guests via IMDb & Media Marketing Manager extraordinaire Desirae Benson. Also, if you’re in Chicago, check out the premiere of Just a Friend tonight at the Landmark Centure Centre Cinema starting at 7:00 pm.
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio and now residing in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, Ms. Galloway began her career in the entertainment industry as an actress where she worked in a variety of films such as Hoodlums, Losing Isaiah and Chain Reaction to name a few, which in turn afforded her the opportunity to observe and learn while working closely with some of the industries finest. She went on to star in several independent films and stage plays around Chicago before deciding to take more control over her career. She was passionate about spending more time behind the scenes writing, directing and producing films under her very own Production Company, which is exactly what she did. It is quite evident that this lovely lady is no stranger to following her purpose and living her life with intention.
Most recently, she has written, produced and directed her biggest project to date, a feature film entitled Just a Friend, a romantic comedy that everyone will enjoy. Just a Friend is this talented Director’s 2nd full length feature and she has many other film and theater accomplishments to be proud of. In fact, she has to date produced over a dozen films, video and stage projects and even won a few awards along the way. Galloway wrote, produced and directed her first feature length thriller entitled, The Ultimate Betrayal in 2005 that premiered to a sold out audience in Chicago.
Enriched by the constant encouragement from her parents, Erica Hubbard became friends with success at an early age. One of her first jobs in the entertainment industry came in the form of a theatrical performance in her hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even though she didn’t know it at the time, that one performance paved the way for a myriad of others to follow.
Continuing to excel and gain confidence in her craft, the young Erica effortlessly secured an abundance of modeling, television and film jobs that brought out her wit, intellect, and beauty. From her first commercial for the famous nationwide restaurant chain, Chick-fil-a, to her first film role in the 2001 Hit, “Save the Last Dance”, Erica exuded a rare combination of enthusiasm, warmth and maturity that allowed her to stand out from her peers—while at the same time, putting her in the perfect position to be admired as an actress. Aside from her stunning features that have been showcased in several magazines, it is her knack for being able to take an audience into her confidence that was—and continues to be one of her most striking traits.
Erica’s acting career continues to be pronounced and diversified. Her latest acting role as the bubbly and carefree character of Wanda in the Hit Romantic-Dramedy, Just a Friend, releases on February 14th of 2018. She has gained credits for so many of her contributions such as: A Cinderella Story (2004), Light It Up (1999), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) (a New York Times Best Selling Novel). Akeelah and the Bee (2006) for Lions Gate Films. Erica also worked as a regular on the series, Lincoln Heights (2006), on the ABC Family Channel, Erica’s animated series, The Replacements (2006),that aired on Disney, and Professor Mack coming in April (2018).
Polished and poised actor, Trae Ireland has a remarkable track record and a long inspiring history of success in theater, TV and movie credits. Naturally gifted with acting prowess and captivating GQ-like attributes, the ambitious Chicago native picked up and ventured west. Leaving nothing to chance, he went full force with his acting career that began back in the late nineties, with a recurring role on the award-winning sitcom, Moesha.
No argument can overwhelm the fact that Trae is multitalented and quite a force to be reckoned with. With an effusive air of welcome, the diverse yet notoriously competitive Hollywood scene took to Trae immediately and immersed him into a plethora of television shows and movies. From appearing on the two-time Emmy nominated show, Bones, the two-time Golden Globe nominated Showtime TV Series, SMILF, or even the currently recurring show, Family Time, playing the role of Denzel, this quick witted and charming actor continuously makes his mark as a talented and marketable addition to whichever mode of entertainment he so chooses.
Toccara Jones attended Stivers School for the Arts, where she majored in theatre and dance. She was honored by the Middletown Ohio NAACP at the Freedom Fund Gala, and received a key to the city. She is an American television personality, fashion model, actress, and singer, known for her roles on Celebrity Fit Club (2005), America’s Next Top Model (2003) and the BET Awards (2006).