Brandee Evans interview: ‘P-Valley’

“I am still peeling the scars from ‘P-Valley’ Season 2,” admits Brandee Evans about her role on the strip club set series. For our recent webchat she continues, “It was crazy hard, but it’s the determination to get it. Even though producers might say they don’t need me to do that stunt, the dancer in me is like, ‘I’m gonna learn how.’ I want to feel authentic. I gotta have to have those scars. I gotta have that feeling. The training I got from dance taught me that you don’t give up. You don’t get tired until they say cut.”

The Starz drama is set in a Mississippi club called ‘The Pynk.’ It uses noir storytelling to explore the lives of the women who work there. Evans plays Mercedes, a veteran stripper at the club who juggles fraught relationships in her family. The actress explains, “her strength comes from not wanting to be like her mother. She loves her, but knows she wants to do better. Mercedes goes, ‘I see what’s happened around me.’ That’s where her strength is coming from, breaking the generational curses.”

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In season two the generational curses are broken when Mercedes helps support her daughter through an unwanted pregnancy. Evans explains, “from my experience, especially in the black community when you are talking about the church, abortion is not an option. You see Mercedes giving her daughter a chance to make a choice over her own body. That is not normal in our generation and people in the south. That was beautiful that Mercedes was able to give her daughter the choice. That’s an amazing step hopefully for mothers and daughters to see.”

Evans reflects, “I come from a very southern Christian family as well. There have been times where my family has been a little close minded. I think that this show has helped. I’ve never been closer to my family. I can tell my father anything. Growing up I didn’t feel like I could say that to him as a preacher. I can now go, ‘hey daddy, I’ve got a sex scene with a women tomorrow.’ I can be authentic and he goes, ‘this is your job, you know how I raised you to be a good person.’ I love that ‘P-Valley’ is opening up people’s minds.”

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UPLOADED Dec 6, 2022 2:50 pm