Tracee Ellis Ross Interview: ‘Black-ish’
Tracee Ellis Ross scored her fourth Emmy nomination this year for her performance as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in ABC’s “Black-ish.” The nomination comes after a significant few years for the actress, including a prequel series about young Rainbow called “Mixed-ish” and the film “The High Note,” her first starring role in a movie in over a decade. But Ross remains proud of the work she is doing on “Black-ish,” which is now entering its seventh season.”We don’t lean into the traditional sitcom wife/mother, the idea that you’re upholding an idea of perfection, that you are doing only one thing and being one version of what it is to be a woman,” says Ross in an exclusive new interview with Gold Derby. Watch the video interview above.
Ross is submitting “Kid Life Crisis” to Emmy voters, the episode in which Bow and Dre (Anthony Anderson) spend some couples’ time in Mexico and pretend to be childless for a little while. The episode leads up to a speech from Bow in which she outlines why she can’t just pack up and vacation with Dre in Paris without the kids, as Dre is suggesting. “We get to pull the curtain back on the reality of what it is to be in that experience, to be a mother who is also an anesthesiologist, who is also a partner at her hospital, who is also a wife, who is also a friend, who is also a daughter, who is all of those things,” the actress explains. We also get to see Bow explore her goofy side, not only in that episode but the entire sixth season, with Ross playing around with her vocal delivery. “There’s this weird voice that I’ve been doing as Bow,” muses Ross, lowering her voice. “I don’t know what it is, I can only do it in the moment.”
Toward the beginning of Season 6 of “Black-ish,” fans were also treated to a reunion of Ross’s beloved previous series “Girlfriends,” with her co-stars Persia White, Golden Brooks and Jill Marie Jones appeared in the episode “Feminisn’t.” She describes that week on set as a truly exciting one, noting that she fell back into her old rhythms. “I had to keep pulling myself back to being Bow with people that I’m using to being Joan with, but it was so fun,” she recalls. “The comedy and the snap and pop that happened with the cast of ‘Girlfriends’ was just so exciting.” She is also thrilled to see “Girlfriends” being added to Netflix next month, especially for fans who have been looking for an easy way to stream the sitcom. “‘Girlfriends’ is still such a relevant show,” she states. “The subject matter that we tackled, even the clothing, all of it.”