GAIL BEAN stars as Gynnifer Green, an unrelenting small-town Mississippi girl, in Spectrum’s Paradise Lost that will hit on-demand service on Monday, April 13. Gynnifer is tough, ambitious and fights like hell to get out of her small town, but she cannot seem to escape her past no matter where she turns!
AC: What can audiences expect from Spectrum’s Paradise Lost?
GAIL BEAN: Secrets, murder, corruption, and a real raw welcome to the South (Bishop, Mississippi).
Can you give us any teasers about what is in store for Gynnifer Green?
Gynnifer is in a lover’s triangle that results in a baby. The question is who’s baby, is it. Throughout the series, we’ll see Gynn grow up and mature, making better decisions for both herself and her baby. Finally, she is thinking about someone besides herself.
Do you have a favorite line of dialogue from the series?
“Folks got all kinds of euphemisms to explain the unexplainable.”
Can you recall any funny moments from on-set filming?
The prop food was so amazing, I kept eating it all in-between the takes and during. One thing everybody knew was that both Gail and Gynnifer were going to eat.
I never saw the radio station which doubled as an adult sex shop until our scenes there. When I did, it was funny seeing items that were actually in that store. Things you’d never imagine squeezed right between candy. It would be some pretty exotic things side by side with gummy bears and apple rings. We’d make little jokes (non-offensive and we checked everybody’s comfort level ahead of time) and eat the candy.
Every Nique & Gynn moment was funny because we played around in between takes.
How can you tell when you’re reading a great script?
While reading: if it’s a page-turner, I know it’s a great script. After reading: If the script is still heavy on my mind and the characters/storyline stay with me, I know it’s great.
As an actress, what are you still trying to learn?
There are so many different people and cultures. I am still trying to grasp the norms of certain areas so I can effortlessly step into the shoes of characters from that particular region without judging myself or the character. I believe that comes with first leaning into complete vulnerability. I have to learn that it is okay to show all of who the character is at any given moment.
When did you begin to see acting as a potential career avenue?
My senior year of high school when I realized being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader could not be my real career.
How important is social media to you right now and how do you use it in your life?
Social media has never been important to me. I use it because it is something to do and it is a convenient way of staying connected to others. I am much more of a ‘realistic world’ type of girl. I prefer reality over virtual any day. There is something irreplaceable about seeing things live and having actual in-person interactions with people.
What do you want the world to look like in 10 years?
More aware of myself and others, filled with love & a different monetary system, equal while different and accepting.
I pray the world one day becomes a place of peace that surpasses understanding. One may not agree with a person’s choices or lifestyle, but I hate how judgmental the world is.
Everyone seems to have an app idea at the moment, what’s yours?
I do not have one, but it would have to be something that makes people more active. As technology and the world advances, it seems like the world is becoming lazier. Any app that would require more physical and mental effort.
If you had the chance to put something on billboards worldwide next week, what would it be? Or what would it say?
Be grateful. Live. Learn. Love. Let Go. Kindness is free. Mindset is everything. You can change your life with one decision, you can also change somebody else’s with that very same decision. Don’t hesitate.
In front of the camera, What is a fear you’d like to conquer?
I have a few things I shy away from so I guess you can say it is due to fear. I have never been a huge fan of pictures because I am afraid of a close examination of self via still images. It allows people to stare and find flaws that they may not initially see in video or person because naturally, we’re always moving.
Death is another one. I don’t attend funerals. I haven’t quite delved into the psychology of it just yet, but dead people scare me. Not just any dead person, but those that I know. Super left field, but I’d like to conquer my fear of spiders. Not sure how I’d go about that on camera but if somebody finds a way, I’m all for it.
I understand you are a writer. Which stories resonate with you the most?
I am weak for a great love story. Any love that triumphs but is still rooted in real truth. Maybe because I’ve had my fair share of brushes with love, but nothing ever prevailed.
Also, I’m a huge fan of crime drama: American Gangster, Boardwalk Empire, Peaky Blinders, Hoodlum, Blow. I believe in another life I was a successful crime boss. I don’t know why I love them so much, maybe it’s an alter ego or something extreme.
What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
Paradise Lost is one that will draw the audience in overtime, but it’s a puzzle so you have to watch the entire series to truly understand and see how it all fits together.
Snowfall is on a hiatus due to the current state of the world. We were in the middle of shooting season four episode four when everything came to a halt. This will be our first entire season without John Singleton, so it’s bittersweet and also very different. So much is the different, so Snowfall season 4 will definitely take people on a ride. They’ll think they’re high on the product when watching, but in all honesty, that’s the reality of the time period. When dealing with drugs and the government, anything could shift at any given moment. Just prepare for the unexpected.
Aside from your upcoming projects, is there one thing you’re particularly excited about for the future?
In all honesty, I’m excited to see how this Coronavirus will affect everything once it’s all over. How we operate as people, the workforce, faith, health, safety, travel and more. I love seeing cause and effects. Also, I’m building a home in Ghana (Africa) so I’m super hype about that. My first home ever and it’s in the motherland. So much progress has been made so I’m looking forward to visiting and have friends/family fly over for an official house warming.
PHOTOGRAPHY: NAILAH HOWZE
STYLING: SCOT LOUIE
GLAM: NIK TRUTH
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES