ESSENCE.com caught up with Tracee to dish on the new show, a “Girlfriends” reunion and all those rumors about her love life.
ESSENCE.com: Tell us about “Reed Between the Lines” and how you got involved with the project?
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS: It’s is a show about a happily married couple trying to balance their careers and their children and loving each other. I play Dr. Carla Reed, a therapist, and I’m married to Alex Reed who is a stay-at-home NYU English professor, played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner. I actually had a wonderful meeting with BET and my initial interest was piqued when Loretha Jones explained they were attempting to revamp BET. She said they had a show and thought that I could join early to help develop it.
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ESSENCE.com: People have been comparing it to “The Cosby Show,” how is it different?
TRACEE: We’re not in any way trying to be “The Cosby Show,” but we are trying to make good television. It’s a natural comparison. It’s the same way they compared “Girlfriends” to “Sex & the City.” The comparison is so flattering and, at the same time, a great incentive to do good work. If we could hold a candle to what Cosby did, we’re on the right track.
ESSENCE.com: How do you think the show will contribute to the way Black love is portrayed on TV?
TRACEE: Whether I were on this show or not, I feel like I would want to see it on television. I want to see a man like Malcolm-Jamal Warner on television. I want to see a couple that supports and respects each other and that finds joy in each other.
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ESSENCE.com: We loved you as Joan on “Girlfriends.” Will there ever be a Girlfriends reunion?
TRACEE: The fact that people fell in love with Joan is a wonderful thing. It’s like people saying you did your job well. I mean, they still see Ron Howard as Opie, and how long ago was that? So if anything, it’s a mark that you did something good. [A reunion] is not on the radar, but I would love to do a “Girlfriends” movie. How much fun would it be to see what happens between Joan and Toni? Does Joan ever get married? I want to know! “The Game” got back on the air because of the fans, so I don’t know what all you people are waiting for, we need you.
ESSENCE.com: There’s been talk about you dating Bu Thiam, Akon’s brother. What’s that about?
TRACEE: It’s kinda funny. I don’t really talk about my personal life. It’s a strange and funny and weird thing. Sometimes you have a conversation with someone and the paparazzi snaps a picture of you and people decide you’re dating. If I try to answer everything people say, I would be up all night. I would much prefer to be shopping, eating, or sleeping than trying to control what other think or say.
“Reed Between the Lines” premieres tonight at 10pm on BET.