Newcomer Gail Bean on Playing a Teen Mom in Indie Drama, 'Unexpected'

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Newcomer Gail Bean talks 'Unexpected,' the heart-warming indie drama about a teen girl who discovers she's preganant at the same time as her teacher.

Sometimes, the best bonds form from unlikely circumstances. That's the case with Jasmine Davis and Samantha Abbott in Unexpected, a heart-warming indie drama about a student and teacher who discover they're pregnant at the same time. 

Jasmine, the student, played by newcomer Gail Bean (pictured) and Ms. Abbot, her teacher (played by Cobie Smulders), lead starkly different lives: Ms. Abbot leads a comfortable lifestyle, has a set career and lives in a well-to-do part of town with her husband. Jasmine is a determined teen whose family is on government assistance and lives in a less desirable neighborhood.

"This was not a Great White Hope movie, [like] this amazing lady is the savior and I’m just this poor Black child," Bean told ESSENCE. "It was just genuinely about a teacher and a student and they like each other." 

Unexpected is based on a true story.

"I got a chance to meet with the student and talk to her and she’s actually really cool,” said Bean. “I felt it was a very honest portrayal." 

Unexpected brings an authentic view on not only racial politics, but also sisterhood, mentorship and odd, but true friendships. 

Out of all things, Bean wants you to remember this: "You are not your situation. Everything is mindset. There are plenty of teens who could get pregnant and think, ‘My life is over’... But [Jasmine] didn’t do that. She looked at it and was like, ‘I didn’t have this love and this is something that I have the opportunity to give to another human being.”

Unexpected premieres in theaters this Friday, July 24.

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