Long before she was cast as Camille in the new Prime Video series Harlem, Meagan Good knew she would work with Shoniqua Shandai, the relative newcomer who plays Angie in the series.
“When I went in to test for [Harlem], I ran into Shoniqua in the bathroom,” Good tells ESSENCE. “She was testing as well. She was like, ‘Girl, I talked to you on the phone five years ago. A friend of mine was a guest star on Minority Report and he put me on the phone with you. And I said to you, ‘I’m just going to claim in the name of Jesus that we’re going to be on a tv show together.’”
“‘And do you remember what you said?’ I said yes,” she recalls. “I said ‘I’ma claim it with you in the name of Jesus.’ So here we are in this bathroom, getting ready to test for this show.”
Jesus heard, answered, and did more than Good ever expected. Not only do Shandai and Good work together, but they’ve also developed a real sisterhood along with castmates Jerrie Johnson and Grace Byers, whom Good knew prior to the show.
“TV is different than film. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon. You have to pace yourself and you live in that space potentially for years with those people,” Good explained. “So for me, I’m always very particular because I want to work with people who are humble and sweet and fun and excited to be there. It’s a real sisterhood and a friendship that we will have forever and I think that really showed on screen.”
Also on screen was Camille having to decide between her ex Ian and her current boyfriend Jameson. The end of the season seems to point Camille in one clear direction but Good herself is tight-lipped about which man she feels is a better fit for her character.
“I think they both have pros and cons,” Good says. “Both couples mesh well together for different reasons. We haven’t officially gotten greenlit for season two but we’re feeling pretty good about it. I would know that they wouldn’t want me to answer that just yet.”
While we wait to see what Camille will ultimately decide, Good is reveling in the reception the series has garnered.
“My mind is kind of blown,” Good says. “I felt that it was good. I knew it was good but I definitely didn’t expect the response. It’s been really humbling and my heart is so full. It’s really cool.”
As this year comes to a close, Good is looking forward to the holidays where she can spend some time decompressing from a whirlwind year.
“During the holiday season, there is a lot of running around,” Good says. But there’s also getting the chance to take a beat and catch your breath and be really mindful about what you’re thinking and feeling, what you’re putting in your spirit and who you’re spending time with.”
Good shares that she doesn’t make a practice of giving gifts to people over the age of 15–with the exception of her mother. But this year, she’s partnered with World Vision in an attempt to address hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.
In addition to sponsoring a child through the organization, Good, with the help of female fair trade artisans in India, has designed the Tie that Binds wrap bracelet for the World Vision gift catalog. The sale of the bracelet, according to World Vision, “helps meet critical needs both today and tomorrow, equipping people to rebuild in the wake of disasters and helping empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty.”
Good shared that she’s thankful to be able to lend her voice to this cause.
“Sometimes when we think about all the things going on in the world, we get overwhelmed. Like, ‘Well, what can we do?’ It’s not about changing the world in one fell swoop,” Good explains. “It’s about making change that continues to stretch out and pay it forward. Help change someone’s life. Help save someone’s life. Help kids get an education, get food, make money and have a job. Help them have a whole other shot at life just by giving a gift to somebody you love.”