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Gabrielle Union to star in ‘Bad Boys’ TV Series Spin-off?

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Actress, author and activist Gabrielle Union may be starring in a TV series spin-off based on her character in “Bad Boys II.”

According to DEADLINE, the untitled project is currently being pitched and has already got the attention of a few TV networks. The show will be led by the film’s original producer Jerry Bruckheimer along with Doug Belgrad.

Union played Special Agent Sydney “Syd” Burnett in “Bad Boys II” and is the sister of Detective Lieutenant Marcus Burnett, played by Martin Lawrence. She was also the love interest of his partner Detective Lieutenant Mike Lowrey, played by Will Smith.

BET recently announced that Union’s popular dramatic series “Being Mary Jane” was coming to a close after four seasons and will end in a two-hour film special, so this role and new project comes at just the right time. She also just released a new book titled We’re Going to Need More Wine, where she addresses color, fame and gender.

RC will keep you in the loop as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credit: GirlTalkHQ.com

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#UPFRONT with Sheryl Lee Ralph, April Lundy & Terayle Hill (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Just in case you missed it! Here is this week’s edition of my radio show “UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry.” My special guests included original “Dreamgirl” Sheryl Lee Ralph, who was on to talk about her role on the Amazon series, “One Mississippi” as well as her two other film projects—“Just Getting Started” and “StepSisters.” She also opened up about why she continues to advocate for HIV-AIDS awareness and prevention.

Filmmaker and CAU faculty member April Lundy dropped by the studio this week to chat about her documentary short on WCLK 91.9 and the station’s enduring legacy.

This week’s show also included emerging actor Terayle Hill, who was here to chat about his numerous TV and film projects and transitioning from the classroom to the movie set. We also played music from Miss Ralph and Atlanta indie artist Jyn Sparrow.

#UPFRONT Inside Atlanta Entertainment Industry is a 30-minute radio magazine that features one-on-one interviews with all of the major players and behind-the-scenes superstars that make Georgia the new “Entertainment Capital.”

It airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Jazz 91.9 WCLK and WCLK.com.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Gabrielle Union addresses color, gender & fame in her new book, ‘We’re Going To Need More Wine’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Gabrielle Union is about to give her fans a more personal and intimate account of her life as a Black woman in Hollywood through her new book, We’re Going to Need More Wine. The NAACP Image Award winning TV and film star announced it earlier today via social media and promised fans that there would also be an audio version too.

“Big announcement, ur girl wrote a book! Preorder now to read about my journey… the good, the bad, & the WTF.”

According to the HarperCollins website, We’re Going to Need More Wine is a moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor. Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame.

Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.

The book officially debuts on October 17, 2017 but fans can pre-order a hardcopy now!  Look for Union to appear in “Being Mary Jane” this summer and later on as Rebecca Parks in the upcoming drama, “The Public .” We talked about it during our #UPFRONT interview two weeks ago.  Check it out!

CONGRATS!

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Meet the New Characters of BET’s ‘Being Mary Jane’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a sneak peek of the newest cast members of BET’s hit series “Being Mary Jane.” Chiké Okonkwo, Valerie Pettiford and Ashton Holmes are all smiles as they dish about their new characters and what it’s really like working with the show’s star—Gabrielle Union.

As previously reported, the three actors join Michael Ealy as the newest faces for this fourth season. Pettiford will play Ronda Sales, a veteran news anchor at Great Day USA and Mary Jane’s idol. Okonkwo, will portray Lee Truitt, a British comedian who will test Mary Jane’s notions about who or what she needs in her life.  Holmes is Garrett Keswick, a producer and showrunner for Great Day USA. Will Packer and Erika Shelton Kodish serve as the show’s new executive producers.

“Being Mary Jane” follows Union as an Atlanta news anchor who is trying to balance family, life and love. It also stars Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, BJ Britt, Raven Goodwin and Lisa Vidal.

The fourth season begins next Tuesday, January 10th at 9 p.m. on BET.

Photo Credit: Shadow&Act

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Chiké Okonkwo, Valerie Pettiford & Ashton Holmes added to ‘Being Mary Jane’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

DEADLINE is reporting that Broadway actress and one of my favorite TV and film stars Valerie Pettiford is joining BET’s highly rated series “Being Mary Jane.” She will play Ronda Sales, a veteran news anchor at Great Day USA and Mary Jane’s idol.

Also joining season four is “Birth of a Nation” star Chiké Okonkwo, who will portray Lee Truitt, a British comedian who will test Mary Jane’s notions about who or what she needs in her life. Finally, Ashton Holmes is joining the show as Garrett Keswick, a producer and showrunner for Great Day USA.  All three actors will have recurring roles on the one-hour drama that is now being executive produced by Will Packer and Erika Shelton Kodish.

“Being Mary Jane” follows Gabrielle Union as an Atlanta news anchor who is trying to balance family, life and love. It also stars Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, BJ Britt, Raven Goodwin, Lisa Vidal and Michael Ealy.

The new season is currently being shot in Atlanta, GA.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: 15MinuteNews.com

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‘Being Mary Jane’ adds Will Packer & Erica Shelton Kodish to Producing Team

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Deadline is reporting that BET’s popular Tuesday night series “Being Mary Jane” has added Will Packer and Erica Shelton Kodish to its creative team. Packer will serve as one of the show’s executive producers through his Will Packer Productions while Kodish will serve as an executive producer and showrunner for this upcoming season.

If you recall, the series creator, showrunner and executive producer, Mara Brock Akil and her director husband Salim Akil, signed a new deal with Warner Bros. TV last August and bowed out of their partnership with BET. Since their departure, the Akils have served only as consultants for the show.

Last month, Akil expressed her concerns about BET and their direction to ESSENCE:  “Although they’ve announced that Being Mary Jane is coming back, I haven’t heard anything that’s made it seem real, and I don’t know who’s running it,” said Akil. “All this time went by that I could’ve helped figure it out, but now I’m in a position where I don’t know what BET’s gonna do.”

When asked if she thought “Being Mary Jane” could go on without her, she said:

“It’s not to say that BET couldn’t make it work, it’s just that I know what it takes to be a producer and there’s so much that goes into making any show. It really would depend on that person: how do they see and view Mary Jane and Black women? If they pick someone that I don’t like, I’m gonna go, ‘Oh sh*t. I can’t watch.’ [Laughs] I hope there’s another Mara out there who’s like, “Bring it on. Give me the ball.”

Hopefully the addition of Packer and Kodish will calm any fears Akil has about this new season. I guess we’ll see when production starts later on this year in Atlanta.

“Being Mary Jane” follows the fictitious life of news anchor Mary Jane Paul (played by Gabrielle Union) as she tries to juggle family, career and romance as a single Black woman living in Atlanta. It also stars Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, Lisa Vidal, B.J. Britt, Aaron Spears, Latarsha Rose and Stephen Bishop.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: LoveBScott.com

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YAY! BET renews ‘Being Mary Jane’ for a 4th Season

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

My favorite BET series “Being Mary Jane” is coming back for another season. According to Deadline, BET president of programming Stephen Hill and the show’s leading lady Gabrielle Union, announced its return Wednesday morning during the network’s TCA Session.

“Being Mary Jane” follows Union as ‘Mary Jane Paul,’ a very successful news anchor who tries to balance her career, family, love life, and friends in Atlanta, GA. The show was concieved and executive produced by “Girlfriends” creator Mara Brock Akil and executive produced and directed by her husband Salim Akil.  However, the husband and wife team will no longer serve in that role after April due to a new three-year deal with Warner Bros. Reportedly, Mara will only serve as a consultant for the show.

“Being Mary Jane” also stars television and film veterans Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, and Richard Brooks as well as Lisa Vidal, Raven Goodwin, B.J. Britt, Aaron D. Spears, and Stephen Bishop.

Season 3 featured Grammy-winning vocalist, poet, and actress Jill Scott and one of my personal favs Loretta Devine, who should recieve an Emmy Award for her performance. The season also touched on a myriad of hot-button issues in the African-American community such as suicide, molestation, drug addiction, interracial dating and police brutality.

“Being Mary Jane” will start shooting for the new season this summer in Atlanta.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credits: awesomelyluvvie.com
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Watch SNEAK PEEK of ‘Being Mary Jane’ Season Finale (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

It’s hard to believe that another excited season of BET’s Being Mary Jane is almost over and what a season it has been! From surviving a horrific car accident to eulogizing her best friend’s funeral to taking her career back and then some, Mary Jane Paul is the epitome of resilience! But will she be able to stand tall during this last episode? From the looks of things, our favorite news anchor just can’t seem to catch a break! Take a look at the preview below and judge for yourself.

Photo Credit: BET.com
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RC captures Gabrielle Union during ‘Being Mary Jane’ taping at CAU [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

If you caught last night’s episode of Being Mary Jane, you may have noticed Gabrielle Union’s character was accused of being a media sellout during a discussion with students from Clark Atlanta University.

Well, yours truly caught a few images of the actress as she was leaving her trailer to film that particular scene. It was shot in April at CAU’s Carl and Mary Ware Building and I remember BET being very clear about not posting the images until after the episode had aired. Union’s character, Mary Jane Paul, had been in a major car accident during the season 2 finale and they didn’t want any details out about what had happened to her to be revealed, including her shorter hairstyle.

This is not Union’s first time being on the campus of CAU. She came in 2012 along with Kevin Hart, La La Anthony and other cast members to promote her then romantic comedy, Think Like A Man.

I will admit though, the students this time around were extremely excited to see the popular TV and film star and literally camped outside the building where she was shooting. Each of them hoping to get a quick glance or finagle a selfie.  This was also my first time taking “paparazzi” like photos and I must admit the “thrill of the moment” was absolutely worth the time it’s taken me to post them.

Check out the photos below and remember to tune in next week for Being Mary Jane’s last episode of this season.

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Feature photome

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Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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CASTING NEWS!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Versatile actress and reality-star La La Anthony will be joining the cast of A&E’s crime drama, “Unforgettable.” Anthony will play the role of Delina Michaels, who is described as an up-and-coming medical examiner successful in everything but love. “Unforgettable” is now in its fourth season. [DEADLINE]

HBO’s “Confirmation” has added a two more familiar faces to its all-star lineup! Jeffrey Wright and Jennifer Hudson have both been cast in the TV movie about the controversial Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Hudson will play Angela Wright, the woman who worked with Thomas at the EEOC and who issued a key statement about Thomas’ comments about women. Wright will portray Charles Ogletree, the legal counsel to Hill during the hearings. The two award winning-actors join previously announced stars Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce. [THR]

KeKe Palmer is officially a Pink Lady! The 21-year-old actress and Broadway starlet has signed on to play the role of Marty Maraschino in Fox’s upcoming “Grease: Live!” special. The role, which was made famous by Dinah Manoff, is described as a man hungry high school senior that has the hots for older men and members of the military. Palmer most recently starred in another adaptation of a Broadway classic, “Cinderella.” She joins actresses Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens. [YAHOO NEWS]

“Being Mary Jane” star Gabrielle Union has been cast in the upcoming thriller, “Sleepless Nights.” The film is a remake of the 2011 French film “Nuit Blanche” which follows Vincent Downs, a corrupt cop played by Jamie Foxx, who races to save his son’s life, when gangsters kidnap him for a shipment of cocaine Downs stole from them, all while Internal Affairs is investigating him. Union’s role in the film has not been confirmed. [INDIE WIRE]

Congrats ladies and stay tuned RC Fans!

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Being Mary Jane’s Aaron D. Spears: “I can’t play you, if I am judging you…”

Written by | Ray Cornelius

I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive BET screening of the season two finale of “Being Mary Jane” Monday night at Atlanta’s W Hotel-Midtown. The event took place in the sexy Whiskey Park and featured a variety of treats and of course, cocktails! Two of the show’s actors, Aaron D. Spears and Richard Lee Brooks stopped by to watch the finale with all of the invited guests and then stuck around for a few questions about the show.

During the Q&A session, Spears talked candidly about the positive response he has received so far about his gay character, Mark Bradley, who is Mary Jane Paul’s (Gabrielle Union) co-anchor and good friend. For Spears, “playing gay” has allowed him to see life through the eyes of one of his relatives who he claims was often suicidal because of their same sex desires and the pressure to be “normal.”

“It has allowed me to walk in the shoes of people I didn’t understand. It allowed me to grow deeper in a way that I never thought I would be or a place that I would be right now without judgement. I can’t play you, if I am judging you. I have to figure out why you tick…what makes you smile…why are you attracted to that particular individual or thing? You’re human, just like me and I feel like as long as I walk in the humanistic qualities of that particular person I can shed light on everybody’s story.”

Spears, who is actually married and with kids, went on to further say that what he enjoys the most about the show are the little nuances about “Black” life that are revealed in each episode. He also said “Being Mary Jane” is the first show that he’s been apart of that he actually watches as a fan.

The Season 2 Finale of “Being Mary Jane” airs tonight at 9 p.m. EST on BET.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius/Instagram

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ATL Stars attend ‘Being Mary Jane Experience’ feat. Stacy Barthe [PHOTOS ]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

BET presented “Mirrors & Music: The Being Mary Jane Experience” last night at the Suite Lounge in downtown Atlanta. The invitation only soiree featured an advanced screening of the season 2 episode and an acoustic set by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and the voice of “Being Mary Jane,” Stacy Barthe.

Singer 2

Before the screening, guests were treated to cocktails and light hors d’oeurves and played “Being Mary Jane” trivia with the evening’s host, V-103 Morning Show radio personality, Wanda Smith.  Attendees were also able to get their pictures taken at the “Being Mary Jane” photo booth.

Being Wanda

Atlanta notables spotted in the crowd were “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta” star Erica Dixon; “Dish Nation” personality, Gary With Tha Tea; filmmaker, Princess Monique; PR mavens, Lillie Mae and April Love; celebrity event planner, Jahmal King; actors, Olrick “OJ” Johnson and Jasmine Burke; reality star, Sabrina Rowe; and playwright,Chiquita Lockley.
Check out additional photos below including the stars and other Atlanta influencers:

Princess MoNique

Carmen Jones Aaron

April Love

BET executives 2

Jamal with girls Being Beautiful

Couple 2

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Erica and friends

Guys

Jasmine Burke BMJ Poster

Kodak and Lillie Mae

THe fellas

Wanda autographs

Sabrina

RC with Wanda 09

Contest winner

Media Professionals

screen shot

Playwright

Singer

RC with Maggie Nou

 Season 2 of #BeingMaryJane airs Tuesday, February 3 at 10 p.m. on BET

 Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Tracee Ellis Ross + Gabrielle Union for ELLE’s ‘Women in TV’ Issue [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Television divas Tracee Ellis Ross, Gabrielle Union and Aja Naomi King appear in ELLE Magazine’s “Women in TV” issue. The February fashion spread recognizes actresses from some of 2014’s most popular series while spotlighting a few new faces that had viewers asking, “Who’s that Girl?”

Inside, Ross talks about the success of her ABC sitcom “black-ish” while Union addresses the issue of diversity and her complex character on “Being Mary Jane.” King is featured on the “7 most exciting newcomers” list and rightfully so!

Take a look at the ladies fashion forward pics below as well as excerpts from their insightful interviews:

Gabrielle inside photo

“The ratings show all kinds of people relate, not just black women,” Union says. “If we can have drones, we can have brown people on TV, and the world won’t end! We need to catch up. We are painfully behind.”

 

Aja Naomi King inside photo

 Aja Naomi King stars as Michaela Pratt on ABC’s “How To Get Away with Murder”

Tracee inside photo

“For most people, the show jogs personal memories. It’s not, ‘Oh my God, that was so funny!’ It’s, ‘My mom was just like that!’ She just has a life that’s full, but not to the point of complaint. She’s got all the pots on the stove, and she’s enjoying it,” Ross tells ELLE.

Click here to read the full interviews + more photos!

Photo Credits: ELLE.com

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WATCH New 5-Minute Clip from Season 2 of ‘Being Mary Jane’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

With less than a month away from the Season 2 premiere of “Being Mary Jane,” BET has released a new 5-minute trailer that features Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union) engaged in a lively discussion with her colleagues and friends about race, religion, and politics. The dinner party takes a dramatic turn when her brother Paul (B. J. Britt) joins the conversation and things get rather personal between the two siblings.
The new clip also features guest stars Chris Spencer and Salli Richardson, who plays one of Mary Jane Paul’s long-time girlfriends. Richardson is slated to appear in five episodes of the new season.
Check out the clip below and tell us what you think:

[youtube id=”qi0mR8NaWCg” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Source

Photo Credit: BET.com