VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Jonica Gibbs & Gabrielle Graham On The Importance Of Queer Representation In ‘Twenties’
Stars of BET’s Twenties Jonica T. Gibbs and Gabrielle Graham discussed the importance of black queer representation and where their characters are headed in Season 2 in their new uInterview.
Twenties follows Hattie, an aspiring queer screenwriter, and her straight best friends Nia and Marie, as they try to make it in Hollywood, and in life, as black 20-something-year-old women.
Graham plays Nia, who is chasing her acting career dream.
“She’s like stuck in this dream throughout like, through a good portion of the season, until you know some things happen that kind of pop that bubble,” Graham told uInterview founder Erik Meers. “And you also see her battling, you know, the thing that a lot of people battle with the struggles of social media and trying to figure out who she is as an artist, and maintaining who she is as an artist, and understanding the business side of it all, and being a brand and maintaining a social media and what that looks like for her.”
Last season left Gibb’s character Hattie jobless and loveless, but according to the actress, Hattie may find answers to at least one of those problems next season.
“She still doesn’t have anywhere to stay, she’s still broke, but she may have some new love interests in Season 2, they may be good for her, they may be bad for her, we don’t know, we’ll see. But for the most part, Season 2 is going to be full of her just still trying to figure out how to become a writer, and how to get into a writer’s room, and how to especially now that she’s been let go from, you know, so it’s kind of like starting back from square one.”
“I look at a character like Hattie and I see someone that’s confidently themselves,” Gibbs said. “And you know we don’t know the backstory of her, maybe it took her a while to get there, maybe she’s just always been this way, but I think it’s a revolutionary thing and a breath of fresh air to see a character who is unapologetically themselves and doesn’t highlight their differences.”
Gibbs added that even she looks up to Hattie and her ability to just be herself. “I would’ve never been confident enough to walk into a business environment dressed as masculine-presenting, you know what I’m saying?” she said. “I would think there would have to be certain limitations on it. So, you know, watching Hattie do it in such a fluid way is inspiring to me.”
“I love it, I think it’s obviously important,” Graham agreed. “I think it just it changes people’s perspectives in terms of like, you know, relationships don’t have to look a certain way, or like I don’t have to look a certain way as an individual, behave a certain way as an individual to fit societal norms, like let’s create, you know, a new normal, and that’s being fully yourself.”
“For me the thing that stands out the most is how society just minds they business,” Gibbs said, “and allows her to be herself. I think that’s the biggest thing you should take away, not just somebody saying ‘I’m just gonna be myself,’ but people saying ‘Yeah do that! I’m just gonna mind my business!’
Catch Twenties Season 2 Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on BET or BET.com.
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