Brandee Evans of P-Valley fame has a new film out this week!
Evans has gained the major notoriety she’s deserved and wowed fans with her role as Mercedes on the popular Starz series. Outside of her work on the show and beyond, she has also touched the hearts of many sharing her story of being a caregiver for her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
P-Valley may be what transcended Evans into new heights, but she’s been around. She’s had roles in Beyond the Lights, A Rich Christmas, The Bobby Brown Story, and Black Coffee. She is now starring in a new project for MTV entitled Pretty Stoned. The all-new original stoner comedy is set in Atlanta on 4/20 and follows two coworkers: a stoner with no commitment to her job at the dispensary and an overachiever focused on her career. The pair must join forces as they find themselves in trouble after one of them disposes of 20,000 worth of marijuana that belongs to a Queen Pen named Madame X.
Evans plays the character Tick Tock, an intense henchwoman and enforcer of Madame X. The comedy is a female-led cast that premiered on April 19 on MTV. The film also stars Kandi Burrus Tucker, Jess Hilarious, Tabitha (Dream Doll) Robinson, Skye Townsend, Chris Renfro, Porsha Williams, D.C Young Fly and Navv.
Evans talked to Shadow and Act about her new film and much more.
Obviously, the movie is a female-led comedy and I don't think it's really necessarily something that we see too often. But I do think that is becoming more frequent with women at the forefront in films and even producing content behind the scenes. So how was it working alongside the cast and then being a part you being a part of this influx of girl power now?
It was amazing. I feel like I’ve kind of been blessed to be able to have a lot of women power around me, from P-Valley, to even the movie. And the great thing is that our director was like, ‘Bring yourself to it, whatever you want to do. I trust you.’ So it was so much fun. And then the ladies, it just felt like we’ve known each other forever. So the chemistry was great. Even the guys that were there, it just really opened to letting everybody just do their thing. It was really fun.
It’s a really good mix of traditional actors, influencers and reality stars. Who surprised you the most on set? Who was the funniest?
Oh, man, that’s too hard. I can’t say who was the funniest because everyone was funny. But you know, I love the character who is one of my security guards, one of my goons. And his comedic timing is just amazing. I really loved him. I mean, every time I turned around, someone was funny. Of course, we can’t deny this girl who’s on The Black Lady Sketch Show [Skye Townsend]. I mean, she just is right on it. I had to keep up with Pretty Vee. She would do anything. So everywhere I turned, honestly, it was just amazing.
And what about this specific character in the story were you most excited about?
I was excited that it was different than what you’d seen me do. First of all, I love doing all types of funny things. And people don’t really realize that because I’m in such a dramatic show with P-Valley. But I love comedy, so I was excited to be able to do that. I actually do train with guns too. So to be able to have the guns was fun to have that moment. So I enjoyed all of that my character is crazy, and is unhinged. So it was like, ‘What can I do that would just be psycho and I don’t get to do that normally?’
We've seen you in so many different roles. You’re loved on 'P-Valley,' but you've been in Christmas movies and so much more. Also you're a caretaker. How do you go about choosing and choosing which roles to audition for?
I’m in a space now specifically where I want to do things that I would watch. I won’t take a role if I feel like I won’t even watch it. So it’s not about the money to me, it’s about the story I’m telling. Because even with this being about 4/20 friendly, as a caregiver, we are 4/20 friendly out here in Los Angeles. So even though they don’t speak about it from a medical aspect, that’s what I actually research. I actually worked at a workshop before I got my mom out of the nursing home and did research on what would help her. And even the doctors were like, ‘That’s the best thing that we could ever do for her.’ I couldn’t prescribe any medicine that would be better than what you’re doing. So this movie was right up my alley.
We know that Season 3 of 'P-Valley' is coming and fans are super excited. So how excited are you and how do you all continue to take in the fanfare?
I’m so excited. I have no idea what they’re going to do with my character or even the season because we haven’t started yet. But girl, the fans, they love us hard. Like like so hard that it’s almost scary at times. They truly love our characters. So, I’m very excited about that. It’s overwhelming if I’m honest at times. I went back to Memphis last weekend. My godbaby had her prom and girl, we couldn’t even take pictures of her prom dress because of the way that the fans were interrupting a photoshoot. I was like, ‘This is about my baby right now.’ And they are diehard fans, for sure.
You have been grinding in the game for a long time, and now, I feel like people are obviously catching on because of 'P-Valley.' I feel like a lot of different actresses are having that moment right now. Do you feel as if you're getting your just-due now? Do you feel that this is a major payoff moment for you? How are you taking all this and are you living in it? Are you just working through it?
I think that in the beginning, I was just trying to work through it, and now I’m living in the moment because it was just so overwhelming. We dropped P-Valley during the pandemic, so it was like it happened, but it didn’t really feel real. So when the world opens back up, it’s like, ‘Oh, wait, oh, this is a big, big deal.’ So even now I feel like, ‘OK, I’m adjusting to that.’ I’m so grateful for P-Valley that opened the door for me to be able to do other things. I’m excited to do new things now. So of course now, I’m looking for different things because I don’t want to be put in a box. As you said, I do comedy. I love good TV….a good Christmas movie…so I definitely am excited to see what is next for me in my career.
Speaking of being put in a box, were you nervous about being typecast or pigeonholed because of 'P-Valley' because it's such a niche subject matter?
Not really. Only because I knew that I was the I am the master of my soul. Like, I know that. I have to choose what I’m going to do next. So, I am very particular with the roles that I take and where my career is going to go next seriously. I think that you decide if you’re going to be put in that box or not, and I’ve chosen to do other things, so you won’t see me playing a role similar to Mercedes again. We’ve done that. So I make those choices.
You're a huge supporter of other women in the industry. Who would you consider to be a part of your tribe and how do you guys keep each other motivated?
I have so many people in my tribe. As much as I love all of my celebrity friends, I like to just keep it normal. So just chillin’ with my friends back home in Memphis, who are my tribe out here in L.A., I keep a small circle. And that’s it. That’s how I like it. I feel like we can keep it real with each other. And I need people around me like that because I never want to lose myself. And I love having people around me that will keep it real to me and have me bring it back down to reality if I need to. That’s what I need around me. I don’t need anybody to gaslight me and sugarcoat things for me. I like the truth.
How else are you keeping yourself focused and yourself centered?
Taking time for myself. Like literally, I just got back from a 26-day mental health wellness retreat where all I did was just worked out, eat healthily and just worried about myself. I didn’t go to anybody’s appearance, nobody’s club nothing. I just didn’t want to be seen out there because I feel like you can just get so overwhelmed, especially after the award season. I just want to sit with Brandee and recenter myself. And that’s probably going to be for the next month again as well. Just recentering myself and sitting with myself unless I have to be out.
You spoke about not doing the same thing twice and making sure that you're constantly expanding your resume. What is your dream role at this point? Or maybe something that you bring to the forefront?
I am praying for a moment to get into the Marvel world. I love the Marvel Universe. So I would love that. I would love to have some sort of amazing project with Angela Bassett. She’s my favorite actress, so I would love that moment. And I want to get into more comedy. I truly love comedy.