Rising up, Danielle Brooks, finest identified for Orange Is the New Black, sang each week in church and remembers seeing images of key figures in her Sunday Faculty classroom — icons like Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson and gospel celebrity Mahalia Jackson. So she believes it was fated that she ultimately would get to play the singer, she instructed me throughout the panel for Lifetime’s Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia at Deadline’s Contenders Tv awards-season occasion.
“As soon as I grew to become an grownup, I stored getting this bug put in my ear, once I was in The Shade Purple on Broadway, individuals stated that I ought to play Mahalia Jackson. I used to be like, ‘OK. Lord, I don’t know, Universe, what you attempting to inform me?’
“However I’m going to hearken to the decision, and so I began doing as a lot analysis as I might, and on the time, I simply knew I wished to play her, however I didn’t know the place. I didn’t know if I wanted to jot down it myself. I didn’t know if I wanted to seek out companions. And the universe introduced me to Robin Roberts and Kenny Leon, who I simply labored with in Shakespeare within the Park, and it simply felt proper,” she stated.
Brooks was additionally an govt producer on the challenge and grateful to Roberts for letting her take part that place, particularly as Roberts’ identify can be within the title of the present. “She’s been such an important advocate, somebody that I might all the time name at any second,” Brooks stated. “I simply recognize her giving, you already know, setting that ladder there for me to additionally climb up and never being so egotistical in not permitting one other girl to be govt producing this challenge.
“So, she actually helped me achieve that method, so I actually thank her for that in getting the phrase out and all of that, too, and I might work along with her once more, for certain.”
Test again Monday for the panel video.