*After four seasons, “Family Time” continues to hold onto its strong fan following and has received some of its highest ratings in the series history. Omar Gooding and Angell Conwell star in the Bentley Kyle Evans created drama that centers on Tony (Gooding), a struggling general contractor, and Lisa (Conwell), an unfulfilled stay-at-home mom. These high school sweethearts lovingly quarrel with each other and their mischievous children Devin (Bentley Kyle Evans, Jr.) and Ebony (Jayla Calhoun) as they make up their own rules to love, marriage and family along the way.
As Thanksgiving approaches, everyone begins to dread having a slice of Beverly’s (Judyann Elder) rhubarb pie, and Devin invites a homeless man over for dinner.
EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with Angell Conwell to discuss the upcoming Thanksgiving episode, which airs Tuesday, November 22 on Bounce TV at 9pm ET/8pm CT.
The episode features guest stars Rodney Perry, Chante Moore and Michael Colyar, and Conwell says viewers can expect “a bunch of surprises, because you know, the holidays for some people bring great memories.”
“When you have family, it’s a great thing,” she added. “But a lot of times homeless people don’t, and they end up having a different experience than most of us.”
Check out our Q&A with Angell below:
The upcoming Thanksgiving episode has a unique spin, and focuses on homelessness. What are you hoping viewers are left feeling or talking about at the end of the episode?
Angell Conwell: I think it’s important just to realize exactly how human we all are. Meaning, anything can happen to anyone. It’s really important to have compassion. And with life being so busy, and most of the time hectic and one thing after the next, and we all have our own issues, and we all have our own daily stress that we deal with. I feel like sometimes it’s very easy, and also with phones and social media, it’s easy to become disconnected and to forget about the fact that love is not luxury, it’s a necessity. Without it, we can’t evolve. I honestly think that should be the conversation when it comes to homelessness.
I think we look at how there can be a domino effect, and how one person’s life can drastically change — gradually though, and because of that, it also affects someone else’s life and how they handle relationships and emotions. And some people end up living life with so many emotional issues tied to a situation that was out of their control. Which goes back to all of us being human, and I think it’s important to not throw any stones. So I hope it brings up the topic of compassion and loving people even through their issues and their frustration and all of their confusion. Just continue having love as the base of everything.
READ RELATED STORY: ‘Family Time’ S4 To Explore Homelessness, Kwanzaa & Dysfunction [EUR Exclusive]
After four seasons, what’s been your favorite character arc?
Angell Conwell: I think maybe this season. Season 4 I’ve been enjoying for some reason. I’m noticing a difference, not just with the characters, but with the actors as well. Everyone is just a lot more grounded and comfortable in their character’s skin. I feel like my character this season, she’s kinda getting fed up. She has a little tinge of frustration going on, and I think she’s in a frustrating season. She’s still trying to figure out exactly what she wants to do, and Tony is becoming a lot more grounded and patient. He remembers their anniversary, but my character forgets the anniversary, which you typically think that wouldn’t happen. But I feel like everything is such a gradual happening, so its hard to pinpoint one specific moment…maybe it’s the show coming up. But I think in season four her emotional arc is happening right now, and pretty much all of the shows — especially towards the end.
How has working with Bentley Kyle Evans and Bounce TV helped to enhance your professional or personal growth?
Angell Conwell: Bentley is such a pro at what he does and to have somebody that’s had so much success in his career say that I trust you to play this character and bring Lisa to life and to give her your own, we give you the writing but you go head and color her in. To me that’s an honor, and it helps you to really trust yourself. And when you have other people who believe in you, it helps for you to really believe in yourself. It’s always an inside job, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time, we help each other as humans — as sisters and brothers. We help each other to lift each other up. With Bounce as well, just to see Bounce grow from having a staff of like, 15 to 150, or however many they have — it’s a lot staff there now. I’m always blessed and honored to be a part of something that’s new, something that’s fresh, something with people that are hungry. Everyone over at Bounce is very hungry and they want to see you win. They want to see everybody do good. I feel that I’m gaining confidence and seeing the opportunities. I’m being able to expand my horizon as far as my dreams and my visions, and I’m able to see more happen. So that’s how have I’ve grown.
We always tell people to dream big, and for some people it’s easy to do that, but for others — especially that have grown up oppressed, or in a situation that their current circumstances don’t show any reason to dream, it’s very tough sometimes for people to actually be able to see themselves lifted up out of a situation that is stifling and where they feel stuck. I’ve actually been through that in my life, and I’ve come out of it but it takes some time. It also takes different situations and different people coming into your life and helping you to see your potential. So for me, that’s the blessing. Being around people who want to see you win and want to see you live your best life.
You’re starring in the upcoming movie Merry Ex-Mas, tell us about your role in the film.
Angell Conwell: She is a character that has a lot of emotional conflict, and a lot of emotional trauma from her childhood. Very-very deep-rooted issues that she’s completely unaware of until several things happen to make it painfully clear that she needs to do a lot of work from the inside out, and unfortunately it’s her youngest daughter who has to ask her the question, ‘Why are you so unhappy?’, and that causes her to think about it. She realizes that she has a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of resentment, and rightfully so cause there’s a reason for it. But at the same time, just because there’s a good reasons for it, doesn’t mean there’s not a good reason to move past it and learn how to grow from it and grow through it.
The character Katrina goes through so much emotionally during this movie, and it’s a holiday movie, so it’s very interesting to get all of the range. One minute she’s in tears, the next minute she’s angry and then she’s confused, then she’s hurt and then she feels guilty, and then she doesn’t really relate to people who love holidays. She doesn’t love the holiday season. She turns into a bit of a Grinch and she doesn’t know why, but she figures out. So she’s definitely a character that I as an actress am very blessed to have been able to have the opportunity to play.
Tune in to “Family Time” Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bounce TV.