*The 4th season of BET’s “Being Mary Jane” series premieres Jan. 10, and the opener kicks off with the fallout from Niecy’s violent run-in with the police.
EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught with actress Raven Goodwin to discuss the response from viewers following this resonating episode.
“The response to that was exactly a reflection of what’s going on in the world. So a lot of people definitely identity with it and they were happy and thrilled that we took it there,” she said. “I think the response is definitely 100% positive. It’s very important what happened in that episode. So I think they were happy that a show touched on that topic.”
Viewers will explore how the incident has impacted Niecy’s relationship with her father and her children.
“Her son is very traumatized by the situation. This is something that has gone viral. She’s in this deep court case with this police officer, and it’s just a lot going on in her world. I don’t think she likes it very much. I think she just wants it be over. But it’s something that she has to deal with. It’s time to be a woman and deal with what happened.”
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As Niecy’s family deals with the fallout from her altercation with the police, Goodwin notes that viewers will also be a little irritated with her character’s journey.
“They’re gonna get angry with her. They’re gonna fall back in love with her again, and I feel like they’re gonna sympathize with her as well. But they’re definitely going to be irritated with her a little bit…I was,” said Goodwin. “She’s tired. She’s tired of her life unfolding in a negative way, and I think this situation — no matter the money, no matter how many people know who she is now, she doesn’t want any of this. All she wants to do is figure out her life and take care of her kids and this is getting in the way of that in a way.”
Last season “was a mess” for Niecy’s, and being tased by police was “the most pivotal moment simply because before she got tased she was happy.”
According to the official season 4 synopsis, “Mary Jane resolves to start fresh in every way possible, including her love life,” and when it comes to her family: “It’s the traditional aunt and niece tug and pull,” Goodwin says of Niecy’s relationship with Mary Jane.
“She admires her. She respects her. Niecy’s mom isn’t in her life as constant as Mary Jane is, so I think she looks up to her in way, but they still bump heads because they have things the other one wants,” she explained.
“Niecy’s has the kids and Mary Jane has the lifestyle. And I think why the readers connect with Niecy so much is because a lot of them in a way are Niecy. I’m not saying with the kids and everything but just trying to figure out what they want, and they wanna be Mary Jane. They are Niecy but they aspire to be Mary Jane.”
The former Disney star revealed that she and co-star Gabrielle Union “have a great relationship,” but also points out how the actress is “definitely about the work.”
“It’s always inspiring to watch. We play off each other, bounce off of each other. We have a great relationship. We hang out outside of work. I’ve been to Miami to hang out with her. She’s a very awesome woman, and she gives me good advice about life in general, being a woman….(and) those boys,” she laughs.
“Working with her is definitely a pleasure. Like I always tell people, no matter where I’m working, I’m a student at all times.”
Up next for Goodwin is what she calls a “little cameo role in the new movie Snatched with Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Goldie Hawn.”
She added, “It should be pretty funny. It’s a small, cool little role, so I’m just excited to make my debut after years. It’s been years since I’ve been on the silver screen. I’ve been doing a lot of television. so it’s just really cool… so look out for that!
Tune in to “Being Mary Jane” Tuesday nights on BET at 10/9c.