Star of Oprah-produced drama 'Greenleaf' discusses new season

Merle Dandridge dishes on season 2 of "Greenleaf" and working with Oprah Winfrey.
20:08 | 03/22/17

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Transcript for Star of Oprah-produced drama 'Greenleaf' discusses new season
Eighth green failed. On. Your EU's greatly. We Merrill and and and the radio. The I want it in view because there is so dynamic. Content to. Watch her anticipating what you gonna do next. And should I mean it is what pop shields. His second season away and in the center. Feed back the Eagles for you being meat of this Erie with such good. Reading and keep. It. It's so powerful in meaningful wins year art intersects with. Pieces irked her subject matter that is so timely and important and starts conversations that we need to but just as a culture. And connects people. Through. Through actually. Walking the walk you know as it passes. Being able to CDs. Hot button issues played out in a narrative is I think very powerful for people to see so they can see it's not just. Fit one person is not just an issue very full. Person minute they walk. They breed they hurt they believed you know and and we get to understand. And empathize and and V we have meaningful conversations in and in that regard. People really identify with grace and I wasn't I didn't expect. I don't know why I didn't expect it but it didn't expect as much as as it does happen people walk up to me regularly to tell me theory personal stories. And for that that's everything new one is an artist and everything is a human being that people share their humanity refute. And and for that and it's well. We Levys started something we started a conversation and that's me. It is amazing and I think one of the things that. I think it's no realistic and global is the idea that you of this woman she's estranged essentially from her family she leaves she goes to create a life yes she comes back. And I think what's really important his backpack she is kinda like us you know she she she has this baby you know she asked her belief. But she's still in the world and trying to navigate now as an adult. I was very unimportant because I feel like this as many people store Yang you can identify with. That if there's something in your life it's you have. Shied away from our or turned your back on because it was too painful. And the opportunity to come back and face with a new tool box full of you know. Ways in which you can in tackling that you were able to you know as in the same in the grace was when she was a teenager she just didn't. Have the tools and crippled her and it cost her her fate. It cost to her family cost her. A calling in life and she felt the separation. From. Everything that she thought she once because she she didn't know how to. On earth these wrongs how to find make make the rights come to light uncover the truth. And now she made an entire life and to notice that as a journalist. And so. When she added in the don't believe that she expected to do that when she came back while she went to his papers pay her respects to her. Her deceased. Sister who passed. And and then suddenly she found herself face to face with that and I think that's what people identified with their concern like. That's the moment I've been waiting for in my life for I can look that person in the and I and I can. Turn this around. Absolutely. I want people to be aware he again just how amazingly a series is because it touches on a lot of I think. Themes and being that you know. Not only easily discussed within the realm of the black community especially. You know the conservative black community church what not. So essentially grazing just kinda gives you guys some insight on it like grace. Essentially stirred up. Well of the family drama by reveal being an incredible I think it was known but it she kind of uncovered on earth. The fact that you know your sister on the show with sexually abused by the by uncle. And not only that but there's other things related to you know. Sexuality he added an you know adultery and things like that I was I think are really important because again people. Our I feel like wanting to have these conversations but now this is a platform. To realty you know opening up to the mass. Right and what I've. What I love is that we have cracked open a whole other realm of this. I guess in inherited thing that happens in the Stanley sometimes because. Everybody I I think had as. Stealing about lady main. The mother of grace my character. Who. Essentially had turned a blind guy to her her daughter being and abused by her brother and then we come to see her bag. Her own father and see that. That maybe this was something that she did not know how to deal with or made story it had been passed down in the handling in some way. And I think that's us blew people's minds and. Track back a little bit two on your first thoughts when you read this great because you know it's kind of I think jarring to realize exactly what you're getting yourself and you because it's like opening up the Cannes awards you know. I'm at Akron Baptist and whatnot and you know within the church community there certain being there Ohio that's the right. Yeah yeah yeah I it that's an obviously. I think it because when we were first. Kind of launching the series if people would say Erie getting a lot of backlash and honestly you know. People want to talk people want to start the conversation. And when I first read the script I I Phelps. Authenticity. I felt truth. I felt very fertile ground for a lot of wonderful. Wonderful conversation. And and investigation. And on the other side of bad magnificently. Drawn characters and it just a dream for an actor to get back kind of material and G cedar. Among doesn't like be in. You know I. Didn't laid back kind of stuff which is makes it. It's funny because. You over at ABC here and it kind of hit you know hitting close to home with the fact that you're like this journalists is principally a twenty. Crash. Yeah I bet that just goes to show youth it. When I. When your lord destiny. East eaten your destiny is George destiny for you and you may think you're going down one road but sometimes you just get hedged in and you get in. You get hedged in because your purpose is somewhere else or there's something else that she mean to learn and for me. They that's of Greeley beat platform for Greece to finally get and I know that she's qualified and she would've killed it's one he's joining. Except that there is something missing from her in that her connection because she won as a child prodigy she was and she was. Very much I don't think it was a mistake that people were so drawn to her preaching when she was you know because she really had hurt her her deer tick. To God's tongue and she was hit and for her to step into this huge platform. Lacking. She had legal backing. Before she could move on to something like anything there's a lot of those things where. You know you feel like this is my chances my teens but no not yet there's something else you have to. And I eight concede that I can see my steps having been ordered Merle and to steps having been ordered. Because there were many jobs that I won it there are many pass I wanted to go down and if I'd gone down and then. I'm Mike the small cross are you talking about these amazing issues. So. I think that's that's wonderful. A wonderful piece of Greece's journey that I think a lot of other people can definitely. The testimony right. Back. That's a word right there. You know it's funny. As ID look at the theories he's such enemies. You. I spoke to win and Whitfield. A month ago about the series obviously it proceeded. And you know talking or her it was like. Full circle because they feel like even though we unit to me different roles seeing her as. Spirited mother who ate up bracket not that we asked yes. What would be a wonderful thing how of the working with her and how that dynamic playing her daughter and you know it. It's just amazing to kinda see you guys together although obviously I would like to see on better terms yeah well. Then. Is. Iconic and she's not iconic for her nothing she's an extraordinary actor and a really he really incredible woman so to be able to. I'm very honored to be able to play her daughter and it just happened I I have to say. I day he. I don't know that I was really looking at the way everybody else was looking at it because people with a turbulent. Ya really look like he could be related minerals like he filled in with. Just you know. But sometimes I'll catch pictures of us together how they like. Typical Clinton really you know. And an you can bet with everything that she doesn't she brings there are eight years and they years and I mean it's it's deep how. How far she goes NII feel that with every actor on the show that everyone comes to play and went and we really we do everybody does her homework. Without a doubt that we show up and then the magic happens and and people are connecting to that and we really do we have be calm fame. Because we're on this amazing journey together but were also committed to. None of the story we're telling the characters are weird that we're embodying but. What what we're trying to say what we're trying to do what kind of the ways we're trying to. Encourage others to seek truth is well. Talking about the spam me I mean it acted Oprah Winfrey is on C. About that yeah. I see it's like she dropping nugget that the same time to keep. Every reality yes and yes two Mavis is every thing. He it into having. Having Oprah. Involves two there's there's kind of like. You know that you haven't backstop when African and we're never gonna trip because. If there's anybody who is connected to that woman use connected. And she's real beauty. She really has an understanding. Where we are act as a culture and where we are aware where our hearts and Wear where we might. Served to learn or open ourselves a little bit or at least look at the other side of the conversation a little bit more. And I love I love the way that she's she's always done that I even saw a piece succeeded. Where she. Interviewed women who voted for different people in the election and encourage them to talk in the room they saw how the scene paler. And so in this narrative. Format. There there's this there's a sense oh. Miss o's got us she's got it she she's leading us in in in a way. In which we know we're going to resonate with people's hearts and and where they want to go on the when elevate themselves and how they wanna. How we want to heal as a people. You know. It this way I know she did an interview where she talked about the possibility I don't know how serious she was person running for President Putin. And vote for. But just on that note I I am kinda curious because I know she offers Greece a lot of you know what does Oprah offer. What did great thing about. Her is that. Just just by being who she is. She encourages you to be your past so she encourages you to try harder to go further and be more authentic. Be more authentic and she did give me a little nugget recently you know because. The beloved my hands of the issues very very tall statue alaskans who are online now makes it stand here because on the tall woman to stand to youthful stats. And those very encouraging to me an increase and increasing. In its. You know I mean that every bit. It's Elliot Perry I care if but it it it's it's meaningful and it's and it's it's powerful because I think every. Everyone has something about themselves like but I don't clay or I. Don't know that I speak as well or I don't have that you know. Enough of that it's why have my blessed with what his plan would in my gifted for what in my supposed to be doing with it. What is it what is the purpose of what my gift things are and use them fully. Your purposes this note because until I am very married and I. I appreciate what you've been able to do as an actor mom took up a little bit about just. What you've done throughout the years because we ski new Broadway. New television. Do you feel like. Is this your next step are you looking to even get behind the camera because like being an actor's so dynamic at times when you've done. Broadway when you've done television and movies so on and so forth. What other things are in the pipeline free well. I think as an artist you're always looking to stretch and grow and fortunately Greece does that for me every single day I'm it's always knew. And I always find myself. Each X painting myself in many different ways. And I just fortunately happen to have. An incredible crew who lets me sit around and in turn every department I lunar whenever I have down time. I will literally go over and to sit in the corner and watch and learn and try to get whenever I can. Because I love this storytelling medium and who knows. Who knows what life will bring down. Down the line if I go back to Broadway or even more video games or with upper but. I feel like I I know. For sure damages Alan that I I have a very specific story to tell and being able to sit behind the scenes is giving me the tools to understand better how I can manifest that. So I'm a student. Will see where that's that. Education leads me. Up Vietnam patents the profit backpack back. I think because I know you know your character is but yeah I mean I I seen a lot of Stastny. With what you do and what you've been able to do exactly seed doing more different beings in relation to this this medium here you know it's not just acting as storytelling and was enough directing is I was just curious if we see you yell may be an upcoming. So glad and I just think that you know and you know and now. And so without getting to graduate because that'll people actively watching on Wednesdays 10 o'clock PM on overall. Its key a little bit about what we conceit with your character. As far as which she's gonna do she has the Emmy dynamic with her daughter with one with fat yields keep looking you potentially talk about. We'll look at ID I think. Everybody was so behind her last season when she was. Pursuing. Her uncle's so adamantly when she was. Not letting anybody get by with glossing over or covering up she was. Holding people to their work she was that she was holding everyone accountable. And a constant constant truth seeker and and what we saw at the end of season one was that. Their peace and collateral damage to. Still we begin season to. Right smack dab in the collateral damage did she actually hurt the Stanley and hurt N and in so doing her. Her daughter's legacy to come. Or. In her quest to uncover truths and to get to the bottom Mary thing has she compromised herself. Is she still standing in the light has she veered off course it and you know. C I feel like races becoming so unrelenting. So obsessive. That there's there's a hint of darkness that comes into it. And and she does have to catch yourself because in the midst of its she's still trying to reconnect with her face and her spirituality in connection ourselves. Made her so special to everyone when she was a young young child and it's heartbreaking for her that she does. And I am also want to touch on before we go because I feel like there's a lot of Merle with in. In. My mind too premature to say that because I feel like you have from what I read it and learned about you that you have a lot of saying that serve really passionate about giving back and some of the things that you've done and I feel like that's also a part of the story line how much of you is actually inquiry. Which I feel like we need to take on characters view UN by ED. Some of you have to bring some of yourself and you puts an end and Greece gives back to me I learned from her as well. And maybe just her mistakes but I do learn from her and I learned from her walk. But it. Often those things there can be very into woven in the I've gotten the great honor to live with her Ferraro for a little bit now and you know god willing. A while longer. So I have. I don't know that there's together some room in there and. Well again I am so thankful that you came to talk to me about one of my favorite theory is please every Wednesday night Tempe Adam our own. This is the beginning of Greek being the continuation of great pain then definitely. Yes and you're out. And also say that where we're starting this week the after show so we'll take you behind the scenes after the show so stay. You know. Live treat with us and then also stay in and watch the all the behind the scenes and and you get on the DC dieted. Other salacious stuff I cracked yeah. Thank you so much for stopping by ABC radio a chorus green lead please check it out because an alliance and I'd like an alliance. Everywhere Dayton via. And.

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