Jurnee Smollett talks new show ‘Lovecraft Country’

The actress also reminisces about one of her very first jobs playing Michelle Tanner’s best friend on “Full House,” where Little Richard played her uncle.
3:43 | 08/13/20

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Transcript for Jurnee Smollett talks new show ‘Lovecraft Country’
Back now and excited to welcome this actress who was acting since she was barely able to walk. Let us say good morning to jurnee smollett. Good morning to you. I have to start with. You have been acting about 30 years now. You've got your start in a lot of ways back when you got a recurring role as tanner's best friend on "Full house." I know you were really young. Maybe you don't remember a lot but remember this episode we're showing that little Richard was your uncle. I know. It was wild. I mean, it was a pretty big deal in my family's household that I was playing little Richard's niece, you know, my family is such a musical family. So it was quite exciting. Yeah, well, also excite something your new show "Love craft country" set in the Jim crow era and said your grandmother inspired you for your character Lettie. Yeah, I went back and did a lot of research obviously of the era but honestly the biggest influence, yes, was my grandmother. She was the first from galveston, Texas and nicknamed showtime, a single mother raising four kids in New Orleans and cleaned the homes of white folks which is interestingly something Lettie says she'll never do and would go to work every single day with her hair done, makeup done, dress pressed and regardless of how she was mistreated or neglected or underpaid had this dig snit that could not be erased, right? And these are stories I grew up hearing about my grandmother, about this inner pride she. She was very self-possessed. She sounds like the perfect person to get inspiration for this role. We want to show a clip then we'll talk about it on the back let's watch. All right. Didn't you say it was called Don't judge a book by its cover. Book can't refuse your service. Or spin your water glass. A little attitude. Great to see, speaking of throwbacks, the set in the 1950s, amazing wardrobes. Were you able to keep any of the clothing? I mean, I'm not supposed to say this out loud by my girl Dana was our amazing costume designer, she did slide me a few items that I kept but don't tell HBO, okay, because they're not surprised to know this. And besides being set in the 1950s, the show is, I love this, kind of a horror sci-fi mash-up. Are you a horror film lover as I am? I love horror sci-fi. I mean, thriller -- I'm such a fan of the genre and unfortunately as an actor, as a black actress, you know, I've felt shut out from it. It's something I always said to my agents I'm not going to be the black chick that is killed on page 33, so with "Lovecraft country" it was so exciting because our creator deconstructed this classic genre and reimagined it in such a radical way then placed black voices at the center of it and so for me it's so thrilling because I'm such a fan, like I remember watching "Silence of the lambs" when I was 10 years old with my sister. Yeah. Yeah. I can't imagine. No monster is going to catch you running through the forest. This is not good for TV. Not good for this movie. All righ congratulations on this new show. Everybody is talking about it. So good to see you but it premieres Sunday on HBO.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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