Right now, Drake is the most famous Degrassi: The Next Generation alum but his on-screen love interest, Andrea Lewis (Hazel Aden), is making waves with her new webseries, Black Actress. Black Actress follows the life of Kori Bailey, an aspiring actress and features interviews with real black actresses like Tatyana Ali and Naturi Naughton.
According to Lewis, Kori Bailey is an extension of herself and reflects many of her own experiences in the entertainment industry. “The character Kori Bailey is in a very desperate and insecure place in her life and career in the show, and I was once in a place just like that, so I can definitely relate to her,” Lewis told natural hair blog Black Girl Long Hair. “All of her experiences in the show, good and bad I have experienced in real life or have a friend that has, so there’s definitely a little bit of me in Kori Bailey.”
In addition to her Issa Rae-backed webseries, she is a blogger and vlogger and after viewing one video, her personality won me over. Her enthusiasm and perkiness is infectious. According to one of her blog posts, Black Actress was inspired by an incident on the set of a film that she was filming for Nickelodeon.
From Miss Andrea Lewis:
Now let’s rewind a bit to where, why and how “Black Actress” came to life. It was 2008 and I was filming a movie for Nickelodeon. I was having a great time filming in Vancouver, I was the only black girl on the set but it wasn’t anything new to me, I grew up that way. One day one of the actors was introducing everyone in the cast to his agent and he went around saying their names and what role they played and then he got to me and he said, “This is Andrea, she’s the urban one” …..”Blank Stare” what does that mean? I was so confused, I mean I understand that I’m the only black girl in this movie and more than likely I was cast because they needed a dose of color and this is their way of showing “diversity” but to be introduced to someone in that way? The urban one? Wow! I didn’t see myself that way.
And that’s when I had enough. Yes, I’m black but that’s not ALL that I am! I realized at that moment as an actress that I had more experiences as “the urban” one rather than just getting to play a girl, a normal girl in a story and I yearned to feel like that. I really wanted to create something that let people see that as women of color we are more than just a dose of brown on your screen or “the urban ones”. We are normal people, with hopes, dreams, funny stories, sad stories, and we see ourselves the same way you see your self.
That’s when the idea for “Black Actress” was sparked!
I don’t know about y’all but I’ll definitely be watching!
Here’s the first episode: