Being Mary Jane’s Raven Goodwin Spills Tea on Season 4 — Exclusive
Grab your popcorn and call your friends, because the long-awaited Season 4 premiere of Being Mary Jane debuts tonight at 10pm on BET!
During our exclusive Q&A, star Raven Goodwin speaks on working with veterans and newcomers to the show, Mary Jane’s move to NYC and why even she was excited to hear about Love & Hip Hop star Cardi B joining the cast.
Wetpaint: You play Mary Jane’s (Gabrielle Union) niece on the show. When we last left off with Niecy, she was being pulled over by the cops and arrested, an obvious reference to the police brutality headlines we’ve been seeing so much over the last two years. How important was it for the show to addresses this issue, especially from the perspective of a woman being pulled over and harassed?
Raven Goodwin: I think that it would’ve been easy to have that situation happen to Patrick or Paul or any black man on the show. I feel like it was super important for them to show it from the perspective of a black woman because it’s also happening to black women as well as black men. The topic in general is very heavy and it’s important that it stops. I think that it being portrayed on TV was a huge pivotal moment and I’m happy I was chosen to be a part of that conversation.
From police brutality to industry beauty standards, you guys are known for tackling a lot of heavy issues that many primetime dramas shy away from. What new themes can we expect to explore in Season 4 of Being Mary Jane?
Since the movie we’ve covered everything. From financial intelligence to sex trafficking, we cover all kinds of topics on Being Mary Jane, and I think that sets us apart. By her being a news anchor, those topics are brought to light every episode. That’s the beauty of Being Mary Jane.
With Mary Jane moving from Atlanta to New York this season, how does that change the dynamic among her family that she supports so heavily back home?
We miss her, of course. There are scenes with her FaceTiming the family and us Skyping her. It’s that normal dynamic that kind of just happens when someone moves on and does better for themselves. You’re still going to feel the family’s presence, but you’ll also get more of her day-to-day life in New York now.
When asked if he could play another character on the show, your new castmate Chike Okonkwo said Niecy because she has so much attitude and sass. If you could play another character, who would it be?
I would be Paul Sr. He has the coolest, most chill lines [laughter]. He’s just in the cut, chillin’. When he has his moments, he speaks his mind then he walks away and that’s it. I would also be Mary Jane for the clothes and the shoes and the bags and the hot men, just FYI [laughs].
What was it like working with Chike this season?
We have a few scenes together. It’s always cool when we have newcomers on the show. It’s always cool to see how they contribute to the storyline. He’s really cool and I love the vibe that he brings not only to the show but to Mary Jane’s life in general.
We know Love & Hip Hop’s Cardi B landed a role on Being Mary Jane this season as well.
I’m so happy for her, I think that is so cool that she got the part on Being Mary Jane. Very cool. I was kind of mad I didn’t get to shoot with her [laughs].
Do you watch Love & Hip Hop?
You know, it’s very trivial but it’s entertaining. My sister and I are in a long-distance relationship [laughs], and we both go on and on about Love & Hip Hop sometimes. It’s a way for us to bond, but it is trivial. If you’re going to watch Love & Hip Hop, just keep a book in your hand, and you’ll be fine [laughs].
How is it working with so many veteran actors on the show?
Yeah, besides the kids on the show, I’m the youngest. But at the same time, working with all these vets is super cool. I’ve learned a lot, had some amazing nights with them, I just love everybody on the show. To work with so many dope people that I can learn a lot from is amazing. It’s a blessing. I’ve grown as an actress and as a woman, and they’ll forever be a part of shaping me into who I am.
What are some of the similarities and difference between yourself and your character, Niecy?
As far as similarities, Niecy trying to navigate womanhood and being held accountable for her actions is something I can relate to. As far as differences, I mean, it’s a lot [laughs]. She’s done a lot of things I wouldn’t do. No judgement though, I love her. When she gets it wrong, she tries to make it right, which I do love about Niecy.
Being Mary Jane Season 4 debuts tonight, January 10 at 10 p.m. on BET.