We finally got a chance to interview the talented leads of the BET digital series Brooklyn.Blue.Sky, Jenelle Simone and Michael Oloyede. The two talents share their thoughts about the series, how they got involved with series, and more.
How did you get involved in the series?
JENELLE SIMONE: It’s funny bceause I wasn’t even supposed to be in NY. I was having a hard time finding myself and I felt like I needed to do something drastic to evoke change so on my birthday in October I decided to get a one-way ticket to Chicago. I came back home for the holidays just to visit. Another actor who was invited to the audition sent me the information and I said “sure, why not.” I had no idea that Rhavynn Drummer was a part of the production. I just came out to have some fun at an audition – Needless to say, I didn’t get back on the plane to Chicago. It’s funny that I had to leave to find my way back.
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: I auditioned! I self-submitted my headshot and resume and got an audition. It was a crazy day, missed flight, missed my appointment time, I was literally the last one to audition. After leaving I knew I bombed the audition, but I got a call the next day and the rest was history.
For anyone who hasn’t watched the series yet provide a brief description.
JENELLE SIMONE: This series is about everyday life, everyday situations…Sky (my character) is dealing with severe health issues. Blue struggles with alcoholism, his girlfriend Giselle struggles with fertility…and then finds out there’s a baby between Blue and Sky that was secretly put up for adoption. Yikes!
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: “Brooklyn. Blue. Sky.” is a story about two ex-lovers, Blue and Sky who have a bit of a checkered past and reunite to write a TV show together. Their reunion brings up old problems and crazy secrets.
Why is Blue engaging in a relationship with Giselle?
JENELLE SIMONE: Well, Sklyar is a Trump supporter- soo that says a lot in itself.
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: Blue is in a relationship with Giselle because he genuinely likes her. Loves her? That might be questionable. But he definitely has strong feelings for her.
What would you like to happen next season with your character?
JENELLE SIMONE: Sometimes a person has to lose it all to find themselves. I think Sky needs to be pushed to the limits so she can see just how strong she really is. It might not be a happily ever after but out of the ashes the phoenix rises.
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: I want to see Blue deal with his mental health problems next season. I think beneath it all Blue is struggling with pleasing everyone but himself and it’s causing him to suppress a lot of emotions.
What do you think is one of the key lessons people can learn from watching the show?
JENELLE SIMONE: That the bad guys can somehow end up being the good guys and that sometimes the good guys even though they are trying to do right are really the reason for someone’s demise.
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: The show touches on so many topics, from terminal illnesses, to death, to relationships, to closure. I think the biggest lesson is that no matter where we come from, no matter who we are, we all are dealing with complex issues and most of those issues are relatable.
What tips would you provide for aspiring actors?
JENELLE SIMONE: Learn the business of acting. It is one thing to have talent but 90% of those who are consistently working had a plan of action. The acting is easy, it’s the homework that’s hard.
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: Focus on your craft, have patience, and find ways to enjoy the process.
For people craving more diverse stories, how can they support diverse content and independent films?
JENELLE SIMONE: What I believe we should do more of is support other shows written, directed and showcased by Black talent. I am a part of tons of Facebook pages/groups that have over 10,000 followers and yet the content that we share on these same pages still have less than 100 views. We need to commit to watching each other’s projects. We only support content with “named” talent as if other shows aren’t as well produced because an A-list talent (actor/director) hasn’t attached their name to it. We won’t even watch our own friend’s work as if it cost us something to click on a YouTube link and sit for a few minutes to watch one episode… I can admit that I’m guilty too! We can do better – we have to, our future depends on it.
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: The biggest way to show support for independent films and projects is simply by talking about it. Talk about it at work, talk to your friends and family, and share it on your social media!
What new projects are in the works for you?
JENELLE SIMONE: I just finished wrapping a sci-fi indie with an awesome new writer and director, Kylie A Brett. I am super excited about this project because he is focused on storytelling that is completely against the grain from normal “urban” stories.
MICHAEL OLOYEDE: Right now, I’m in a play Off Broadway called Scraps at The Flea Theater. It was written by Geraldine Inoa, current writer on the Walking Dead and winner of Shonda Rhimes’ Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission and it’s being directed by Niegel Smith. Previews for the show start August 15! I’m also co-producing two short films and I have some really cool projects that I’ve filmed coming out later this year.