Call me old, but I first saw the talents of Jurnee Smollett-Bell in a few episodes of ABC’s Full House. She portrayed the character “Denise,” which was the best friend to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s character, “Michelle.”
Do you remember?
Fast forward a few years after Full House, it was her breathtaking role in the 1997 film, Eve’s Bayou, from which is still talked about to this day that captured people’s heart. Talk about impressionable. She’s married to musician Josiah Bell and they are the proud parents of a little baby boy, Hunter Zion.
Currently, the 30-year-old stars on WGN America’s Underground which is slated to start it’s second season Wednesday, March 8th.
Per EBONY –
“Underground, a scripted series about enslaved Black Americans who escape via the Underground Railroad. Co-produced by John Legend, the first season’s finale boasted an impressive 2.5 million total viewers, making it the No. 1 scripted original cable series in its time slot.”
In a recent interview with EBONY, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, takes the readers on her “Fantastic Jurnee” as she discusses being known as a, “former child star,” she shares her powerful response to the Underground naysayers and why she feels she was ordained to play the character of “Rosalee.”
Check out some excerpts from the interview:
Smollett-Bell shares why she doesn’t consider herself a former child star:
“I wouldn’t even call myself a former child star. I was a child actor; there’s a difference. People look at you and they think they know you. They think they can place you in a certain category by what they think they know about you. But there’s so much more to all of us than what we know and what we see at face value.”
As mentioned, Underground is a slave narrative, and, as a result, the show has received some backlash as some people are tired of the same old slavery movies and shows. Here’s Smollet-Bell’s response to the backlash:
“I think we had seen the occupation so much, we wanted to see the revolution and that is what Underground is.
It was the story of the uprising. It was the story of those of us who fought back, who attempted to fight for their freedom. That was a side of the story we were hungry to see in order to understand our whole history.”