While on my recent press trip with Disney Studios, I was blessed with the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Bernard D. Jones and Marcel Spears from ABC’s new show The Mayor. This hilarious new family-friendly comedy has quickly become a favorite in our home. I scored major mom points for this photo.
I love when I meet an actor that resembles their character on a television show. These two men were wonderful and just as friendly as they are portrayed on the screen. They are incredibly humble and gracious. We all sat down together to screen the upcoming episode of The Mayor and it was fun to see how excited and proud Bernard and Marcel were of their work.
Exclusive Interview with Bernard D. Jones and Marcel Spears from #TheMayor
How did you get involved with the show?
Bernard Jones: My agent sent me the casting notice and after reading the script I knew I had to part a part of it. The script was so current, topical, I just had to do it. It was amazing.
Marcel Spears: I auditioned in New York and every young brother and rap artist was in the room. I originally auditioned for the role of Courtney Rose and they told me it wasn’t quite a fit because Brandon (the actor that secured the role of Courtney) came in and killed his audition. He freestyled for over an hour. But the casting director said “we have got to find a place for Marcel”.
When I got the script and saw the characters T.K. and Jermaine, I was like “oh perfect, this is it“.
How do you feel about taking on a politically flavored show at this time in our country’s climate?
Bernard D. Jones: As artists, it’s kind of our duty, our job to be able to hold a mirror up to our country, our world and say, this is what’s going on. How do we fix it? What can we do to fix it? And I think our show is an awesome representation of what happens when somebody that has a heart for people, that understands community and unity, leads with love. How that can affect a community and this guy, Courtney Rose, has no political experience. He didn’t mean to win. He was doing what millennials do: trying to get some of that ka-ching.
When Courtney Rose wins Mayor, he doesn’t stray away from the responsibility. He took it head on and I think that’s a good lesson for all of us. You know, all of America. If there’s something going on in your neighborhood that you want to change, take leadership.
What’s also special about our show is that we come from a non-partisan standpoint, so there’s no, “you have to be Democrat” or “you have to be a Republican.” We don’t choose sides. We present what’s going on in these communities and we offer solutions on how to fix it.
Marcel Spears: It’s an opportunity for us as artists to provoke change and to inspire people. I feel like us doing the show gives us a chance, in a fun way, in an approachable way to really talk about politics in a way that I feel like can reach people so that people aren’t afraid of politics anymore. So that people aren’t exhausted with it so much and they can really get down to what it’s about, taking care of people around you. Whether you disagree on how to go about doing that, the end goal is always the betterment of the community.
What is it like on set?
Bernard D. Jones: Oh, it’s amazing. We have Yvette Nicole Brown! If you’ve ever met her, if you’ve ever talked to her, if you’ve ever seen her in anything… people are like “Yvette, we love you.” I always say, Yvette, I hope that people love me the way that they love you and respect you, one day.” She said, just be yourself and have a heart for people. That’s some of the best advice she’s given. She is like a big sister. She will say “Don’t do that. Do that. Stay away from that.”
Yvette helped pay for me to get to New York one time. She was like “well, I know where you work. You’ll give it back.” Then when I tried to pay her back, she was like “baby, just keep the money.” She has a heart. That’s just her. When you see her in these interviews, it’s not Hollywood. It’s not fake. It is geniune.
Brandon is such a great actor. He’s young, but his ability to be a leader, onscreen and off screen, is amazing. We are blessed to have a leader in Brandon. He’s wise beyond his years. He’s Julliard trained and a great friend.
Marcel Spears: You cannot walk anywhere with Yvette, they love her. Yvette helped me find an apartment. I was in New York at the time and she was like “I can go to the apartment and FaceTime you, I’ll show you what it is.” She is that kind of person.
I’ve known Brandon for three years. We all hang out. It’s also one of those situations where I’m watching this young man grow into himself and taking on the position of being the number one and being the star of the show. He is really learning as he goes and being a servant leader, making sure that we’re all okay and taking care of us. I’m proud. I’ve only known him three years, but I feel like I’ve known him forever.
Marcel Spears: Lea Michele is like the sister of the group. She got three new brothers that she loves, but also doesn’t know if she wanted.
The thing I like the most about our show, is our cast. It’s family. We have fun on set and the cool thing is, the women are the pros in the situation. We make sure we look out for our girls, but they are bosses. The women on this show are the bosses. Lea’s been doing this for ten years. Yvette’s been doing it for twenty.
Bernard D. Jones: Yvette and Lea are vets. And we’re like – what’s going on? Just to be in the presence of such professionals with just years in the business.
What is it like working with David Spade?
Is he as creepy in real life as he plays on TV?
Marcel Spears: He’s actually way cooler in real life. He’s legit. He’s like, he’s the coolest cat I’ve ever met. David is so cool and he’s so good at being really snarky. The stuff that he’ll come up with on the fly. He’ll be reading the page and make a side remark. Next thing you know, it’s in the script the next time we get it. He’s sharp.
Bernard D. Jones: He’s always telling us, “you guys are amazing. You guys are great. This show is awesome.” That’s David Spade. We were going in to do some vocal stuff and he knew. David literally laid across the floor like he was passed out. We were like “David!” and he was like “I just wanted to get you guys.” From the first table room to now, he’s just been amazing. Very supportive.
I went up to him and I said “David, you have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!” and he was like “yeah, you know, but you got to pay the upkeep and all that.” He’s always joking and humble.
Will Courtney Rose and Val get together?
Bernard D. Jones: I think their relationship as we see it now is just strictly business and I think it’s important for young girls to see that: you can be in politics, you can be in an office where you run stuff and you don’t have to be anyone’s girlfriend, you don’t have to do that. I think that’s a stronger stance to take.
Marcel Spears: Jeremy really wanted those characters to have individual identities. He wanted to make sure that those characters were fully formed and that Val is the pro. That’s her world. That’s her arena and she’s not there to serve Brandon. She’s there to guide him, because he has no idea what he’s doing.
Thank you to the wonderful Allison from AllForTheBoys.com for the photos. She did an amazing job capturing the best shots during our media event and was so kind to share with us.
I could have spent an entire day chatting about ABC’s new show The Mayor with Bernard and Marcel. This exclusive interview with Bernard D. Jones and Marcel Spears lasted only thirty minutes and we covered so many topics. We all laughed like we hadn’t just met. It was a real pleasure and I cannot wait to see how this season plays out.
Tune in to watch The Mayor on Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC. If you missed an episode, no worries – you can watch now On Demand and on the ABC App.
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