“Well, that sounds like a great role for somebody, but it’s not for me,” thought actress Yvette Nicole Brown when her agent initially introduced her to the role of “Dina” on the ABC sitcom The Mayor which makes its debut on the network this week. EBONY reports Brown will play a mother who is desperate to see he son succeed. Brandon Micheal Hall plays the main character, Courtney Rose, who runs for mayor in a California town in an attempt to draw attention to his music career. To his surprise, he actually wins the election, and Brown’s character, Dina is there to help him every step of the way.
Brown says at first she had no interest in the role:
“I heard about the role, but I was still on The Odd Couple, [which at that point] hadn’t been canceled.”
“As pilot season went on, my agent said, ‘You might want to think about The Mayor because it’s not looking good for The Odd Couple.’ I took a meeting with Jeremy Bronson, our showrunner, and he explained who Dina was, how political the show would be, and how it would be just a wonderful opportunity for us to show a positive side of politics and a loving Black family. Everything about it sounded amazing, and I was like, ‘OK, I’m in.’”
Brown, who once played the beloved character “Shirley” on NBC’s Community, says “Dina” is a lot different than her past role:
“Shirley is her own thing. I don’t think I’ve ever played a character like Shirley or ever will play another character like her. I feel like Dina’s a little more grounded. She’s had to struggle a little more than Shirley did because Dina’s a single mom, and she had her son so young.”
“I think they’re both beautiful women, but I don’t think they’re that much alike.”
Brown also shared how she and Hall, her TV son who is a newcomer to the acting world, bonded:
“We hung out down at ESSENCE Fest, and we tore up New Orleans. We got to spend a lot of time down there walking the streets, having dinner and hanging out. We really got to bond. We’re actors, so we could pretend to be a mother and son just fine, but there’s something about building an actual friendship and genuine love that the camera catches as well, and we’ve finally gotten to that place because we spent time together.”
But don’t think Brown is putting all of her eggs in one basket for a second. When the actress isn’t bringing the joy and jokes to her characters in front of the camera, she’s lending her talents to the animated world. She talked about some of the other avenues her career has taken and what she hopes ultimately to bring to her fans:
“I’m doing a lot of voice-overs right now. I’m on Elena of Avalor, a great Disney show. Disney’s first Latina princess. I play Luna. I’m also Lt. Valeria on Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Then I’m also Principal Waller on DC Super Hero Girls, and I play Portia and Venus on a show on Crackle called SuperMansion, which stars Bryan Cranston.”
“I’m excited about the way my voice-over career has taken off. I’m pretty busy, yeah, and it’s all good, fun things, hopefully things that people from 8 to 80 can watch. I want to have a career [filled with projects] that the whole family can sit and enjoy together. That’s always been my goal.”
You can read more about Yvette’s new role and her thoughts about her co-star in the exclusive interview over at EBONY here.