brought her to tears. Brown spoke with ET’s Melicia Johnson about the journey she went on to be on the show, including being turned down for the series when she first auditioned.
“You know, crazy enough, years ago when they first created the show and the pilot happened, I had auditioned and I’m glad I didn’t book it back then because I wasn’t ready mentally where I am now because I wasn’t operating in a place of freedom,” she told ET. “Of course, here we are years later, Lena [Waithe] and I had actually had taken a meeting about something else completely different. Then in just conversation, she was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to have you on The Chi next season.’ And I thought, ‘OK girl, like, you know, people be talking.'”
“I was thinking maybe a cameo, maybe they gonna have me on there cooking something, I don’t know. You know? People forget or don’t know that I’ve been acting for over 20 years,” she continued.
But the show’s creator, Waithe, didn’t forget. In fact, she stuck to her word.
“She remembered and she stuck to her word. So when I got the email from my team, I was like, ‘Wait a minute, six episodes?’ I was blown away, Honey. I cried,” Brown recalled. “I called later and was like, ‘No way!’ So it was really mind-blowing. It was an offer. I didn’t have to audition for this particular character, but I sewn the seed years ago.”
That place of freedom that Brown mentioned is what she believes helped her land the role on the Showtime series, doing what she feels like she’s supposed to be doing.
“I felt like, ‘Oh my God, I’m home.’ It was finally like my flesh connected with my spirit and said, ‘Girl, this is what we’ve been telling you. You used to be getting all crazy excited back then, and it was never right. That’s why you were all over the place,'” she shared. “When you’re where you’re supposed to be, it feels like peace. So it feels like I’m at home. It feels like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and it feels really good.”
Brown’s character Octavia hits close to home for the seasoned actress, but the two aren’t exactly the same.
“I will say she is like me in the sense of she has peace and her mission is to love unconditionally, but then there’s a polar opposite as well,” she explained.
In addition to her work on The Chi, Brown is working on a new sitcom that is a mix of The Cosby Show and Roseanne with a little bit of The Bernie Mac Show thrown in.
“It’s that feel and a little bit of like the Bernie Mac feel,” she revealed. “You know how he always had his little smokers room area, and he would talk to the camera? I envision myself doing the same, but maybe talking from my kitchen.”
As far as the potential reality show surrounding the Brown family, that’s tabled for now.
“I had about three offers, and I turned them all down,” Brown said. “I prayed about that, and God said, no. So I said no. I’m very obedient to my spirit. So I listened. He has not failed me yet honey, and I always let him guide me.”
See Brown in the role when season 4 of The Chi premieres on Showtime, Sunday, May 23 at 9/8c.