Being Mary Jane heads back to BET this fall for its second season, though now premiere date has yet been announced. The Hollywood Reporter asked the show’s star, Gabrielle Union, to ask her bosses – show writer/creator Mara Brock Akil and director Salim Akil – about how they got the show on the air and what their creative process is. They were interviewed for the latest edition of THR, out out newsstands October 17, which features Shonda Rhimes on the cover as one of the Top 50 showrunners.
Here’s an excerpt from their interview.
Gabrielle Union: What inspired you to create the character of Mary Jane?
Mara Brook Akil: When I was working on [the sitcom]Girlfriends, I felt like I needed another place to express what it really felt like to be a modern woman. Then — this makes me sound like a crazy person — the character of Mary Jane would visit me. The first image I had was her walking around in a beautiful house and Post-Its were all over the place.
I never thought that the show would get made, so I kept little notes for myself, then started to write honestly and with abandon. When we got our BET deal, they asked, “What’s your passion project?” Salim [Akil] said, “Baby, tell ’em your idea.” I’d kept it to myself because I didn’t want anybody to f— it up. But they said yes, and here we are.