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article imageA conversation with Being Mary Jane's Latarsha Rose Special

By Mindy Peterman     Feb 5, 2014 in Entertainment
Latarsha Rose has been working in films and television for nearly 15 years, and is currently enjoying success as a regular on BET’s first one-hour scripted drama Being Mary Jane.
From appearing in commercials for Kellogg’s Special K cereal to playing the stylist Portia in the first Hunger Games movie, Latarsha Rose’s career is on a steady ascent. Currently she is a regular on BET’s scripted hour-long drama Being Mary Jane, her first co-starring role in series television. She plays Dr. Lisa Hudson, an OBGYN who is Mary Jane’s friend and a “woman of faith”.
I spoke recently with Rose about her new series and her career.
Besides your film and television work, you’ve done a lot of work in commercials. How is filming commercials different from the other work you’ve done?
Commercials work at a much quicker pace. From the moment you go to audition, you’re often working within a week. [They] are just a quicker process. I love working in commercials.
Do you still do them?
I do. They have fed me throughout my career. Commercials have kept my dreams alive.
You’ve worked in series television on dramatic shows like Law and Order and CSI. Would you like to eventually do comedy?
I would love the opportunity to do comedy. Often the work that you have gets you your next job. So because I’ve had all these dramatic roles, I just haven’t had the opportunity to do comedy.
Who are some actors you admire?
I would say Judi Dench is an actor I admire greatly. Viola Davis is someone who's definitely inspired me. There’s so many. Meryl Streep is a phenomenon. Cate Blanchette, Alfie Woodard, the list goes on and on. I got the opportunity to meet Cicely Tyson once at the grocery store. That was exciting.
Is your role as Dr. Lisa Hudson on Being Mary Jane your first as a regular on a television series?
Yes, this is my first time as a series regular and I’m very excited about it.
Tell us a bit about the show and your character.
Sure. Being Mary Jane is the story of Mary Jane, who is a journalist who has to manage her career, her family life and her love life. It’s really her journey to see how to find balance and how to be happy.
I play Dr. Lisa Hudson, one of Mary Jane’s best friends. We’ve known each other forever. I am an OBGYN, and I am a woman of faith. And there are some other things you will find out about me as the show unfolds.
Lisa Hudson is a tough lady who occasionally reads Mary Jane the riot act.
That's all out of love because Mary Jane is a woman who takes care of everyone else. She takes care of her family, her brother Patrick, she looks out for her mother. She looks out for everyone else. She looks out for my concerns. So she’s doing so much for everyone else that she sometimes has tunnel vision and she struggles with what’s right for her. She knows how to tell everyone else what’s right for them but when it comes to herself she struggles. It’s something that often happens in life to all of us.
What sort of challenges will your character face in the show?
She works really hard to become everything she thought she was meant to become, and [you'll see what happens] when life doesn’t actually work out the way she hoped or how she thought it should.
Does Mary Jane help her?
Mary Jane is a very important part of Lisa Hudson’s journey.
The first season of the show is eight episodes as opposed to the 22 of most network series. Do you think it’s a good thing to keep seasons shorter?
A lot of cable shows tend to have shorter seasons. I think it’s an opportunity to really be specific with a storyline. They get you at the beginning and they get you at the end. It’s such a ride.
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