BOSSIP had the honor of chatting it up with the iconic Hollwyood legend, Phylicia Rashad about her new role in the upcoming thriller ‘Black Box,’ part of the ‘Welcome To The Blumhouse’ series which premieres on Tuesday October 6 on Amazon Prime. While Rashad counts the old Bela Lugosi films she’d watch as a kid, as well as both the classic version and 2010 remake of ‘The Wolfman’ and Brad Pitt’s ‘Interview with the Vampire,’ among her favorite scary movies, she concedes her role in ‘Black Box’ is a bit of a departure for her, she says she was drawn to it immediately after reading the script.
“It’s a very good story and it’s very well told,” Rashad told BOSSIP. “I read the script and I said ‘Wow this isn’t a script I see every day’. Then I spoke with the director Emmanuel [Osei-Kuffour] and that cemented it for me that it was something I really wanted to do.”
If you didn’t realize Phylicia Rashad had an Instagram, it might be because her account is brand spanking new. After launching with a phenomenal introduction reel on September 22nd, she’s been using social media to promote her new projects, including ‘Black Box.’
Asked about the line from the film, which she used as her caption, Rashad explained, “It’s very significant in the film, you see that it’s a plot point where it comes in, a very strong one, and in my own life I spend a good amount of time watching the tendencies of my mind. A person shouldn’t let their mind run them, and at a same time a person shouldn’t fight their mind and try to suppress or control it’s urges. So I want to make friends with my mind. I’ve heard it said that your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy.”
Besides the power of the subconscious, ‘Black Box,’ also delves deeply into parent/child dynamics, revealing how some parents are willing to do literally anything to protect and preserve their children.
“It’s an extreme circumstance and that’s what I can say about it,” Rashad says of the way the family dynamics are explored in the thriller. “So it’s a very human story, which is why the events that are played out in the film are so disturbing because it’s so human that it’s plausible.”
While we were discussing family dynamics, it only seemed right that we ask Ms. Rashad about her sister, Debbie Allen, who is the subject of Sunday (Oct. 4) TV ONE “UNCENSORED” episode.
“Deborah is phenomenal okay?” Phylicia Rashad tells BOSSIP, before launching into some childhood stories. “She was always the one who was physically smaller than the BIG things she would take on to do.”
“In junior high school when Deborah joined the string ensemble, what instrument do you think she chose to play? She chose the bass violin. She was smaller then than she is now and she was so short they had to put her on a stool and her little fingers couldn’t stretch on the finger board so that little hand was just running up and down the finger board but she never missed a beat and she never played a wrong note. That’s Debbie.”
“When she was in high school, in addition to taking her classes with the Houston Ballet, she would go every afternoon after class downtown to take class with Madame Simonova, who had been a former prima ballerina with Ballet Rús, so she was having that kind of training, she also decided to join the swim team. She was the shortest thing on the swimming team and those people were tall, so when they dove into the water they were halfway down the pool, because they were tall. When she dove in the water she was almost right back by the edge.”
“So one of the relay races she’s just swimming her little heart out, swimming her little heart out. And the race is over, she didn’t stop swimming until she finished the course. And people forgot about who won first, second, third and fourth. They were standing by the side of the pool screaming, ‘Go Debbie! Go Debbie!’”
“She’d always tackle the thing that looks like the thing she couldn’t do, by virtue of her physical size, that’s to say that nothing is too big for her to do,” Rashad recalls of her sister. “She’s always been like that. I’m very proud of what she has given the world in dance. Debbie has really inspired. I don’t think it’s as well known yet as it will become in time, not just for herself, but for people. The number of young people who have been given a very solid training in dance and experience in professionalism because she is a taskmaster dear. She’s not making any excuses because somebody is four or five or six years old. She’s like, ‘Come on honey! Let’s go!’ and they love her for it.”
Of course if you have been following the family legacy, you know well enough that Phylicia Rashad’s daughter Condola Rashad has been continuing the family tradition of excellence, building a solid reputation in theatre (she was Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”) as well as television and film.
“What I am proudest of with my daughter is her work ethic,” Rashad says of Condola. “She watched as a young girl. When she was very young ,I would always take her with me and she was always watching what the work actually was — how it was coming together, what the rehearsal process was like. She used to help me learn my lines. When she learned to read she helped me learn my lines. She’s phenomenal. I’m very proud of her. She’s accomplished — oh my goodness, when I look at her career and the chronology of it and the timing of it, coming out of school, it’s pretty darn amazing.”
Like we said. The whole family is phenomenal!
Check out the trailer for ‘Black Box’ below:
You can find it on Amazon Prime on October 6 as part of the ‘Welcome To The Blumhouse’ series!
You can also watch Debbie Allen’s episode of “UNCENSORED” at 10pm EST tonight on TV One