Lynn Whitfield talks ‘Greenleaf’ and 30+ years working with Oprah


Lynn Whitfield’s relationship with media mogul Oprah Winfrey started over 30 years in the past with their co-starring position in 1989’s “The Ladies of Brewster Place.” The actress was then featured alongside Halle Berry within the Winfrey-produced 1998 mini-series, “The Wedding ceremony”  earlier than reuniting with Winfrey a 3rd time for the OWN drama  “Greenleaf,” now in its fifth and remaining season.

“It’s actually cool to know that Oprah has that religion in me, in what I can do,” Whitfield instructed Web page Six. “I can’t assume something, however I believe she is aware of if I’m given the chance — which, she’s been so beneficiant to present me three of them — that I’ll do my degree finest to profit from it and to honor the ladies she’s introduced me in to play.”

Whitfield performs matriarch Girl Mae Greenleaf, the spouse of Bishop James Greenleaf (portrayed by Keith David), heads of megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries. The character, daughter Grace’s (performed by Merle Dandridge) adversary in earlier seasons, has skilled a non secular rebirth of her personal of late.

Lynn Whitfield (L) and Oprah Winfrey.
Lynn Whitfield (L) and Oprah Winfrey.WireImage

“I love loads about her,” Whitfield says of Girl Mae. “I like that as she begins to face her personal truths, she begins to humble herself earlier than God, and that’s good. To have the ability to say, ‘My dangerous, God, let me examine in with you.’ I love that.”

Many assume “Greenleaf” is about behind-the-pulpit intel on the black church, however the Emmy-winner believes there’s extra to it.

“It’s about seeing the individuals which might be in church management. The largest commentary isn’t concerning the black church, as a result of we may have a look at the Catholic church as an establishment and say, ‘Wow, there’s loads that must be handled.’ Establishments and company environments at all times have loads to take care of when there’s hierarchy.

“I hope what ‘Greenleaf’ has carried out is humanize the black church and made it extra than simply one thing the place individuals suppose you’re simply leaping and shouting. We introduced humanity, pores and skin and bones, emotions, errors, and coronary heart.”

The present is slowly creeping in the direction of its August finale, a bittersweet word for followers conscious {that a} correct ending isn’t at all times one thing granted to black applications, even hits.

“I believe it’s so unfair to individuals to who’ve been so supportive,” Whitfield says of such cancellations. “If any individual loves you thru one thing, you might want to love them again by means of it. We received’t depart our followers hanging.”

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