Her talent is remarkable and incomparable; her smile, warm and irresistible. Strutting into any room with elegance and innate confidence, this Jamaican gem has captured the hearts of viewers all over the world with her iconic performances. And recently, she returned to screens, this time as an educator. Here are Five Questions With the beautiful Sheryl Lee Ralph.
1. How does it feel to be returning to television in the new series, ‘Abbott Elementary’? And tell me a bit about your character, Mrs Barbara Howard.
It feels wonderful! As edgy as cable or streaming television is, there is nothing like being on major television, and ABC/Disney is major! I love how much Ms Howard loves her job as a teacher and her students. She is working under very difficult and stressful working conditions, but as a dedicated educator, she won’t give up for the sake of her students. Like me, she is a tenacious woman; she keeps climbing.
2. What was it like working with the cast?
Our creator or executive producer, Quinta Brunson, has assembled one of the best ensemble casts on TV. We all work very well together and get along even better. It’s the best group of people I have ever worked with.
3.What motivates you or propels you to push forward?
My parents were incredible mentors and motivators for me. From the time I was a little girl, my mother would always say ‘good, better, best, never let it rest, ‘til your good is better and your better best’. I took those words to heart. My grandmother used to tell me, Sheryl Lee Ralph, when you walk into the room, all your people come with you, and I wanted all of my people to be proud of me.
4. What would you say is the biggest lesson acting has taught you?
The biggest lesson acting has taught me is to just relax and let it go.
5. How does it feel to be representing Jamaica on such a large scale in Hollywood?
Like Madge Sinclair and others before her, I have become synonymous with what is the best of Jamaica, and it is such a good feeling.
BRAWTA: When was the last time you were in Jamaica, and what do you miss the most about the island?
I was just there for the holiday season and my birthday in December, which was celebrated [at] Devon House with the most delicious, wonderful get-together planned by my daughter, my husband and my friends at Sagicor. I also had the best holidays, which just prepared me to go back to work with a relaxed spirit. Already, I miss the food, the people, the music, the sound of the night, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets; I miss the colours, I miss the sea, I miss it all.