“You get tired in this business. I’ve been doing this since I was 15,” Erika Alexander told Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy this morning (Thursday, March 22). “You find ways to recreate yourself and be able to have a conversation that’s beyond any one character or show.” Known for her roles on iconic television staples like Living Single and The Cosby Show and last year’s appearance in the Oscar-worthy Get Out, the actress and producer stepped out of her comfort zone and introduced the comic Concrete Park. With the historic success of Black Panther proving that comic books have a place in black culture, it seems like the perfect time to introduce new black-centric comic characters to the comic universe. “[Concrete Park] was one of the best American comics. Forbes said it was one of the best graphic novels in America,” said Alexander, who first premiered the comic five years go. “We’re still out here doing it.” The interview also featured Alexander's thoughts on Living Single, Bill Cosby and ‘90s-sitcom reboots.
On if she’s been told that playing Living Single’s Max has ever inspired women to become lawyers: “More than I feel I deserve. Marilyn Mosby who is up in Baltimore - she said it. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray have said how important it was to them. You meet people. They say ‘hello’ and then they say something special like that. Then you realize that representation matters.”
On why her career didn’t take off after Living Single: “There’s a structural bias in people’s minds. I also think being a so-called comedic actor, at least in their mind - I come from drama and I was a dramatic actress, but I was known for being funny. I came in a package they didn’t think was funny. I’m not being mean when I say they expected black women who were funny to be fatter, to be louder and I was not that.”
On the current ‘90s-sitcom reboot trend: “I think it’s great that everybody is nostalgic for things in the past. Maybe for a good reason it happens.”
On Bill Cosby: “Unfortunately, he wasn’t who we all thought he was and it’s disappointing. It’s not only regretful, but it’s painful. I think I saw things I think were cruel, but I had also been raised in a cruel world. I really had been. You talk yourself into things to say, ‘Well that’s how adults are.’ At the time, I was 19 playing 15. You kind of take it. You kind of know in your heart that it’s more that you’d like to see from that person.”
On if she ever was assaulted by Bill Cosby: “No. Thank God.”
On hating reality tv at one point: “I think I did, not because they were taking the place, but because I thought it was a poor representation of what Black women were.
Take a look at The Breakfast Club’s Erika Alexander interview in its entirety above.**