Gail Mitchell, better known as Gail Bean, is a renowned actress who is forging her own path in the industry with God on her side.

Although she was born in St. Louis, the Valdosta State University alum was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The actress grew up surrounded by a village of God-fearing family members who immensely cared about her. As the youngest of six children, and the only girl, she was protected throughout her childhood by loved ones. Despite being a dynamic actress, drama wasn’t the route she planned on taking until she participated in a theater class her senior year in high school.

Fast forward to present day, the thespian made her dreams come true – Bean was in the critically acclaimed film Unexpected, alongside other movies like The Belko Experiment and Test Pattern, to name a few. In addition, she’s had roles in popular TV series like “Insecure,” “Atlanta,” “P-Valley” and her most notable gig as Wanda in FX’s hit TV show “Snowfall.”

Bean was the latest guest on REVOLT CEO Detavio Samuels’ show “The Blackprint,” where she opened up about the journey to becoming the 2024 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and more. Below are seven highlights from the transparent and interesting conversation. Read up!

1. She Grew Up In A House Full Of Love

Because Bean was surrounded by a ton of love in her household, she thought it was something that was common for most people. When she realized growing up in a stable and healthy environment wasn’t the reality for a lot of her peers, the gratitude for her upbringing grew tremendously.

“My home felt like a place where if nobody else loved you, you knew you could go home. I’m starting to realize as I meet more folks, it’s rare when I thought it was common,” she told Samuels. “And it’s like you could have so much of a rare thing you start to mistake it for common, so that was my home. It was a rare, beautiful thing of love and God.”

2. Drama Class Changed Her Career Goals

The thespian went to an all-Black school during her teen years and already had her heart set on either being a lawyer, beautician, or Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. That all changed during her senior year in high school when she signed up for a theater class, which exposed her to something different and ultimately sparked an interest in acting.

“I took a drama class and I just really had fun. I didn’t think about nothing… like, not the outside world. Not what I had for breakfast. I was just there in the moment, and I said, ‘I love this.’ And then I found out you could do this for a career,” Bean shared. “All my life I thought I was going to be the next female Johnnie Cochran, which I still can be. I thought I was going to do hair, and I thought I was going to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. So those were my three goals, and I was like once I do that, I’ve made it…I ’ve accomplished everything I was supposed to do here, and then I took drama class.”

“I was surprised to learn that this was a job, and these are real people and I could be one of these people,” she added.

3. She Learned Getting Help From Others Is A Good Thing

When Gail Bean got the call for “Snowfall,” instead of getting help from Malcolm Mays -- her future castmate who wanted to put in a good word for her with the show’s team -- she told him not to make the call. Looking back, Bean wouldn’t make the same choice, as she’s learned over time that it’s okay for others to assist her.

“It’s the mindset, sometimes, where we have this messed up mindset of thinking we don’t want no help,” she disclosed to Samuels. “We can’t have nepotism. We got to get it by ourselves. No -- other ethnicities get help. We can have help. Help is… that’s why we're here. If we weren’t supposed to have help, we would be in this world by ourselves.”

“So I was like, ‘No, Malcolm, I want to stand on the merit of my work,’” Bean continued. “I could slap 2017 me. I could slap the me that said, ‘You have to do this by yourself,’ No, I want all the help I can get.”

4. She Got Her Bachelor’s Degree In Accounting

Bean attended Valdosta State University but was initially unsure of what she wanted to study there. After talking to one of her brothers and learning that he was getting his degree in accounting, she decided to do the same. Since the scholar had a love for numbers, her classes gave her the same joy she got from acting.

5. The Actress Hopes Her Career Makes Other People Believers In Christ

Since Christianity was a major part of her foundation, Bean’s faith is something that plays an integral role in her life. Due to this and not having the cookie cutter path some may think a Hollywood actress should have, the writer hopes nonbelievers and people in general can see God’s light and favor through her.

“I said, ‘God, if I do it, let me do it right.’ And for me, right is [to] let people say, ‘Oh, she didn't do that; she couldn't do that. There's nothing in her story that aligns that said that's gonna be hers, so it had to be God,’” Mitchell explained. “So I said, ‘Give me a career where people look at it and even a heathen and an atheist can say, ‘God do exist.’”

6. She Changed Her Last Name, So The Past Wouldn’t Define Her Future

Bean was a little rebellious and tested her mom at times. It was nothing out of the ordinary for teens, but unfortunately, certain decisions landed her behind bars prior to fame. Because of the repercussions the youngster faced, she decided to swipe her legal last name out and use Bean as a stage name instead. This decision stemmed from a fear that people would not accept her due to old mistakes that shouldn’t necessarily define her career trajectory.

7. The Go-Getter Went Where Her Career Goals Were Fully Supported

When the award-winning actress moved to LA, she worked at retail stores for income and her first job was at Windsor. The company made it difficult when she needed time off for a special day, at which point she quit. Since Bean had a love for sneakers, she went to ask the manager of Shiekh if she could have a job in the back. Lo and behold, she was blessed with the store manager position instead, which caused envy among her new co-workers, some of whom worked there for years. Despite the tension, the store leaders supported Bean and helped her achieve her dreams by giving her the necessary time off.

“I went somewhere where they saw the vision, and they saw [it] in me, and they just wanted to be a vessel. Shiekh let me off to go do The Belko Experiment, the James Gunn movie that I did over in Bogotá. They let me take a leave,” Bean shared. “They let me go do auditions. My film – Sundance -- the film that got the critical acclaim, the film that was the first time people saw me on screen… I was working at Shiekh.”

She continued, “They let me go on my [15-minute break] to go do an interview with the director and the producer... They made the way, right? And I'm always going to be so grateful for everybody who I ever encountered.”