'All American' star Karimah Westbrook says fans will see her character Grace stepping 'out of her comfort zone' in Season 2
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Karimah Westbrook, who plays Grace James in 'All American', sheds light on her role and drops major hints for Season 2
Love, strength, and resilience — Karimah Westbrook pours just the right mix of emotions as Grace James in 'All American'. A devoted single parent, she plays the mother of football star Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) in The CW series.
Inspired by NFL Superbowl champion Spencer Paysinger's real-life story, the series masterfully weaves high school drama, family tension, and coming-of-age stories while also shining a spotlight on powerful social issues.
The actress portrays each sentiment with perfection and the relatability factor she brings into her performance also earned her a Black Reel nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. What really comes as a surprise is that she is not a mother in real life!
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), she sheds light on her role and drops major hints for season two! "There's a lot of love on the show and it's a reflection of the bond we share in real life. The whole experience for me has been a blessing," she says.
You are not a mother yet so how did you prepare for this role play and manage to pull it off so well?
I grew up with a single mom. I didn't grow up with my dad either. So that gave me some insight into how tough it is to raise kids on your own. But also I think that you don't have to have kids to portray a mom. I think you just need to love kids and be compassionate for them to do well. A combination of that and my childhood days in a single-parent home helped me to bring it all together.
What's in store for Grace's personal life in 'All American'? Will Grace and Corey be able to come back together to raise a family again or will she find a new love interest?
I think that there's a lot of growth for my character Grace this season and I really love that for her. Of course, you're going to see more interactions between her and Corey this season because he's back in town and he wants to be in his children's lives. But, I definitely want my character to find happiness. Except for me, everyone has moved on. I spent a lot of my life raising my kids. So you will see Grace stepping out of her comfort zone this season and seeking things that make her happy.
The first episode shows how Grace's husband Corey wishes to know who Dillon's father is. While the two agree to not get the paternity test done right away, will his real dad's identity be known this season or will it remain a mystery?
I think that the question of Dillon's father — is if that question will come up again or if the characters seek the answer to that question — will be revealed this season.
Spencer needs help to choose between which school to play football for. Will Grace help him take the big decision?
I always want to give advice to my son and be a guiding force in his life. I want the best for him and for him to make the best decisions but you know Spencer's becoming an adult, a young man, and ultimately how he feels is important to me as well. So it'll be a little bit of both because I want him to have the freedom to do what he feels in his heart to do. But, of course, as a parent, you want to be involved as much as possible because you feel that you have better foresight than your children do. From my perspective, I would definitely be involved but ultimately it will be his choice.
What is the one thing you feel has changed moving from Season 1 to Season 2 and will bring in a different feel for the viewers?
I think we dive more into the character's lives. Season one was more of an introduction about what everyone is doing and what roles they play. Season two is a more intimate look into their lives. In the second season, we get a chance to see other sides of each of the characters on the show — a more in-depth look into who they really are. And I think it is great because there are so many things that can happen with the characters. The viewers will get to see how real and grounded the plot will be with a lot of unexpected things happening in the characters' lives.
Westbrook revealed she starred in the film 'After We Collided' as Karen and it will be out in 2020. A sequel to the film 'After', the movie is based on the book of the same name by Anna Todd. She has been quite busy with the filming of 'All American'. With 16 episodes in total for season two, it airs on Mondays on The CW.