As someone who’s been in show business for more than a decade, Tatyana Ali said she can relate to the situations that pop up on “Second Generation Wayans.”
“The entertainment business is really about not giving up. It’s about not taking ‘no’ for an answer and really about believing for yourself,” she told Sister 2 Sister.
The series is based on the real lives of Damien Dante and Craig Wayans, who are the nephews of Keenen Ivory, Shawn, Damon and Marlon Wayans. Former “My Wife and Kids” actor, George Gore, also stars.
“What’s really fun is to watch these characters really go after their dreams and start a business together and keep each other’s heads up. So, I can definitely relate to that,” said Tatyana.
The former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star plays Maya on the BET series, which premieres Tuesday. Her character is the handsome hunks’ sassy assistant.
Tatyana is the only female in the main cast, but LeToya Luckett and Regina Hall guest star to add a bit more balance to the testosterone-heavy series.
“Maya’s really cool because she’s a different kind of character. She’s really smart, really new. It’s definitely different from all the other shows on BET,” she said. “There’s drama and there’s comedy. I think it’s really kinda fresh.”
Continuing to find fresh roles might be one of the secrets to Tatyana’s longevity. Also, it doesn’t hurt that she loves what she does.
“I really love acting and singing and performing. It’s my passion. There are times where I haven’t been on TV for a long time, but I’ve been doing theater. I really like the work. It’s what I love to do,” said Tatyana, who hopes there are a lot more roles in her future.
“I want to be the little Black old lady that they cast when they need someone to, like, give the children direction on their journey,” she joked. “Hopefully by then the archetypes will have expanded, but I’m down.”
Check out a preview of “Second Generation Wayans” below.
See photos of Tatyana and more kid stars then and now.
—Tracy L. Scott
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