Exclusive: Marcel Spears Talks ABC’s New Series The Mayor

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Exclusive: Marcel Spears Talks ABC’s New Series The Mayor
Posted by Wilson Morales

October 17, 2017

Currently playing on ABC on Tuesday nights is their freshmen comedy, The Mayor, starring Brandon Micheal Hall, Lea Michele, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears, and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. For years, he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity to knock, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century – running for mayor of his California hometown, Fort Grey, to generate buzz for his music career. But his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory.

Courtney’s charisma and outspoken optimism are what helped him get elected as the Mayor, but even though he’s an outsider when it comes to politics, he will find that he’s actually good at it. Courtney has smarts, swagger and creativity, but has never worked a full-time job in his life. Luckily for him, he has the right people around him to shepherd his growth, both as a person and a politician. Besides his Dina Rose (Yvette Nicole Brown), who will be there to keep a watchful eye on him and his administration, and is always ready to set him straight if need be, he has his buddies, Jermaine Leforge (Bernard David Jones) the smooth operator, and T.K Clifton (Marcel Spears) the sensitive sweetheart, will serve as his two unconventional political aides.

As Courtney begins his new journey into the unpredictable world of politics, his mother and best friends, will be completely dedicated to help him succeed. He’ll have to learns what it means to be responsible for others while learning what it means to be responsible for himself.

For Spears, this is his first big role outside of the many theater productions he’s done. Just two years removed from getting his MFA in acting from Columbia University, the New Orleans native is on a network show that airs on primetime and ready to make his mark on a bigger platform.

Blackfilm.com recently spoke with Spears on his role and working the cast.

How did the role come about for you?

Marcel Spears: I auditioned in New York. I put myself on tape. I had actually auditioned for Courtney Rose. I didn’t get that role, but the producer liked me and thought there was another role on the show that I might right for.  So I auditioned for T.K Clifton and a couple more auditions after that. It was a long process and then I made the show.

How would you describe T.K Clifton?

Marcel Spears: T.K Clifton is the mayor’s best friend. He’s like the security of the group, like the muscle, but he’s actually very sensitive. He serves as a reminder of who Courtney really is and where he comes from. Sometimes he gets the Mayor into trouble but for the most part he’s there to help the Mayor in any way that he can.

How hard was the grind before you landed this role?

Marcel Spears: I was grinding my ass off. I was working as hard as I could. I was picking up different jobs. I was a teacher. I was a tutor. I was about to wait tables but I didn’t quite get there yet. I wouldn’t want to say that it was hard because there are thousands of other actors who do that everyday and I was lucky to get a TV role two years out of grad school. I’m grateful and I’m blessed but I was grinding. I literally said yes to every opportunity. I said yes to every audition. I put myself out there as much as I could to see what I could make happen.

Would you say that your theater background helped you in getting the role?

Marcel Spears: I definitely think so. In a city like New York, every actor has probably gone to a conservatory acting program or something. I feel that the same hustle that I had in grad school, and the same hustle that pushed me in class definitely helped me in preparing for a role like this. It gave me a sharper focus in getting the role and hone my craft.

Can you talk about working with Brandon and Bernard?

Marcel Spears: I actually have known Brandon for a few years. We graduated at the same time and we have the same agent. He went to Juilliard and I went to Columbia. We did a couple of play readings so I have known for a long time and to see him grow up on this show is amazing and is like having my brother on the show. And with Bernard, we are trouble in the way that you know that we will have fun. Things will never go quite as written, but it will always be for the better of show. And when add in the music, it makes things dynamic.

Will the show infuse some drama that’s stemming from real-life situations to go along with the humor?

Marcel Spears: Jeremy Bronson, the show’s creator, works really hard on crafting the show so that it has a lot of heart and speaks the truth and is very aware of itself and the way it functions in our country; and also where our country is politically. I feel that we have the best of both worlds. You can have fun in the show and the show is a political show where it comments on political topics. It never something that alienates any member of our audience. It concentrates on issues that we all care about. It doesn’t force you to take a side. It’s just telling you. “Hey, the roads need fixing. How do you go about in doing that? Can we work together to do that.” We have a lot of fun doing that. It’s one of the things I enjoy doing. Jeremy allows us to have fun, but still tells a story that affects people, everyday people, regardless of creed, color, whatever. It’s a show that talks about people and how people can take care of other people.

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