OWN’s hit church drama, Greenleaf is gearing up for season 2, and the leading ladies, Oprah Winfrey (Mavis), Merle Dandridge (Grace), and Lynn Whitfield (Lady Mae) are out doing promo for what is expected to be a season we’re all talking about.
Winfrey, Whitfield and Dandridge came together at the luxurious Bacara Resort & Spa in Goleta, California (just a hop, skip and limo ride from Winfrey’s home in Santa Barbara), to talk to TV land here is an excerpt:
For a series about a religious family in turmoil, God seems to be missing from the equation. Nobody’s praying for help.
Whitfield: This family has lost its way. They really love God, but now they are functioning out of fear and ego. It’ll be quite an adventure for them to get back to remembering, with humility, where the true power lies. But, for now, they are spiritually distracted.
Dandridge: And isn’t that so human? I’ve met many people in the ministry who are in the machine and talkin’ the talk. But what is their personal relationship with God?
Mavis has gone off the deep end. Who knew her sobriety was so shaky?
Winfrey: She lost the bar that she owned, which was her life, her identity, and at first she thought she was handling it, but she wasn’t. I get that. All my father did was talk about retiring, so when I first came to Chicago, I retired him. I said, “You don’t have to work at the barbershop anymore.” And he tried it. For two days. He couldn’t retire because his identity is that barbershop. And he’s still there today. [Laughs] You can call him up right now.
So you’re loving Mavis’s meltdown?
Winfrey: Yes! I looked at the first season and went, “Whoa! She is so damn earnest that it makes me tired!” She was too stoic and a little boring. I was like, “Give that woman a tequila shot!” This is much more interesting, and it also gives me a way out.
Meaning what? That you plan to leave the show?
Winfrey: I wanted to act in Greenleaf to make sure I was doing everything possible on my end to make it fly. And now it’s flying beautifully. The show carries itself. So, yeah, I think Mavis may have to go off and take care of her addiction very soon. [Laughs]
Check out an extended look at Greenleaf season 2:
Greenleaf returns March 15th on OWN