The hit series Bruh on BET+ got real when Mike (Phillip Mullings Jr.) revealed to Pamela (Alyssa Goss) that he has a cocaine problem. The intensity level went up a few notches when the couple’s turbulent, on-and-off relationship turned physical at the end of episode 15, with the hyper-masculine Mike appearing to get ready to rough up Pam.
Things get more heated in episode 16, titled, “The Appointed Time,” which drops on Nov. 11.
Now in its second season, Tyler Perry’s Bruh, which he directs, produces, and writes, is about the brotherhood of four African American college buddies who are experiencing their thirties. It’s largely a comedy that’s also brutally honest about relationships, love, and Black men having each other’s backs.
In Season Two, Mike, a lawyer, and serial womanizer decides that he wants an exclusive relationship with Pamela, one of his many sex partners. Pam, who is no doormat, finally relents and gives him a chance. But his volatile behavior and paranoia make their newly upgraded relationship toxic, and it spirals downward when he reveals his cocaine addiction.
In real life, Mullings, who played Patrick Lorraine in American Soul, and Goss, who portrayed Bobby Brown’s wife Alicia Etheridge in The Bobby Brown Story, are a happy couple.
From being castmates to soulmates, on Bruh, the beautiful duo recently notched the two-year mark in their relationship.
BET.com spoke with Goss and Mullings about their dramatic scene together, their characters’ relationship, and their personal love story.
BET.com: The scenes about Mike’s cocaine problem are very intense. It’s not just the dialogue but also the physical confrontation. How do you prepare mentally for powerful scenes like that?
Phillip Mullings: I have so much trust in Alyssa that I’m able to go anywhere with her, wherever the scene takes us is where we go.
Alyssa Goss: Yeah, I would second that and say, for me, mentally, I have to be in a place where we’re as present as possible. Also, having that trust in the people you’re working with makes it so much easier.
We really didn’t go over that scene because we thought it was so heavy. We showed up the day of, and were like, ‘OK, let’s just go there.’ That was the agreement: everything is a go, nothing is off the table.
BET.com: So you just flipped a switch and went at it?
Phillip Mullings: We went over the scene and prepared for it. For both of us, as actors, we try to take the theme to the nth degree. We had been playing our characters at that point for a second year. So we knew who these people were, and it was like just let’s see where it goes. There were no limits.
Alyssa Goss: I didn’t really want to go over that scene much because it was so heavy. And I knew that it was a heavy theme that brought me emotionally, every time, to a place where I was like, let me hold off until the day of.
When we got to episode 15, I was just Alyssa feeling frustration and put that to use. I try to use all of my feelings, the things that are happening outside of me in my environment. I try to hone in on those things and use them in my work as much as possible because it's kind of a healthy way to get out whatever you need.
BET.com: In Season Two, Mike and Pam decide to have a committed relationship. But it’s a dangerous mix. They both have explosive, confrontational personalities. Are Mike and Pam actually good for each other?
Phillip Mullings: What’s compelling is that they are perfect for each other. But they're not in a place where they can realize those results. They're just not ready, but they want to be ready. I think everybody can relate to that, like wanting something that is just not working.
Alyssa Goss: They are very similar, but it’s a question of whether or not they can overcome those things. She kind of goes off the rails like Mike does. But they both need to be better people for themselves before they can even think of being in a relationship.
BET.com: How much input do you have in developing, shaping, and interpreting Mike and Pamela?
Alyssa Goss: I would say that Mr. Perry is one of the most amazing people to work with because he gives you what's happening. He says, here's what your characters are going through. And then it's up to us to hone in and really create the life within these characters. So it feels very collaborative.
Phillip Mullings: When I auditioned for Mike, I played him a certain way. He gave me a note saying, “I need a jerk, play Mike that way.” And I felt that it was a simple direction, but it gave me so much freedom because he's not telling you what to do. [He’s just saying, ‘use your version of what that is.'] And I feel like that is translated into our shooting. Complete autonomy over how we're playing things, but he gives us the foundation and the freedom.
BET.com: Let’s talk about your real-life relationship. How did your romance start?
Phillip Mullings: Alyssa and I had been revolving in the same world. She had a project, The Bobby Brown Story, that I auditioned for but didn’t get the part. I watched the show to see if I recognized any friends and saw this girl in a scene, who turned out to be Alyssa, playing her character with compassion, light, and energy. I was drawn to her. And I looked her up.
Alyssa Goss: I want to tell this part. About six months later, I was invited to the premiere of American Soul. I remember walking in and seeing this guy, and thinking, ‘Oh, he’s kinda cute.’ But that was it. I left it at that and went on with my night.
Philip Mullings: Several months after that, I auditioned for Bruh. I was sitting in the lobby, nervous about getting the job when this girl walks up to me. She’s like, ‘Hey, are you auditioning for Mike? I need to run my lines and nobody will help me.’ So, we’re going over the lines and she says, ‘You’re going to book this.’ I really needed to hear that because I did everything I could do to get the part.
So we were just sitting there talking about roles we’ve played. She mentioned her role in The Bobby Brown Story, as she’s saying that, I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness. This is the girl.’
Alyssa Goss: [While] on the set for Bruh, we’re asking each other questions, we're getting to know each other. It was just one of those things where we were outside talking — I'm just very straightforward — and I just looked at him and said I like you. It was all definitely divine timing.
BET.com: Does Pam and Mike’s relationship ever spill over to Alyssa and Phillip’s relationship?
Alyssa Goss: I feel like when we're playing those characters, with all that heavy stuff, we would snap at each other here and there [laughs].
Phillip Mullings: We shoot quickly, so I tap into a zone and Mike bleeds over into Phillip’s life [they both laugh]. We do have a strong foundation of knowing the difference between who we are and who these characters are, and what they're going through, and what we’re working on.
Audiences can start a free trial with the streaming platform to see all episodes of Bruh at BET+.