Melissa De Sousa Dishes on New TV Role

Melissa De Sousa Dishes on New TV Role

The Reed Between the Lines actress describes she and Tracee Ellis Ross’ characters as a modern day Laverne and Shirley.

Published October 19, 2011

Melissa De Sousa is probably best known for her role as snotty and demanding girlfriend Shelby in the 1999 wedding movie classic, The Best Man, but these days, on the new BET original comedy Reed Between the Lines, the actress gets an opportunity to change things up a bit.


“My character is Gabriella Jimenez and they call her a passionate Puerto Rican. The backstory is that I grew up with Carla, [played by Tracee Ellis Ross] in South Philly and then we moved to New York,” De Sousa told “She’s a psychologist and I got into acupuncture and we share an office. We’re co-workers but also best friends.”


While Gabriella and Carla are BFFs, De Sousa says that as the show progresses, audiences will learn the characters are also opposites and are reminiscent of a classic TV female friendship duo.


“Gabriella is edgier than Carla is — I’m a little more outspoken and I approach things in a different way. She reels me in and I help her to be a little freer,” says De Sousa. “We’re kind of like a modern-day Laverne and Shirley; she thinks things out, I’m kind of more of an action chick. I’ll take it to the streets.”

(Photo: Donna Ward/Getty Images)

Written by Ronke Idowu Reeves


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