Logan Browning showed serious acting chops in the hit Netflix show Dear White People, but it wasn't always easy for her to land a job. The 27-year-old dished on her struggles with Hollywood in a new interview with xoNecole.
Browning moved to LA from Georgia at age 14 to jumpstart her acting career. Though she got jobs on shows like Ned's Declassified and Summerland and Bratz: The Movie, the writer's strike eventually left her without work for a year. She eventually moved back to Georgia and wouldn't return to LA until three years later. Of the experience, she said the following: “I think that’s kind of how I was able to navigate that experience, understanding that everyone has a different journey, and that if I’m not getting a role it’s not because I’m the worse actor in L.A. Understanding that keeps your spirits and your hopes high.”
Browning, herself, has a natural propensity for political engagement, which made it easy to transform into her character, Sam. Having attended a predominately white school at Vanderbilt, she was also able to channel the experience of valuing spaces like the Black cultural center into Sam's character.
“I was so active with marches and social media activism and doing my own research, so when Dear White People the series occurred, it felt divine,” she said. “I just loved Sam’s voice. I loved the way Justin wrote her, and the things he said, I was feeling personally. To be able to recite them as Sam and express them in the way that she expresses them was so liberating because not all the time do I have all of the answers and verbiage to really share how I feel about certain topics. To play a character who was so eloquent and so powerful, it was the perfect opportunity.”
But be careful to tell her that she isn't as Black as you want her to be. She gets it. She's seen those think pieces and knows that the comparisons between Sam and Coco are real. She says, "But I do have privileges — class privileges, the list is there. And we both feel caught between worlds of being so pro-Black, but at the same time feeling like people may say you don’t really get it. You think you get it, but you don’t get the whole of it. Which is also true, there are experiences that I will not have because I’m not a certain shade of brown. So in that way, Sam and I, we’re in the same shoes riding the same boat and just learning how to influence this ass-backwards society that we’re in right now."
That doesn't mean she's immune to racism, however. "Growing up Black in Georgia, whether you are conscious or unconscious, you will experience racism. It’s just a fact, and in America it’s a fact. I’ve had personal experiences that I will constantly question if the person did it because of the color of my skin. To be honest, sometimes you don’t know. And that’s the problematic part because when you grow up as a Black person or any minority, you are constantly asking yourself if this particular experience is racism."
Well, there you have it. Stay tuned for season two of Dear White People.
(Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
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