Lynn Whitfield talks ‘Greenleaf’ and 30+ years working with Oprah

Lynn Whitfield’s relationship with media mogul Oprah Winfrey started over 30 years in the past with their co-starring position in 1989’s “The Ladies of Brewster Place.” The actress was then featured alongside Halle Berry within the Winfrey-produced 1998 mini-series, “The Marriage ceremony”  earlier than reuniting with Winfrey a 3rd time for the OWN drama  “Greenleaf,” now in its fifth and closing season.

“It’s actually cool to know that Oprah has that religion in me, in what I can do,” Whitfield instructed Web page Six. “I can’t assume something, however I believe she is aware of if I’m given the chance — which, she’s been so beneficiant to present me three of them — that I’ll do my degree greatest to profit from it and to honor the ladies she’s introduced me in to play.”

Whitfield performs matriarch Woman Mae Greenleaf, the spouse of Bishop James Greenleaf (portrayed by Keith David), heads of megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries. The character, daughter Grace’s (performed by Merle Dandridge) adversary in earlier seasons, has skilled a non secular rebirth of her personal of late.

Lynn Whitfield (L) and Oprah Winfrey.
Lynn Whitfield (L) and Oprah Winfrey.WireImage

“I like so much about her,” Whitfield says of Woman Mae. “I really like that as she begins to face her personal truths, she begins to humble herself earlier than God, and that’s good. To have the ability to say, ‘My unhealthy, God, let me examine in with you.’ I like that.”

Many assume “Greenleaf” is about behind-the-pulpit intel on the black church, however the Emmy-winner believes there’s extra to it.

“It’s about seeing the folks which are in church management. The largest commentary isn’t in regards to the black church, as a result of we may take a look at the Catholic church as an establishment and say, ‘Wow, there’s so much that must be handled.’ Establishments and company environments at all times have so much to cope with when there’s hierarchy.

“I hope what ‘Greenleaf’ has performed is humanize the black church and made it extra than simply one thing the place folks assume you’re simply leaping and shouting. We introduced humanity, pores and skin and bones, emotions, errors, and coronary heart.”

The present is slowly creeping in direction of its August finale, a bittersweet notice for followers conscious {that a} correct ending isn’t at all times one thing granted to black applications, even hits.

“I believe it’s so unfair to folks to who’ve been so supportive,” Whitfield says of such cancellations. “If any person loves you thru one thing, it is advisable to love them again by way of it. We gained’t go away our followers hanging.”

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