Actress, Sydney Mitchell is preparing to grace our televisions this month as she stars in the upcoming drama series on Starz, titled Black Mafia Family. The new series follows the true story of brothers, Demetrius “Big Meech” (Demetrius Flenory Jr) and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory (Da’Vinchi), who rose from the streets and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in the world! Ahead of the drama’s release, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Mitchell – who portrays Lawanda – Terry’s girlfriend and mother of his child to discuss the new series, filming during the ongoing pandemic, and much more!

Tell us about your role in Black Mafia Family.

I play the role of Lawanda – which is Terry Flenory’s girlfriend/mother of his child. She is your typical ride or die girlfriend. She’s always there for him, very loyal. However, she wants him to get out of the drug game. She kind of gives him this ultimatum of her or the drug game. Overall, she’s like I said, you typical loyal, always there for him, type of girlfriend.

Did you happen to film during the ongoing pandemic? How was that experience?

Yes, so filming during the pandemic was very interesting, to say the least. I feel like as actors/actresses, connection and touch is such a big thing. It was very different not being able to. Of course, when we’re in a scene where we’re able to touch, hug, and kiss, we can but there are moments outside of the scene where you connect with people. It’s frustrating because we have to stand this far apart and can’t really interact that much (laughs). But the good thing is that through that, we were still able to connect and form bonds. It was very strange because you’re so used to being able to be in people’s face and be so touchy feely with them. This time, it was different. It was strange having to go test every other day. We had to test three days a week and have a q-tip stuck in our nose, which like I said was very different. We were able to stay safe, so that’s all that matters – I am grateful, it was just different to say the least.

How would you describe being a creative during this time of COVID?

So, COVID-19 has been the best time for me personally as a creative. That’s because I actually got the time to take off of work when the pandemic first happened. I wasn’t working, I was at home at the time. I was able to take that time and really study the craft. A lot of times as creatives, we get caught up with wanting to be on television or on the radio, find an agent, etc,. but COVID was really a time for me to really sit down to study and focus. I had so much free time. I worked from home, so I was able to watch movies that I wanted to, study actors/actresses that I wanted to, and learn the craft. When I tell you the first month that things started opening back up in January, I booked two shows at the same time. I genuinely feel like it was the best thing for me. Of course, I never want to say that COVID-19 was a blessing because so many lives have been lost. For me, it was such a good time for me to evaluate myself and study. I think it’s a great time for creatives to really just enhance their craft. Focus on that and not all the outside noise.

photo by Paul Smith

What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see from you in the rest of 2021?

Currently, I am auditioning. I just got finished working on a project called Memories. It’s going to be on AppleTV with Samuel L. Jackson as the lead. That was so much fun to work on. I play a small character, but nonetheless, it was such a great opportunity to be on set with him. Look out for me in that. I am also training right now. I’m doing tactical training and training to try to be an action actress. That’s the goal! There may be a Black Tomb Raider coming to your screen soon (laughs). Hopefully you will be seeing me in some form of an action movie soon.

photo by Andre Brown

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Featured Image by Andre Brown