The 2015 Neighborhood Awards brought out some of Black Hollywood’s elite stars. Two in particular are Omar Gooding and Angell Conwell from Bounce TV’s Family Time. SHEEN caught up with them to discuss their show, their solo endeavors, and expectations in “Black Hollywood.”
Congratulations on the beginning of your third season of Family Time! Can you tell us about the show in general, and how it feels to make it to a third season?
Omar: I’m loving it. Three seasons is always a blessing. Family Time stars myself, Angell Conwell [and] our son is Bentley Kyle Evans Junior. He has great comedic timing man; he gets it from his dad. Our daughter played by Jayla Calhoun is also a really great actor.
Angell: It’s always amazing to be working, especially when you’re working with someone as wonderful as Mr. Bentley Kyle Evans. I’ve always loved Bentley’s work so it’s awesome to be working with him. The show is amazing because it’s a show that we need. Every season gets better so it’s always great when you get another one.
Omar: This season we take the characters a little further [and] you get to see them in their workspace. Angell is the stay at home mom. We go through a bit of a financial situation trying to put our kids through school, dealing with the IRS and what not. So, she decides to do some social media work so she’s modeling and taking sexy pictures. Of course, this bothers our son and we go through that whole ordeal.
On my end, this season I get an assistant at work. First we try my wife as an assistant, and of course that does not workout. So then I get another assistant and she’s attractive so you can tell what kind of complications will come with that. But it’s a lot of good ups and downs.
How is Family Time stepping it up this season?
Omar: Well, I’m really excited about the special guests coming this season. As some may know, the second show I did was a show called Hanging with Mr. Cooper. We actually brought Mark Curry in for an episode, [and] we’re actually looking to recur him through the upcoming seasons. And then I did a show called Smart Guy and we’re bringing in Jason Weaver from there. He comes in as a scout-dad, single father, and kills it. It’s always fun to walk down memory lane with these guys. And then of course we have Rodney Perry and Alex Thomas, and some more awesome comics, which obviously made my job a lot easier. Then working with Bentley makes it not feel like work period and you can’t beat that.
Why do you think the show has been so successful?
Angell: Because we don’t attempt to be different. The Stallworth family is just like every other family. The situations that we are in are just so relatable. I think that that is why people can connect with us, because they understand us. They look on the screen and they see themselves or a version of someone they know, and I think that’s why it works.
How do you feel about black television shows today and how they are depicted? And what makes Family Time different?
Angell: You know there are a lot of great shows out right now to be honest. There’s always different dynamics of every human being, situation, or family, but I think a lot of shows are doing a good job of keeping it on the up and up. There’s nothing really embarrassing on TV right now when it comes to sitcoms. Because sometimes you do have those shows where you’re looking at the screen like, ‘oh my gosh, why did they do that? I hope they don’t think we’re all like that.’ But like I said before, I think what makes our show different is that Omar’s and my characters are very youthful, so it’s a young family. It’s a lot of young families out there so I think that gives our show an extra edge.
Omar: Oh absolutely. I grew up watching shows like the Cosby Show, Martin, and The Jamie Foxx Show. These shows have positive role models. You see two African-American parents not following the typical negative stereotypes. I think it’s awesome we’re bringing that back. And on top of that it’s hysterically funny. We keep so many comedians to make sure that it’s funny and it’s fresh. Our workload is so heavy, but it keeps it fresh when you have new material all the time. Like the episode that we just premiered for the Neighborhood Awards is one of my favorite episodes, [which is] the Salt n Pepa episode. Yeah, that episode is funny as hell. Plus I got to showcase my rapping skills, more commercialized, but still cool. We had Michelle Williams on! She didn’t sing, but it was really great to see her out of her comfort zone and see what kind of awesome variety of talent she has.
Do people still look at you two as ‘P’ and ‘Kim’ from Baby Boy?
Omar: Absolutely without a doubt! And you know its fun doing the show because it’s like ‘Kim’ and ‘P’ grew up and had kids! Obviously, it’s not as hardcore as the movie, but for some, it shows the lighter side of our relationship.
Angell: Every time we walk into a room together its ‘P and Kim’. I love that though, because that just means that Baby Boy was clearly a classic.
If you had to leave something in a time capsule for the world to remember you by what would it be?
Angell: Happiness, that’s really important. We’ve all been through so much. Because when it comes down to it, it’s not about the things we physically touch, it’s about each of us helping each other. We all deserve happiness. For me, for a long time I was only thinking about surviving and I wasn’t thinking about my happiness. A lot of times we want people to have the things we didn’t have. So maybe that’s why I want to spread happiness.
Omar: It would probably be a sports helmet from one of my acting experiences. You see I didn’t get to play sports growing up due to my extensive work schedule. I remember I tried out for the football team in high school and coach would always preach dedication and say if you really wanted to be here you would make time to be here. I was always like, ‘yeah I’m going to audition for this play.’ I actually ended up doing a series called Playmakers on ESPN and I really got to experience the thrill of sports. So, I’d probably use my helmet from that.