Who’s that girl with Ralph Angel?
by Shawn Taylor
As the de-Darla-ization of Ralph Angel continues, enter actress Noree Victoria. She played the sumptuous role of the Bordelon heir’s latest hookup, Monique, on Wednesday’s episode of “Queen Sugar.” And, while we’re uncertain of a budding romance, you have to admit, at least RA invited her into the house.
The film and television actress, formerly a regular on the “Ricky Smiley Show,” (as Simone) has been focused primarily on writing since playing infamous juror Tracy Hampton in the acclaimed series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX) who, tired of being sequestered, sprinted for the door. But who wouldn’t drop everything to appear on one of TV’s hottest shows opposite one of Hollywood’s sexiest stars (Kofi Siriboe).
Before she heads off to the UK to participate in an elite drama program in Oxford, Noree shares some insights from her “Queen Sugar” experience and the new day for women in the industry being ushered in by QS creators/producers Ava Duvernay and Oprah:
Q: The cinematography on QS is breathtaking. What was the set like? Is it as hot as it looks?
A: The show is filmed on an actual sugar cane plantation, and riding up to it for the first time, for me, looking at the trees, the actual slave quarters, the “big house”, and knowing our history with that as people of color — the first thing I did once I got settled in, was take off my shoes and walk the land barefoot. I got some curious looks from set security, but it was my way of honoring the spirit of what was, and what is. And it hurt a bit at first, as in physically — the pebbles, the sticks, the jagged land, but that was nothing compared to the sacrifices made, past and present, for us to be there. I walked. and let myself be affected emotionally. Spiritually. That being said, the landscape, it just absolutely takes your breath away! Kofi and I spoke about how grounding that can be, working in nature. And although it wasn’t hot when I got there, he did mention that in July — “Oh it gets HOT!”
Q: So, did you get to taste one of Aunt Vi’s pies?
A: Unfortunately, no, but looks like they may give “Patty’s Pies” a run for their money!
Q: You’ve been on a lot of sets in your career. What’s it like to be on a set with all women directors?
A: Ahhhh. That sound? That. And I’ve been on sets that I absolutely enjoy, with some wonderful men. But there’s something different about the energy of a feminine-collective. I wrote Ava a note after, just telling her how much I appreciated the safe, collaborative space. Safe to be, do, express. There’s an awareness that’s actually pretty sacred.
Q: We know Ralph Angel is a character on TV, but he feels real to us (heck, they all do). What advice would you give him to mend his troubled heart?
A: To leave all the rebounds alone — even if they feel good. He’s got to preserve all that energy for self-healing, and for Blue!
Q: What themes came up with the relationship between your character, Monique, and Ralph Angel?
A: Definitely the complicated dynamic of single Black fatherhood — and parenthood in general — when a family decides to separate and new faces enter the fray. How children are introduced, how to navigate relationships and your own need for downtime as a parent, without the child feeling left out. It takes a special dynamic to come out on the other side of that as a healthy family again. It also highlights the fact that there are a lot of single, Black fathers out here doing all that they can, and taking amazing care of well-adjusted children, and I love that.
Q: What’s next for Noree Noree?
A: I’m working on a multi-camera comedic series based on a uniquely blended family, which is something I have a lot of experience with. In July, I head to the UK to study at the British American Drama Academy as part of its esteemed Midsummer in Oxford program. People auditioned from around the world, so I am deeply honored and grateful to begin this new journey. And I’m recently represented by one of the most influential and intelligent talent managers in LA, Matt Luber of Luber Roklin Entertainment. So I have every reason to be excited about what the future holds.
Queen Sugar airs Wednesday at 10|9c on OWNTV.
Photo by Michael Roud Photography
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