Meet The Cast Anacostia of Hit Web Series 'Anacostia'! (EXCLUSIVE) Read more here--->>>
We were able to catch up with a few stars from the hit web series Anacostia. If you missed our article with Anthony Anderson, the creator, director and producer who also stars in the show check it out here. You must watch the show. As we previously mentioned especially if you are a fan of the soap opera genre, this show has those twisty, OMG, no they didn't storylines that we all love. And it's packed around relevant and topical storylines all played out by some hidden gems (they aren't hidden anymore) actors. We spoke to three of them; William Lash (Scott Taylor) Pasha Diallo (Dominque Johnson) and Marion Akpan (Nancy Stephensen) who star in the soapy drama. We enjoyed getting to know the people behind these dynamic characters.
Pasha Diallo (Dominque)
Pasha is from Baltimore. Her dad was in the military so their family traveled a lot. Pasha also works in the healthcare field. She started out as an emergency technician, then she was a phlebotomist and now she is an LPN. She is currently studying to get her RN. Go Pasha! She works in outpatient care with substance abuse patients.
Pasha started acting in 2006. Her journey started while Pasha was taking acting classes. Being in that environment she was networking and meeting new people. She started acting in stage plays. From there she started modeling including working on an Ashley Stewart campaign. It was while modeling that she met Anthony. "I met Anthony modeling for a fashion show that he was producing. He told me he was getting ready to do a show and he wanted me to come out to audition. I said sure but didn't think much more about it; until he contacted me and told me they were holding auditions. He asked me to come out. I went out and auditioned and the rest is history."
Pasha gave us her take on her character, Dominique. "Dominique is sort of like an outsider in the neighborhood. Nobody knows where she came from or what kind of business she does until later on in the series. Dominique is a Madam. She caters to the sexual needs of people inside and outside of the community. She is a take no prisoners businesswoman. She is in charge. I think that can resonate with a lot of viewers especially women. She's assertive and a woman in power. I think a lot of women can respect that. She might be a character that people love to hate." We only have love for Dominique! Like the saying goes; she's not bossy; She's just the BOSS!
Pasha told us how much she loves working with Anthony; who she described as "amazingly creative." She also said he is the pioneer of the African American web series. He has paved the way for others. He's also made it possible for Pasha and other castmates to receive a producer credit for their work on the show. "It's really great that Anthony is allowing us to get a producer credit. It's great to see your vision come to life as a producer. You can have all these thoughts and ideas in your head but to actually see it all manifest is amazing. But as with anything it isn't without its challenges. Financing can be especially challenging when you are just starting out and are an independent production."
Pasha shared with us her thoughts about the show and why people should be watching. "Anacostia is about a group of friends and the issues they are going through. Anacostia has real stories that people can relate to like alcoholism and breast cancer. We are proud of the growth of the acting, technical aspect, and the visuals of the show. When you watch from the beginning until now you can really see the evolution. The show is good. So people should watch, binge-watch."
Marion Akpan (Nancy)
Marion's story of being cast on Anacostia is most definitely one of those it was meant to be stories. She and Anthony went to high school together. They hadn't seen each other in 20 years when they ran into each other in a store. "I'm from the DMV area. How I got into acting was a total fluke. Anthony and I went to high school together. We just happened to see each other after like maybe and I'm not even exaggerating; 20 years. Anthony was like, 'Hey you know I'm about to put together this series and I want you to come out and audition for it.' And I was like Anthony, I'm animated but not dramatic. He told me, 'Oh just come on out and see. I know you can do something.' I actually auditioned for Mia's part initially. But he picked actress Tamieka Chavis for that. Anthony told me, 'I have another part for you. At first, it was supposed to be Michael's mother but I'm going to make it Michael's sister.' That's how I became Nancy Stephenson." Meant to be.
Being Nancy Stephenson has changed Marion's life. She's grown as an actress. How she views the medium of television has evolved. She was hesitant to agree. But we are saying it. She's the "superstar" at her job with the federal government. They can't believe the Marion they know plays a character like Nancy. LOL. Even Marion's Pastor voiced an opinion. "My Pastor told me, 'If I didn't know you in real life, I wouldn't like you.'" LOL. Nancy says it's all good, "It's cool that people in different facets of my life is watching. It's awesome."
Marion told us the craft of acting can be very challenging at times. She hasn't had any formal acting training or taking any acting classes. There have been certain scenes where she has had to dig deep and channel emotions she didn't even know she had. Nancy draws from things she has seen and experienced personally as well as her family and friends. She uses it all in playing the complex and complicated Nancy. "Nancy has a lot of demons but people don't know why. People just think she's a "b" just out there trying to get whatever she wants. That's not Nancy. Nancy is just lost although she has a good heart. You can tell the real person she is inside because she will always try and fix the mess that she has made. There are unsavory people in the world no doubt. But sometimes you also have to consider there could be something going on that makes them act a certain way."
Marion believes it's important to take a deeper look (underneath the surface) at people, places, and situations. That is one of the things she likes most about Anacostia. It shows the D.C area in a different light. "Anacostia is a real area in Washington D.C. We show the beauty of D.C and not as just this run down spot. Yes, parts of it may be a little unsavory however this show does account for Anacostia's middle ground. Not just the drug usage, the robberies, and the killings but the fact that people actually live here. They have jobs. They make a life here."
We concluded our time with Marion by asking her to sum up why someone should watch the show. "We address various facets of what is going on in the real world while we're living it. My friends always tell me; 'It's a drama. But you all also bring different types of real issues to the forefront.' Our cast, we all love the content, the writing, and the show. We think others will too. It's a show to watch."
William Lash (Scott Taylor)
Wil started acting in college while studying pre-law and political science. But his loyalties were a bit divided back then. Wil ran track and was an All American hurdler. He would get fired from some of his acting gigs because he couldn't always make rehearsals because he had track practice. He got more serious about acting while in Grad School for Public Administration. That is where "he jumped in with both feet" and started doing more production and musicals.
After graduation, he moved to Miami to work in his field of study and he started modeling in print ads. It was when he moved to D.C. to be closer to New York that his work in the industry picked up. A VHI producer that had seen Wil's pictures on his My Space page reached out to him. He wanted Wil to audition for what would be the spin-off, (I Love New York), of the then, very popular reality show, Flavor of Love. Wil followed up his success from I Love New York with another popular VH1 reality show, I Love Money.
Wil met Anthony on the set of a film. They planned to keep in touch but had lost touch over time. It was when Wil heard that Anthony was holding auditions for a show that he kicked it in high gear to "track" Anthony down. "It was about a year and a half or two years later after meeting him that I found out he was casting for Anacostia. We had lost touch. I was finally able to contact him around the last round of auditions. He had been trying to get in contact with me too. He told me he had a role for me. We met. He pitched the role to me and I was interested."
Wil gave his take on his leading man character of Scott. "He's caring, devoted and conflicted. People love and gravitate to him. There are times he doesn't always make the right decisions. But because of the situation he's in, the audience has empathy for him. His wife is an alcoholic and we deal with it through the life of the story. We have our ups and downs. We try to move past it and live up to the ideal relationship and image of what others think we have on the outside. Scott has been very loving, patient and supportive. Yet at the same time there is only so much you can take. There is a lot of turmoil and drama. And I think the progression of my character has been authentic."
Wil also praised the awesomeness of Anthony. "I kid Anthony sometimes and ask him how all these people can live in his head." LOL. "The way he writes and the way he foreshadows the characters and the storylines as they evolve is so great. Some of the stories we do could take a room full of writers but he does it all himself." Anthony isn't the only awesome one. Wil earned his second Emmy Nomination this year for Best Supporting Actor in a Digital Drama Series and last year won Wil the Indie Series Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. Awesomeness runs in the family!
We thought we'd end the article with Wil's words on why someone should watch Anacostia. He nailed it. "We deal with mainstream relevant issues and put them in a soap opera mode with twists and turns. We sit in the soap opera mode where the craziest things make sense. And it makes it so much more fun." Yes!
Last time for now....WATCH ANACOSTIA!
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