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Domino from Deadpool 2, Shuri from Black Panther, Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show, Annalise Keating from How To Get Away With Murder: what do all these women have in common? They are all unapologetic for being who they are! BET+’s newest star Marilyn DeVille has joined that list, as viewers have another robust women role model.

On Tuesday, September 14th, a Q&A was held by Variety’s Matt Donnelly. Actress Eva Marcille, creator, writer, actor Christian Keyes, and director and consulting producer Kim Fields laugh, smile, and spoke passionately about All The Queen’s Men, black women, and the effect of Marilyn ‘Madam’ DeVille.

All The Queen’s Men is a ten-episode thriller centered around businesswoman “Marilyn ‘Madam’ DeVille.” Marcille describes Madam as an “educated woman who knows what she wants.” Madam is not on a power trip, as she wants things to be done right; Marcille went on to say strongly, “things are only right when they are in my hands.” Marcille stated, “the most beautiful thing about Marilyn is that she is a woman. She does a man’s job with a woman’s savvy.” Noting that her strength is something “every woman can relate to.”

BET

Christian Keyes also stated that “We need to normalize one, strong female characters and two, strong showrunners and directors of women of color.”

The quote above is not a blanket statement. The show is all about normalization. An example of this is the production of the nightclub, where the exotic dancers pulled Keyes to the side to praise the staff for “getting it right.” Another example of normalizing is the hair of the women in the show where Fields mentioned Madam having locs instead of “a weave or a part.”

Eva Marcille spoke about Diahann Carroll being an inspiration, wanting to bring “her presence into a room, not saying a lot of words but for her words to be meaningful” to Madam.

Marcille used multiple women as a template for what Fields referred to as Madam’s “beautifully flawed and richly complex” character. She used Michelle Obama, Clair Huxtable and even fictional characters such as Frankie, Stony, Cleo, and Tisean from the movie Set It Off.

Shows in the past used alcohol as a crux, with women characters taking a shot of alcohol before making a significant decision. Knowing this, Fields emphatically loved when Madam had a cocktail; it is not for “courage.” Instead, it is an “icing on the cake,” comparing it to when women put on lipstick, adding that last bit of gloss to make it pop. Fields’ mindset was to make Madam “exist” in the world of “badass” women characters.

If they were all in a room, characters like Claire Underwood from House Of Cards would go “oh sh*t” seeing Madam. Chances are, she would. You can see why by going on BET+ as all ten episodes are available to watch.

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Hassane Soumahoro

Hassane Soumahoro

Hassane Soumahoro is a Editorial Intern here at The Reel Effect. Hassane loves creating content that makes people feel at ease. Hassane does flip flop between the age old argument of “what’s better a Chopped Cheese or a Philly Cheesesteak.”

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