One of the most important things about acting is stage presence. Presence is what can make or break an actor’s career. The first time I saw Nicole Beharie on screen I instantly connected with her. She exuded this elegant, calm quality in the 2011 film Shame. Her character, Marianne, was one of the first portrayals of a “normal” black woman I had ever seen. Her character wasn’t addicted to any illegal substances or living off of welfare and she certainly wasn’t the sassy best friend. Marianne was just a regular woman. Unfortunately Shame is more about the life of a man who is addicted to sex but, it was the breakout role for Beharie.
Two years after Shame, Beharie landed a lead role in the Fox show Sleepy Hollow. Once again Beharie neglects to play a simple stereotype or caricature. She plays Lieutenant Abbie Mills who tries to combat the end of days with the help of a Revolutionary War captain who finds himself in present-day Sleepy Hollow.
Nicole Beharie as Lieutenant Abbie Mills
It’s no surprise that Beharie is such a talented actress since she’s an alum of Julliard. Her education at Julliard would lead her to act in the Broadway play, A Free Man of Color.In addition to acting, Beharie is also a talented songstress. In the 2013 film, My Last Day Without You, she performed five songs that appear on the film’s original soundtrack.
Nicole Beharie can be found on Twitter and Instagram. Sleepy Hollow returns this Fall to Fox.
- Mindy Kaling
Perhaps you’ve seen this bombshell beauty play Kelly Kapoor in the hit show The Office. Or maybe you saw her in the summer comedy This is the End. It’s possible that you’ve seen Mindy Kaling in her new show The Mindy Project, where she is not only the star but also the writer and producer. Mindy Kaling is no stranger to the entertainment business but somehow when I mention her name, people don’t seem to know who she is. How this woman managed to write for one of the most popular shows of its time (The Office), publish her own book and star in her own show and go so unnoticed is remarkable.
Mindy Kaling is the first South Asian-American to headline their own network show. If she isn’t a sufficient role model for young women of color on the basis of that, there’s more. Kaling became a writer for The Office at twenty-four years old and was the only woman on a staff of eight. She went on to write 22 episodes and was co-nominated for an Emmy. Kaling even graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
What makes Kaling’s story even more incredible is her tremendous talent. Her show The Mindy Project is an interesting take on wacky office comedy trope. Her character, Mindy Lahiri is a single gynecologist living in New York City. Her character deals with a lot of issues like weight and body-shaming, something Kaling herself is no stranger to. Controversy broke out recently over her Elle magazine cover, because many believed the magazine’s decision to only show some of Kaling’s body on the cover was an indiscreet commentary on her weight. While she might not be a size zero, Kaling and I both agree that she looks absolutely stunning.
The Mindy Project returns on Tuesday April 1, 2014 on Fox. You can catch Mindy on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.