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Motherland: Fort Salem Actress Demetria McKinney Joins AfterBuzzTV

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 20, 2020 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Demetria McKinney loves the motherly force her character brings to Motherland: Fort Salem and more as the star joins our AfterBuzzTV Motherland aftershow


ABTV Loves Motherland: Fort Salem Weekly: Demetria McKinney


Motherland: Fort Salem fans were in for a huge treat on our after show when the absolutely lovely Demetria McKinney joined us to talk about episode eight.


Mckinney plays our tough (but still sweet) drill sergeant Sergeant Anacostia Quartermaine. Quartermaine is as furious as her mentor, General Alder. Our after-show fans had their questions for Demetria, and had to be heard! A popular question the chatroom had was this: Demetria has had some pretty insane roles to play in this series, including interrogator.


McKinney had an extremely intense interrogation scene with co-star Amalia Bjelke. All of us on the panel, and our fan, wanted to know what Demetria herself goes through when acting as such a powerful character.


In the scene, Anacostia intensely questions Scylla Ramshorn (Bjelke) – about the Spree. And Demetria tells us, it wasn’t easy! Saying,


“We met together at the test shoot. We were hired the same day, within minutes of each other. We were sitting together when we got the call, we developed a bond within the waiting room before we got the audition done. And, so, to be in that scene with someone I absolutely adore as a person and as a talent. And to have built this world from the very beginning and now I have to torture somebody… it was intense…”


McKinney has loved all the roles she’s been able to play in her career. They have all been incredibly strong people, but strength isn’t always portrayed in the most typical ways.


That is what our favorite drill sergeant loves about her character. Her vulnerability. Demetria explains that is where her character shines. Saying,


“With the work I’ve done over the years, I’ve played some really cool characters… This is one of the very first characters that I’ve ever played where her strength was developed through her vulnerability.”


McKinney has learned a lot through Sergeant Quartermaine. She realizes that Anacostia doesn’t know everything.


“Recognizing that you don’t really know everything… I think it is something that has helped Anacostia become a more understandable character and something that you can relate to a little bit better.”


The best qualities of Demetria’s character are the many layers within Anacostia. She says the fans love “her militant nature. You love the disciplinary factor of it, but once she starts to come into the mother bear and the more matronly role that she’s in, you really get a better appreciation for the human that she is. And I absolutely love that about her. I’m a single mama. My son is grown, hallelujah!”


Demetria has felt so much fulfillment for the opportunity to bring Anacostia Quartermaine to life on Motherland: Fort Salem. If you want to watch our favorite motherly general, make sure you tune in every Wednesday to Motherland: Fort Salem at 9 pm PST on Freeform. Then, tune in every Thursday at 8 pm to the Motherland After Show to talk along with Unit Bellwether’s biggest fans.


If you love Demetria Mckinney and Motherland:Fort Salem like ABTV Loves Motherland: Fort Salem Weekly, share this article with a friend. Tune in daily to AfterbuzzTV for articles, aftershows, and all the latest news on the world of entertainment.




Article by: Gunner Teixeira

https://www.afterbuzztv.com/motherland-fort-salem-actress-demetria-mckinney-joins-afterbuzztv/

 

Fort Salem Demetria McKinney Interview - Nerdophiles

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 13, 2020 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)


In Freeform‘s newest original series Motherland: Fort Salem, Anacostia Quartermaine is a woman that you don’t want to cross. Demetria McKinney plays the tough-as-nails drill sergeant, and told us what got her interested in the alternate history series.


Plus, the veteran actress talks about how she worked with the up and coming stars on the Motherland set, and the biggest challenge that she’s had on a series where just about anything can happen. Learn more about both Anacostia and Demetria in our interview!


Nerdophiles: What hooked you into Motherland: Fort Salem originally? Was it the world of the show or the character of Anacostia specifically?

Demetria McKinney: Oh my goodness, both! (laughs) The way that they just completely flipped everything we know in our lives on its head. These women coming together to empower one another in our strengths and our weaknesses while building and fighting wars together was such a unique idea for me. The world showcases its women repossessing their power on things that have been traditionally reserved for men.

Society has said men are allowed to be sexually open, participate in battles, [there’s] even an expectation to put their priorities on work. Traditionally they are not the ones to stay home with their children; the women are. This show had such a fresh perspective placed on the characters and the storyline that I just had to be a part of the world. I completely immersed myself in it. I loved it!


NP: How did you prepare for the alternate history element of the show? Did you do research on the actual history of witches, or limit yourself to the fictional canon the writers had created?

DM: I did a little bit of both. You want to make sure that you’re educated, but you also have to fill the jar just enough to where there’s something else to go in there. Understanding that a lot was going to change and being prepared for that, on top of just trying to give up authenticity, is the part of the craft that I really had to hone in on this. This was my very first time in a genre like this, so I wanted to make sure that I served the history properly, but left room enough to give a different vantage point of it.


NP: Your character Anacostia Quartermaine is the group’s drill sergeant and leader; did you find yourself in a similar role on set, being one of the more experienced cast members?

DM: As I look back at my life, I believe I have been training for this role for a while! I’m a single mom, so I have gotten pretty used to saying “No, don’t do that…” It definitely ran over into my character and filming with the cast. I am one of the older cast members, [so] I was given the responsibility and gift to give some guidance on my experience to help the ladies when they needed it.

I’m grateful that they came and asked me questions; it gave me the ability to be a mentor. It has always been important to me that women in this business help and support one another. We grew closer over the season with these discussions and experiences together.




NP: What’s the biggest thing that you had to learn filming Motherland: Fort Salem?

DM: The biggest thing for me was recognizing that I had to be comfortable in wearing these particular pants. I had to find the strength along with the vulnerability. I was also in a whole other country, so I had to push aside all of my preconceived notions, that I could live and breathe this world.

On top of all of that, this was a whole different genre that I’ve always wanted to work in, but this story needed to showcase that the best part of this magic was the tangibility of it. The fact that it’s not the usual safe, no consequences magic, but authentic real-life magic. You really feel like this could happen in our world. I had to come out of my own imagination and my own perceptions in order to really dig into the meat and potatoes of this show.


NP: Do you have a favorite episode for Anacostia fans?

DM: Episode nine, for sure! There is a pivotal moment that happens for my character. We really get to see her layers start to unfold. She’s like an onion. Anacostia is so complex, and there is way more underneath those layers than we first saw. The audience will start to see these different sides that she’s been hiding, but she is calculated on how she wants to use them. It’s a really cool shift to see, and I can’t wait for the audience to see it as well!


NP: On a lighter note, it must be incredible to just be on the Motherland set and play not only a witch, but a witch who’s also a soldier.

DM: I know, right? Especially with this show! There were so many things I read that I couldn’t wait to see. There were a lot of times where we had to use our imaginations on what everything might look like once they added special effects, editing, sound, and lighting. I really got to dive into the kid in me and picture all of these things that were in the script, but I wasn’t sure if what I had in my head is what the creator had.

But when I saw the first episode, it’s exactly what I pictured and even more! The team of writers, costumes, lighting, special effects, sound, et cetera is incredible and I am just happy that what I portrayed from the script to the pictures in my head matched up.


NP: What other Demetria McKinney role should fans watch after Motherland: Fort Salem?

DM: I started my career out on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, playing a character named Janine Payne. I am proud that it has had the most episodes of any black sitcom in history, and a reboot is coming back soon on BET. If you want to see some more drama, I’m back on A House Divided. You can see it on UMC with Amazon Prime. I play a villain and it’s my first, but hopefully not last, time playing that kind of role. I hope everyone enjoys them!


Motherland: Fort Salem airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on Freeform.




Article/Interview by: epeakinfo

https://epeak.info/2020/05/13/fort-salem-demetria-mckinney-interview-nerdophiles/


Interview: Demetria McKinney From Freeform's New Drama Motherland: Fort Salem

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 13, 2020 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)


MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)


Freeform’s new drama is worthy of your quarantine binge list. Motherland: Fort Salem is set in an alternate America where, in exchange for their freedom, three witches now work with the government to fight terrorist threats with supernatural strategies. We sat down with Ashley Nicole Willams, Jessica Sutton, Demetria McKinney, and Taylor Hickson to find out more about their new roles, how they got started in acting, and what they are doing to keep busy during social isolation.


MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)


GLITTER: How long have you been acting?

DEMETRIA: I’ve been acting for over thirteen years now.


GLITTER: What was your big break?

DEMETRIA: My big break came from House of Payne with Mr. Tyler Perry, I play the role of Janine Payne. This was definitely my launching pad and preparation for many roles to come over the years.


GLITTER: What can you tell us about Freeform’s new drama Motherland: Fort Salem and your character Anacostia?

DEMETRIA: Motherland: Fort Salem is set in an alternate today where witches, led by General Alder struck a deal with the government to fight the nation’s wars in order to stop persecution. My role, Anacostia Quartermaine, is a no-nonsense, loyal, sometimes dogmatic drill sergeant who is responsible for not only teaching the new recruits about their powers and war but also about loyalty and the need for one another.


GLITTER: How are you like your character?

DEMETRIA: I’m a lot like my character Anacostia, in the sense that I think I’m a very strong person, but our strengths are derived from different places. I’m very silly, relaxed, and empathetic to a fault sometimes which gives me the strength to find the good in people. She is strong-minded, loyal, determined, and unshakable which gives her the strength to build the good in people.


GLITTER: How do you prepare for your roles?

DEMETRIA: It depends on the role. I can’t move in a cookie-cutter fashion with each character. Janine required something far different than Anacostia. What I can say is with each person I do play, I learn something different about myself and that collaboration is exciting.


GLITTER: What is your approach to auditioning?

DEMETRIA: Whew! I go into each audition with the full knowledge of the words, a good sense of who I think that character is, but with an open mind and a yearning for notes. When it’s done, I’ve learned I need to let it go. I can’t second guess myself, I can’t wish for a second chance, I have to move on to the next and trust that whatever’s for me is for me.


MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)


GLITTER: What was your big break?

DEMETRIA: Playing Carissa in UMC’s A House Divided was my first stab at playing a villain. She’s crafty, manipulative, and determined to get what she wants at any cost. Diving in and portraying Whitney Houston in the Bobby Christina biopic had a duality to it. On one hand, it was an honor to play homage to someone who helped shape me musically, but on the flip side, it was terrifying. I was telling the story of someone who was often misunderstood and unable to be all that she was able to be.


GLITTER: Can you share highlights from some of your past roles?

DEMETRIA: Saints and Sinners, Tamera is the lamb of the squad. She is the good in the story and it’s always a great place to go back into that character.


GLITTER: How do you use your voice for change?

DEMETRIA: Much like the warriors in Motherland: Fort Salem use their voice to bring change, I understand that with my platform comes with influence. I’m very mindful of what I speak on to people and I operate in truth. Coming from homelessness, molestation, and single motherhood, I hope that my voice and choices shine a light on the path for others in those situations and let them know that their dreams can still come true.


GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?

DEMETRIA: Essence Atkins was on some episodes of House of Payne with me and she sat next to me in the makeup chair and said: “the day you stop saying please and thank you to everyone in this business is the day you need to get out of it.” It was a reality check before I even needed it and a reminder that my: career, lifestyle, and the things I’ve come out of are a blessing and never to forget that.


GLITTER: Who are you are looking forward to working with next?

DEMETRIA: I would love the opportunity to work with Don Cheadle, Charlize Theron, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, just to name a few LOL!


GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign, and we want to know, what’s self-love mean to you?

DEMETRIA: Self-love means having the ability to accept the good the bad the ugly about yourself and love yourself enough to grow into who you want to be. We’re all flawed and that’s what makes us perfect.


GLITTER: What would be a dream role for you?

DEMETRIA: A character like Storm from Marvel’s X-MEN. Embodying powerful women still getting to tap into the fantasy space is a story that can live on through generations and shows a different aesthetic.


GLITTER: What’s on your playlist right now?

DEMETRIA: My playlist depends on my mood. Today I’ve been listening to Jasmine Sullivan radio. Quarantine has me in a good mellow space so I’m nestling right into that right now.


GLITTER: Social Isolation has become the new normal for now. What are your favorite things to do right now throughout the day?

DEMETRIA: Bothering my son, catching up on tv shows. I’ve taken up an interest in gardening and introspection has been something I’ve learned to embrace. when I come out of this and I’m able to be around people I hope to be better around them.


GLITTER: Favorite ways to center yourself and relax?

DEMETRIA: I’ve gotten back into exercise it’s an amazing stress reliever, especially yoga, understanding how to control my headspace is so much easier with that. I’ve also learned how to do spa treatments for myself; nothing like a good facial, and a soak in the tub with some soft music playing. It’s so soothing. Audiobooks have quickly become a favorite. I’m learning a lot with minimal effort lol.


MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)


GLITTER: Favorite foods to snack on?

DEMETRIA: I love Dove dark chocolate with almonds, it’s my guilty pleasure. However, for the most part, I snack healthy: Apples, Kiwi, & Popcorn lol!


GLITTER: What are your top 5 binge-worthy shows?

DEMETRIA: Altered Carbon, Fleabag, Ozark, Motherland: Fort Salem, and Witcher.


GLITTER: Coffee or Tea?

DEMETRIA: Coffee


GLITTER: Favorite fashion indulgence?

DEMETRIA: Shoes and bags! With those, you can transform a simple outfit into something spectacular.


GLITTER: Name your top 5 beauty products.

DEMETRIA: Cetaphil as a facial cleanser, Jojoba oil as a moisturizer, a highlighter for glowy skin and an eyebrow pencil because your brows got to stay snatched, and a moisturizing lip tint.


GLITTER: Any projects you can tell us about that you’re working on next?

DEMETRIA: House of Payne is returning soon on BET and I’m in talks about two other projects that I hope to be able to give details about soon


GLITTER: Any special talents outside of acting?

DEMETRIA: I started as a singer and my single, “easy,” went to #5 on the charts!



Interview by: Glittermagrocks

https://glittermagrocks.com/connect/2020/04/21/interview-ashley-nicole-williams-taylor-hickson-jessica-sutton-demetria-mckinney-from-freeforms-new-drama-motherland-fort-salem/

BET's Scripted Series "AMERICAN SOUL" Returns Wednesday, May 27th

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 9, 2020 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)


BET has announced “AMERICAN SOUL” season two will premiere on Wednesday, May 27 at 10 PM ET/PT. Inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impresario Don Cornelius, the period drama picks up two years later in 1975.



As Don becomes a rising star, he continues to manage an assortment of spectacular talent that comes to his show, a complicated family life, failing personal health, and perhaps most importantly, his ego. The eight-episode season of “AMERICAN SOUL” features a cast of multi-talented actors including Sinqua Walls who plays a young Don Cornelius. Series regulars also include Kelly Price, Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson, Katlyn Nichol, and Christopher Jefferson.




The new season features dynamic guest stars portraying some of the most prolific musicians and visionaries of the era. Big Boi (Grammy® Award-winning rapper, “Idlewild”), Ledisi (Grammy® Award-nominated artist, “Selma”), Melanie Fiona (Grammy® Award-winning singer) Demetria McKinney (“House of Payne”), London Brown (“Ballers”), Darius McCrary (“Family Matters,” “Transformers”), Tone Bell (“Little,” “Fam”) Yung Joc (“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”), D.C. Young Fly (“Wild N ’Out,” “The New Edition Story”), Christopher B. Duncan (“Black Lightning”), Kearran Giovanni (“Major Crimes,” “Black Lightning”), Alex Ball (“NCIS”) and Hudson Thames (“Malibu Country”) will lend their talents throughout the season.



Article by: FIRSTLADYB

https://www.firstladyb.com/bets-scripted-series-american-soul-returns-wednesday-may-27th/

Demetria McKinney recalls her Chicago Med guest appearance

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 7, 2020 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Demetria McKinney is kicking butt in Motherland: Fort Salem, but before that she visited Chicago Med and reflected on it with One Chicago Center.


Demetria McKinney is currently slaying it on Freeform's drama Motherland: Fort Salem, where she plays Anacostia Quartermaine, drill sergeant in charge of an elite military unit. But Demetria was in a very different life or death situation when she guest-starred on Chicago Med.


In the season 2 episode “Win Loss” she played the character of Mrs. James, who brought her three-month-old daughter Alicia into the Emergency Department.


Alicia was at the center of the episode’s major ethical debate, when Dr. Connor Rhodes (Colin Donnell) asked Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) if Mrs. James would consider donating Alicia’s organs to save his own young patient.


But Natalie was able to diagnose Alicia’s condition as being treatable, giving the James family a happy ending at the expense of Connor’s patient. It was an incredibly emotional storyline, so what was it like for Demetria to film?


“Oh my gosh, the crew and cast were incredible!” she enthused. “I am such a fan of the show and it was my first time working with that network [NBC]. it was literally on my bucket list as I am a fan of the show.


“I love network procedural shows like Chicago Med as well as Law & Order: SVU, or any Law & Order,” she continued. “I was excited that I got to showcase what I thought I could bring to that character and that audience. It was so much fun.”


She’s much less vulnerable in her current role, as Motherland: Fort Salem sees her having to give orders to a group of young women in an alternate history where the United States is plunged into a different kind of war. Anacostia may be the den mother of her unit, but she’s not facing the loss of a child the way that Mrs. James did. And Mrs. James isn’t literally fighting and moving things with the power of her mind!


A new Motherland: Fort Salem episode airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform, with a sneak peek featuring Demetria McKinney below; you can also stream Demetria’s episode of Chicago Med on Peacock (for Xfinity subscribers) or Amazon Video.


For the latest Chicago Med season 5 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Med category at One Chicago Center.




Article by: Brittany Frederick

https://onechicagocenter.com/2020/05/06/chicago-med-demetria-mckinney-interview/

Demetria McKinney, LisaRaye McCoy, and Parker McKenna Posey Shine In 'A House Divided' Season 2

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 5, 2020 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)


UMC (Urban Movie Channel) – the first streaming service for Black TV and film from AMC Networks released the second season of, “A House Divided.” The multi-generational family saga, which debuted with six episodes on the streaming network last year in July, follows the members of a wealthy, prominent family in the Los Angeles community who deal with the loss of the family’s matriarch while uncovering and facing a variety of secrets and scandals.




Starring Demetria McKinney (Freeform’s “Motherland,” Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”), Paula Jai Parker (“Ray Donovan,” “True Blood”), Lawrence Hilton Jacobs (“The Jacksons: An American Dream”), and Brad James (Syfy’s “Superstition,” Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse”); the second season will also feature LisaRaye McCoy (“All of Us,” “Single Ladies”) and Parker McKenna Posey (“My Wife and Kids,” “Games People Play”) in new recurring roles.


“The first season of ‘A House Divided’ performed incredibly well on UMC,” said Nikki Love, VP of Development & Production for UMC. “The response we’ve seen from viewers and our subscribers has shown us that this series has developed a very dedicated and passionate audience and they are more than ready for another season of the Sanders family’s antics. We look forward to delivering more juicy storylines and can’t wait to showcase the new dynamic LisaRaye and Parker will bring to the show.”


“A House Divided” comes from Dan Garcia, the creator of UMC’s Daytime Emmy nominated series, “Bronx SIU.” Watch the first episode of of (AHD) here: https://umc.tv/housedivided/season2/now-youre-in/


The second season starts off by Cameron Jr. taking his best shot at Carissa. Torrance rests and recovers, while holding a secret from his family in an effort to protect his brother. Cameron Sr. returns from exile in Panama, and attempts to pick up the pieces of his family empire..Brittney and Keno finally face off over Cameron Jr.’s affections.




Article by: TaliaMala

https://whereisthebuzz.com/demetria-mckinney-lisaraye-mccoy-and-parker-mckenna-posey-shine-in-a-house-divided-season-2/


EXCLUSIVE: Actress Demetria McKinney On Overcoming All The Odds

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 5, 2020 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

In this exclusive interview, the actress and singer speaks about being homeless at 17, becoming a single mother, and overcoming it all to find her voice and power.



Photo Credit: Sterling Brown


Acting and singing powerhouse, Demetria McKinney, who is most known for her role as Janine Shelton-Payne on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, is the epitome of overcoming the biggest obstacles to find her voice and power. Born into a military family, McKinney is a natural when it comes to going down the toughest roads, adapting to her surroundings, and coming out the other side a bigger and stronger woman.


Homelessness, abuse, and being a single mother were some of the challenges that she faced as a teenager, but she says that it all shaped the woman she is today. Now, she’s using her chops as an actress and her powerful voice as a singer to empower others and show that anyone can get through it if they hold their heads up, keep the faith, and don’t take no for an answer.She is currently starring on the new Freeform series Motherhood: Fort Salem and her debut album Officially Yours is available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.


We chatted with this amazing woman about her struggles, her music, her new television series, and what it was like to portray both Whitney Houston and Coretta Scott King.


TPT: Firstly, thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to speak with me. I really appreciate it!


Demetria: Thank you so much for taking time with me!


TPT: I want to start at the beginning. You were born into a military family and lived all over the world. Where are some of the places that you lived and which one would you say had the most impact on you growing up?


Demetria: Yes, I am definitely a military brat. My folks were in the Air Force and we lived everywhere from Austin to Rantoul, the Philippines and Florida. If I had to pick any one place that I think was the most influential, it would probably have to be Florida. Walton Beach was when I really started to know a bit more of who I was.


TPT: Being from a military family, what were some of the life lessons that were instilled upon you that you still hold onto today?


Demetria: Moving around as much as we did as a military family really taught me the value of being a chameleon. Understanding how to adapt to my environment was key to establishing new relationships with people, maintaining old relationships and realizing that there was so much more out there that I still hadn’t experienced. I definitely use that in my career. Being an actress and a singer, I’m dealing with different productions, businesses, directors, producers, other actors, etc. There are a lot of different personalities out there and understanding the animal you are in that jungle is important.


TPT: You found a love for performing at a young age. What would you say inspired you to become a performer and entertainer? Who were some of musical inspirations, and what films and television shows resonated with you?


Demetria: Growing up, I really didn’t have a desire to be an actress. For me, life was music. That strong influence came by way of Miss Whitney Houston. Her voice was a window into her soul and because of that she was able to convey a lot of the feelings that I didn’t quite understand to her audience. I can’t stress enough how much of a woman I’ve never met, but saved and raised me. There are a lot of shows that I loved watching growing up; everything from The Cosby show, A Different World, Friends, etc. Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be walking in the shoes of an actress. Ironic!


TPT: I want to talk about your music career. I personally love those with huge voices. I love the Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion voices of the world. I know you fall under that category. You’re amazing! You released your debut album Officially Yours in 2017 and put out “Easy” as the first single of the album. How would you describe the songwriting process of your album? What were some inspirations that you brought to writing the songs?


Demetria: First of all, you hit on some of my favorites! Lol! The song writing was a process on my debut album. I knew what I wanted to say, but I was always conflicted with how much of myself I wanted to truly reveal. Most of my audience had only known my work as an actress. They had fallen in love with the different characters I had portrayed, so there was some reservation about what they might feel about me in the messages that I as Demetria McKinney was writing about. The biggest inspiration for me was where I was in my life. When I went to the studio, I didn’t have an agenda as to what we were going to record that day. However, in the off chance that I did plan, the song that was “too happy” or “my dude had me sad”, I had to change it of course. I wanted to be authentic to what I was going through. If I was scheduled to sing something more melancholy and I was feeling my beat, we had to switch for that too! I wanted my true emotion to be in each and every song, so when I say the process was an adventure, I mean it made my music evolve as I did.




TPT: Speaking of Whitney Houston, you portrayed her in the film Bobbi Kristina for TV One. Was Whitney Houston an inspiration to you, and if so, how would you describe the experience portraying her?


Demetria: Portraying Whitney Houston…Wow! I truly can’t even describe it because it was such a mix of emotions that really shouldn’t have been in the same realm. While I was proud to tell her story, I was also incredibly humbled. There was excitement, but I was also ravaged with fear. It was a totally different experience in the way that I was going to be viewed by the audience portraying such an icon’s story. I wanted to do a good job. I had to do a good job. I had to honor her and that meant I had to step up to the most outside of myself that I experienced up until that point in my career.


TPT: Aside from Whitney, you also portrayed Coretta Scott King in the play I Dream. Tell me about portraying her and the impact that it had on you as a woman of color?


Demetria: Portraying Coretta Scott king taught me so much. As an African American woman, I’ve been taught our history as it was designed. We focus on certain aspects, other pieces of the puzzle get left in the dark sometimes. Playing Corrie taught me the true meaning of the phrase: ”Behind every strong man is a strong woman.“ I learned a deeper level of love, not just between a man and a woman, or for myself, but the sacrifices she made for her people. It highlighted her love for us by looking at life from different perspectives. [It] helped us tell a more intelligent, well rounded story. She did that for me.


TPT: You starred in a number of films, television shows, and plays by Tyler Perry, such as Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns, and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, among others. Would you say he has been one of your biggest supporters and advocates in your career? Being that you worked alongside him numerous times, what were some of the biggest things you learned from him that have impacted the way you navigate the entertainment industry?


Demetria: Mr. Perry I would have to say is definitely one of the biggest contributors to my career. He saw a lot in me. I have been very lucky to work with him and so many times. As a new actress, I got a crash course in very unconventional ways of moving in film and television. No one was moving at that rate. It catered to an audience that some networks weren’t really paying attention to at the time, and he was self made. Needless to say, I learned and am still learning from the example of Mr. Perry’s imagination. “Nothing is unattainable”, “your words have power”, “bring others with you”, “make your own path”, and “do your best” are just a few lessons [I] learned early at TPS [Tyler Perry Studios] University that I carry with me to this day. I am forever grateful.


TPT: Upon further research, I learned that there was a moment in your life where you were homeless at 17. This was also when you became a single mother. If you feel up to speaking about it, tell me about that time and how you were able to overcome that and other setbacks that you experienced in your life.


Demetria: My late teens into my twenties was a pretty rough time for me. I experienced homelessness, molestation, an abusive relationship, while living in the projects, and I had a baby younger than I expected to. I think that understanding the journey is going to have rocks, thorns, and potholes. However those roadblocks are a big part of how I made it through. Everything, even the bad stuff happened for a reason. I couldn’t let any of those things be the reason that I didn’t go on and strive for the things I wanted in life .



Photo Credit: Sterling Brown


TPT: I know it couldn’t have been easy being a single mother at 17. Tell me about your son, and how being a single mother at that age shaped the woman you are today.


Demetria: If no one else was watching me at that time, my son was. He made me seek out the strength I needed within myself and ultimately, looking back, we raised each other. Now that I am where I am, I need others to understand that you still have a choice to make it even if you feel some of your choices were taken away from you.


TPT: What advice do you have for those, especially teens, who may be going through some of the struggles that you went through?


Demetria: Continue to love yourself and find the lesson, power, and the growth in every situation. I also had the realization that what was happening to me wasn’t necessarily for me. You know how they say “without a test there is no testimony”? If I hadn’t gone through and made it out of every situation, I wouldn’t be able to share my experience and help someone else triumph. I’m proud of who I am. And I would have been the same person without each of those situations.


TPT: I want to shift the focus to your newest project. You are currently starring in the series “Motherland: Fort Salem” which airs Freeform. It follows the story of three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment in a women-dominated world in which the U.S. ended persecution of witches 300 years ago after an agreement. You play Anacostia, a tough, no-nonsense sergeant whose main focus is keeping the young women alive through their basic training. Tell me about the show, how you became part of it and also about your character.


Demetria: MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM IS MY WARRIOR ROLE! I’ve always wanted to play someone brutally fierce, but compassionate. The times portrayed in Motherland are not necessarily peaceful, and small fires burn and grow while we are concentrating on fighting the big ones! Powerful women of different ages, nationalities, and backgrounds while united in war, vulnerability and camaraderie. The creator and writer created such a profound world that flexes female muscle without making anyone else seem less than. I fell in love with the role of Anacostia when I read the pilot script. I love prismatic characters and writing. She is the character you are going to wonder about constantly in the back of your mind because you feel no one could ever be this upfront and unapologetic for it. She knows the ritual of war, if not performed correctly, cannot result in not only death, but the death of freedom. She doesn’t trouble herself with it and she doesn’t let the recruits either. This show is a vehicle towards a shift in mentality. A different way of finding strength in one another. I can’t express my excitement and wonder at this mentality! You’re going to love it!


TPT: How does it feel to be part of an all-female main cast?


Demetria: All female casts can be tricky! In past experiences there has been some jealousy and competition that was simply put — unnecessary. This experience has shown me an intentional uplifting of sisterhood. We may not all feel the same way about everything but there is no reason to be malicious towards each other. This is an all female cast and the girl power is prevalent, but it doesn’t diminish the light of the LGBTQ or men’s roles in the world. It just shows a different perspective. Offscreen, the support we show one another is something I had never experienced before either. I’m honored to work alongside these ladies both on and off the battlefield.


TPT: What do you want viewers to take away from the show? In other words, what themes or lessons do you hope resonates with fans?


Demetria: There are several themes and messages within this show that we are hoping the audience discovers. A major one for me is vantage point. I think that we get so lost in our mode of thinking, in gender, indifferences, that we don’t always take the time to seek out the ways we can help each other. We can learn from one another, and that difference is beautiful. When people hear that they’re witches, their initial thought is this scary, haggard, often isolated person. We are shifting you to a different side of the table. Men can get a closer glimpse into motherhood and women gain a different respect for the traditional male vantage point. Look through someone else’s eyes and see how it can flip the script!


TPT: Is there any new music on the horizon that fans should be on the lookout for?


Demetria: Music is still a very happy place for me. I love it and I wanted to treat it with the respect that it is due. As I’ve been filming with Motherland, House of Pain, House Divided, and a couple of other projects you will soon hear about, I don’t feel I’ve been able to really give it the attention and detail I usually do, l but I’d like to. I’m still recording, make no mistake about that. But when I release this next chapter and sit down to listen to the commentary, I wanna make sure that I’m truly proud of what I will give to my amazing audience. Please continue to be patient with me because it ain’t over!


TPT: Again, thank you so much, Demetria, for answering my questions. You’re an amazing woman with a powerful story and I know it will resonate with our readers! Good luck to anything and everything you pursue!


Demetria: Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the goings on in my life! Please let me know what you think about Motherland: Fort Salem when you get a chance to dig in! Have an awesome day!


Be sure to follow Demetria McKinney on Instagram and Twitter. Catch Motherland: Fort Salem Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on Freeform.




Interview/Article by: Evan Quinones

https://thepoptopic.com/actress-demetria-mckinney-on-overcoming-all-the-odds/

 

Demetria McKinney Interview: "Officially Yours" Album, History in Music, Upcoming Album

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 5, 2020 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)


Superstar singer/actress Demetria McKinney joined us for an interview recently on Instagram Live. During our conversation, we had her reflect on her debut album “Officially Yours”, talked about how she developed her talents as a singer, what took so long to get an album out, discussed new music she’s working on, and much more. Check out what she had to say below and in the video!




YouKnowIGotSoul: Reflect back on your debut album “Officially Yours”.

Demetria McKinney: The album was a culmination of a dream. I wanted to be a singer from the first I heard Whitney Houston utter a note! I always wanted to be able to tell my story, getting into the acting world, I was telling a lot of different people’s stories. On the album I don’t know if you remember the cover art but I was kind of naked! It wasn’t to be freaky as much as it was to just be me and exposing who I was as a person. So “Officially Yours” meant a lot to me because it was my first time to connect with people and get them to understand how I felt about the love I was in, about how I felt about the woman I was at that time. Just hoping they could relate to that.


YouKnowIGotSoul: Loved the vocal performance you gave on that album. How did you develop that talent?

Demetria McKinney: Whitney Houston is a huge, huge facet of my singing endeavor. Not only is her voice phenomenal, beautiful, soul stirring, but it had such a depth to it. It made you feel. Even if you couldn’t sing, when you were trying to belt them notes, you felt like just maybe what you were feeling was getting out! When I did the album, I was in the midst of the Bobbi Kristina biopic and playing her. It was just crazy to me that my album was coming in a space where I actually could pay tribute to the person who made me wanted to sing in the first place.


YouKnowIGotSoul: You have been releasing songs since the early 2010’s. What made you wait until 2017 to release an album?

Demetria McKinney: Fear! Getting into the music game especially at the time that I was, it was getting into more liberating stuff than what I was ready to put out at the time. Being the new kid at the school and going to figure out where to sit, who would let you sit next to him, would they snatch your lunch! It’s nerve wracking presenting yourself and hoping everybody likes it. As I was evolving, the project was ever evolving and I was consistently working. That kind of put a hindrance on things too, because as I’m trying to get into the studio and have these notes come out properly, I’m over here on set! There was a lot of different moving parts. On top of that I’m a mommy. I wanted it to be my most authentic self, but I also understood my kid would listen one day, and I would have explaining to do if I came wrong! Fear was the biggest thing and understanding that it wasn’t a hindrance but a realization that it meant something to me. I think I got there by the time 2017 rolled around.


YouKnowIGotSoul: Talk about working with producer Travis Cherry.

Demetria McKinney: You have people that you work with and you’re working with them. You can have respect, you can have admiration, you can definitely see their importance in what you do. Then you have those people who become part of the soul of the project. Travis Cherry and that Purple Room! He is brilliant in what he does. To find somebody that believed in me like that, that was willing to put themselves out there on my behalf and willing to go the distance with me, was something I wasn’t necessarily used to. I’ve worked with different people on different things. But for someone to say they wanted to produce my whole album!


YouKnowIGotSoul: Tell us about the new album you’ve been working on.

Demetria McKinney: I’m in a different place, a totally different place. I’m feeling my beat a lot more. I have graduated from motherhood, my son is grown A-F! Now I can be the woman I want to be. I feel more liberated in the woman that I am today. So the music is going to definitely reflect that. Love is a choice and I’m choosing wiser. Understanding the grown woman I’m walking in has been a really, really cool thing.


YouKnowIGotSoul: How do you balance acting and music?

Demetria McKinney: That’s been a big part of the struggle lately. Filming “Motherland: Fort Salem”, I’ve been in Vancouver for 6 months. I’m in a whole different country and time zone. Working really long hours doing stunts and training. It was an absolute phenomenal experience. It left little room for anything else. When I put out music I like to get on platforms and get on the road and be with the people. Hear what they like an don’t like. See if they are feeling me on these different things. Not being able to do that was something that made me not want to put anything out quite yet. By the time I get ready to do this, I want to have my visuals in line, I’m ready to be exposed for whatever pieces people are trying to get to. Just being a part of the growth with the people. Soon as I can I will.


YouKnowIGotSoul: Having so much success as an actress, at what point did you want to even do an album?

Demetria McKinney: Music was always first! Not to get too deep, but I’ve been through life. Music is that language that everybody understands and that thing that got me through without question. Being able to be an artist in that sense was always very important to me. If I never get paid for it, I’m still going to do it. There will never be a moment when music is not a part of my life.




Article/Interview by: https://youknowigotsoul.com/demetria-mckinney-interview-officially-yours-album-history-in-music-upcoming-album" target="_blank">YKIGS

Demetria McKinney interview: Leading 'Motherland: Fort Salem'

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 5, 2020 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)


In Freeform‘s newest original series Motherland: Fort Salem, Anacostia Quartermaine is a woman that you don’t want to cross. Demetria McKinney plays the tough-as-nails drill sergeant who is responsible for keeping the young witches on course, and told us what got her interested in the alternate history series.


Plus, the veteran actress talks about how she worked with the up and coming stars on the Motherland set, and the biggest challenge that she’s had on a series where just about anything can happen. Learn more about both Anacostia and Demetria in my interview before tuning into a new episode Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.


Brittany Frederick: What hooked you into Motherland: Fort Salem originally? Was it the world of the show or the character of Anacostia specifically?


Demetria McKinney: Oh my goodness, both! (laughs) The way that they just completely flipped everything we know in our lives on its head. These women coming together to empower one another in our strengths and our weaknesses while building and fighting wars together was such a unique idea for me. The world showcases its women repossessing their power on things that have been traditionally reserved for men.


Society has said men are allowed to be sexually open, participate in battles, [there’s] even an expectation to put their priorities on work. Traditionally they are not the ones to stay home with their children; the women are. This show had such a fresh perspective placed on the characters and the storyline that I just had to be a part of the world. I completely immersed myself in it. I loved it!


BF: How did you prepare for the alternate history element of the show? Did you do research on the actual history of witches, or limit yourself to the fictional canon the writers had created?


DM: I did a little bit of both. You want to make sure that you’re educated, but you also have to fill the jar just enough to where there’s something else to go in there. Understanding that a lot was going to change and being prepared for that, on top of just trying to give up authenticity, is the part of the craft that I really had to hone in on this. This was my very first time in a genre like this, so I wanted to make sure that I served the history properly, but left room enough to give a different vantage point of it.


BF: Your character Anacostia Quartermaine is the group’s drill sergeant and leader; did you find yourself in a similar role on set, being one of the more experienced cast members?


DM: As I look back at my life, I believe I have been training for this role for a while! I’m a single mom, so I have gotten pretty used to saying “No, don’t do that…” It definitely ran over into my character and filming with the cast. I am one of the older cast members, [so] I was given the responsibility and gift to give some guidance on my experience to help the ladies when they needed it.


I’m grateful that they came and asked me questions; it gave me the ability to be a mentor. It has always been important to me that women in this business help and support one another. We grew closer over the season with these discussions and experiences together.


BF: What’s the biggest thing that you had to learn filming Motherland: Fort Salem?


DM: The biggest thing for me was recognizing that I had to be comfortable in wearing these particular pants. I had to find the strength along with the vulnerability. I was also in a whole other country, so I had to push aside all of my preconceived notions, that I could live and breathe this world.


On top of all of that, this was a whole different genre that I’ve always wanted to work in, but this story needed to showcase that the best part of this magic was the tangibility of it. The fact that it’s not the usual safe, no consequences magic, but authentic real-life magic. You really feel like this could happen in our world. I had to come out of my own imagination and my own perceptions in order to really dig into the meat and potatoes of this show.


BF: Do you have a favorite episode for Anacostia fans?


DM: Episode nine, for sure! There is a pivotal moment that happens for my character. We really get to see her layers start to unfold. She’s like an onion. Anacostia is so complex, and there is way more underneath those layers than we first saw. The audience will start to see these different sides that she’s been hiding, but she is calculated on how she wants to use them. It’s a really cool shift to see, and I can’t wait for the audience to see it as well!


BF: On a lighter note, it must be incredible to just be on the Motherland set and play not only a witch, but a witch who’s also a soldier.


DM: I know, right? Especially with this show! There were so many things I read that I couldn’t wait to see. There were a lot of times where we had to use our imaginations on what everything might look like once they added special effects, editing, sound, and lighting. I really got to dive into the kid in me and picture all of these things that were in the script, but I wasn’t sure if what I had in my head is what the creator had.


But when I saw the first episode, it’s exactly what I pictured and even more! The team of writers, costumes, lighting, special effects, sound, et cetera is incredible and I am just happy that what I portrayed from the script to the pictures in my head matched up.


BF: What other Demetria McKinney role should fans watch after Motherland: Fort Salem?


DM: I started my career out on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, playing a character named Janine Payne. I am proud that it has had the most episodes of any black sitcom in history, and a reboot is coming back soon on BET. If you want to see some more drama, I’m back on A House Divided. You can see it on UMC with Amazon Prime. I play a villain and it’s my first, but hopefully not last, time playing that kind of role. I hope everyone enjoys them!


Motherland: Fort Salem airs Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on Freeform.




Interview/Article by: Brittany Frederick

https://tvbrittanyf.com/2020/05/05/demetria-mckinney-interview/

Demetria McKinney Talks 'Motherland: Fort Salem' on Freeform (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 20, 2020 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)


The multi-talented Demetria McKinney from FREEFORM much anticipated new series, “MOTHERLAND: Fort Salem,” who plays ‘Anacostia’ – an articulate, tough and smart sergeant, whose sole focus is keeping the young recruits alive through their basic training. The show is set to debut in March 18th, 2020. Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, Motherland: Fort Salem follow these young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world — but with supernatural tactics and weapons. The series not only stars Demetria, but talents like, Taylor Hickson, Ashley Nicole, Amalia Holm and many others.




Demetria, a triple threat in the truest sense of the term, a vocal powerhouse, an award-winning actress, a skillful songwriter and a trend setter. Demetria has played many diverse roles on both the big and small screen. She is showing us why she is making her mark on your TV screens, in movie theaters and on stage. She is also concurrently recurring on BounceTV’s, “Saints & Sinners” and “A House Divided” for UMC. You may also recognize McKinney from her role as ‘Janine Payne’ on the hit TBS sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”, which produced over 250 episodes and received five NAACP Image Awards for Best Sitcom. The show now airs in syndication on BET Networks.


From Albuquerque, New Mexico to a Military family, Demetria has lived all over the world and was given a drive that resembled that of her parents growing up. Her work ethic, way of life and how she sees life is that of her relationships with her family. Finding an interest in theater since she was little, Demetria decided to go to Okaloosa Walton Community College to study theater, where she took part in different theatrical plays outside and inside the college circuit. However, she didn’t finish her degree because other opportunities came calling her name, one being Mr. Tyler Perry. Mr. Perry discovered her in a play that was touring called, “The Woman I am Today,” which she will say “kick started” her career.


McKinney also worked with Tyler on his stage play, “Meet the Browns” and went on to star in several of his other plays including “What’s Done in The Dark”, “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Madea’s Family Christmas”. Her additional stage work includes leading roles in the plays “The Mountaintop”, “Church Girl”, the musical “I Dream” (in which she portrayed Mrs. Coretta Scott King) and “Dreamgirls”, where she performed alongside the legendary Jennifer Holliday.


Demetria always makes time for her first love: music. In October 2017, she released her debut album Officially Yours, featuring the single Easy which was a top 5 hit on the Billboard and Urban AC radio charts. Demetria has opened on tour for R&B mainstays including Tyrese, BBD, Tank, and Fantasia. She received a 2017 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding New Artist.


For Fun, Demetria loves spending time with her son, taking in a good movie, traveling and even painting art. She is very passionate about cancer research, due to her father, a cancer survivor. On top of that, she spends time in the women empowerment space, especially with young African American Women of Our Communities, which plays a big role in her life, sexual abuse, homelessness and Earth Awareness.


Follow: @demetria4real


Series Trailer: https://freeform.go.com/news/clips/motherland-fort-salem-series-premiere





Article and Interview by: Ash Said It® Daily

https://www.spreaker.com/user/ashsaidit/demetria-mckinney-talks-motherland-fort-

'Motherland: Fort Salem' Demetria McKinney Shares Why Reality TV Isn't For Her

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 15, 2020 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)


Demetria McKinney in ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ (Freeform/David Bukach)


*Demetria McKinney has done a lot across the entertainment spectrum. She’s a singer, an actress appearing in “The Saints and Sinners” and Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Paynes.” She also had a stint in reality TV on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Her latest role takes place in a world we have never seen, set in an alternate, present-day America.


Motherland: Fort Salem” takes place in an America, where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country. The series follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped with women on the front lines, the fight looming and terrorist threats that are strikingly familiar to our world, but with supernatural tactics and weapons


McKinney plays Anacostia, a tough but wryly humorous drill sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training. McKinney spoke with EURweb’s Jill Munroe about preparing for the new role, why reality TV isn’t for her, and how she’s been surviving quarantine.


Jill: You’re in Atlanta, how are you handling sheltering in place?


Demetria: We’re making the best of it. We are glad that we have separate corners of the house to go to when we need to. It’s literally just me and my son here. And we have three dogs. So he’s got his space. He’s got his quarters or whatnot, and I’ve got my own space and we’ve got different places to go if we need a change of venue. So we’ve been just really cognizant of making sure that we don’t step on each other too much.


Jill: And how have you been kind of keeping your spirits up through this?


Demetria: Well, that first week, chile, it was a trial. But then I got into the mode of introspection, a lot of meditation, just really kind of looking into where I’ve come from, where I am, where I want to be and how I get there. The last couple of years have been a whirlwind of work, which has been great, but I missed a lot of time with my son. And so just reconnecting with him, binge-watching shows, getting in the kitchen together, we’ve been doing some gardening together. He’s working on music, so just giving him some tips and tools to use with that.


That’s been kind of the focus for me. As well as planning for other projects to come, looking into the future, things of entertainment that I’d like to be a part of and figuring out how to make that thing happen.



Demetria McKinney in ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ (Freeform/David Bukach)



‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ starring DEMETRIA MCKINNEY, JESSICA SUTTON, TAYLOR HICKSON(Freeform/David Bukach)


Jill: So speaking of entertainment and you kind of touched on it, you have over the past few years, been across pretty much every aspect of entertainment. You’re acting, you’re singing, you touched reality TV for a minute. What are the differences for you as far as moving through those different places in entertainment and your approach?


Demetria: Oh, that’s a loaded question. As far as the reality space, I realized, one that it’s just not for me. I think that, you know, everybody loves entertainment and everything has its space, but, the opportunity to tear somebody down for a rating is not something that I necessarily want to be a part of.


As far as like, getting into music, that’s the reality I want to be in. If I’m going to be showing myself, I want to show myself by my own terms, in my own words and really, expressively and artistically, where somebody can relate to it and pick themselves up or relate to it and say, you know what, I’m about to pack every bag I got that. I want to be the real reality for myself with my music and thankfully, people understand that and were rocking with it.


As far as the other shows that I’ve done, the art of being able to tell somebody else’s story with truth, with dignity, with honesty, regardless of what the circumstance is, is something that I really, really grown to love and learn from. I remember those days when you know, back in the beginning days of The Cosby Show, when you sat and you watched and you actually got a chance to discuss the things that were happening in the show and you sparked conversation with your kids, and you really got a chance to kind of delve into each other’s worlds and understandings. And that’s what I feel like I’ve gotten a chance to do with House of Payne, or even A House Divided, Saints and Sinners. And now, going into Motherland, this fantasy space — that’s a whole best of both worlds. Like, I get to be real, I get to be mystical. I get to be magical. I get to be strong. I get to reclaim woman power, like it’s just amazing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.



MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Amalia Holm as Scylla, Jessica Sutton as Tally Craven, Taylor Hickson as Raelle Collar, Ashley Nicole Williams as Abigail Bellweather, Demetria McKinney as Anacostia, and Lyne Renee as General Sara Alder. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)


Jill: Okay, so let’s talk about Motherland. One of the things that’s really amazing about this show is the fact that the alternate universe is the female lead. So before we get into the specifics of your character and everything that she’s kind of going through, do you think that the world would be much different if women were in power? Because I think power corrupts, and I think that there are certain things that no matter what, people in power kind of end up succumbing to, not all, but some. So I feel some of the battles would be the same. But what about you?


Demetria: I feel that power is fluid. I think that certain powers that are naturally given to all of us as humans are from time to time tested and given to a specific sect of people. Whether we’re talking about women’s rights, whether we delve into slavery, whether we look into the Holocaust, there’s always been a struggle for power. How it would change if a woman was involved, I think that Motherland paints a nice picture of what the possibilities are, but I think power shifts and moves according to the intention of the personalities behind it.


Look at the legislation, the difference between Obama and Trump — vastly different, both male, one’s different than the other. So what I love about this realm with Motherland and the women being in power is that one thing we don’t do is diminish the power of other. You have an African American female president. You have a woman who’s been alive for over 300 years, who was a witch who was leading the Army. You have the recruits being all female and understanding that their vulnerabilities are their strengths, you know, I think that’s the biggest difference. As women, we understand the nurturing, we understand the vulnerability of it all. And we don’t necessarily run from that. And that may cause a little bit more empathy while still keeping the powerful strength that we possess intact.


So I hope it would be a little better, but I like the fact that we get to explore that option in Motherland.


Jill: Okay, So, getting into that in your character, I read that your mother was in the military. What did you take from her and her experience and apply to your role?


Demetria: Oh, my gosh, I took many things from my mother to play Anacostia. I took her strength and her silence. You know that Mama look when you’re doing something you ain’t got no business doing, you don’t have to say anything, everybody straightens up. I definitely took that from her and applied it. I think that her sternness was the biggest strength that I was able to add to Anacostia. The layers that start to reveal themselves later actually come from my single motherhood. I raised one kid, hallelujah, God knew not to do that again. But, understanding that there has to be a level of compassion, understanding that there has to be understanding within that. Understanding that you’re not always right, even as a parent, as an adult, whatever, what you’ve been through, you don’t know every and all.


So I wanted to make sure that she definitely let them know at the end of the day, they could trust her. At the end of the day, they knew that she loved them, it was just a different way and that balance was something that was really important to me.


Motherland: Fort Salem airs TONIGHT, Wednesday (04-15-20) at 9:00 PM on FreeForm.




Interview/Article by: JillMunroe

https://eurweb.com/2020/04/15/motherland-fort-salem-demetria-mckinney-shares-why-reality-tv-isnt-for-her/

 

We Talk Motherhood: Fort Salem With Demetria McKinney

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 13, 2020 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)



Recently I spoke with Demetria McKinney about her character on the new series Motherland: Fort Salem. Demetria plays Sgt. Anacostia and she was kind enough to tell us about her character.




What attracted you to the part and how was the character described to you?


The role of Anacostia was described to me as a no-nonsense warrior/drill sergeant with a dry sense of humor.

The trait that attracted me most to Anacostia was her strength, no question about it.

I’ve played a lot of characters who have grown into their power, but this is one of the very first characters where the evolution of her starts powerful and then becomes even more powerful as she becomes more vulnerable.


Your character comes off as very stern and driven; will we see more of her backstory going forward?


I truly hope so! Anacostia is an enigma for sure and I think that once we really get a chance to dig into this amazing world that Elliot Lawrence has created, we will hopefully get a peek into her history of how she has turned into the woman that we see now.


How was the look of the character established such as her hair and did you have much input into this?


Anacostia’s look was collaborative during the entire process. The very first time I walked into my audition with my fro’ out, Freeform said “that’s Anacostia’s hair.” Once we got into filming, I wanted her hair to be expressive of the journey she was on. As an African American woman, I take pride in my hair and its ability to make statements. I felt it would be unjust to not utilize it in such a strong character.


How did you prepare for the role as she is a very interesting Drill Sargent with her wry humor yet tough and demanding?


I’m in constant preparation for the role of Anacostia. The foundation of her started when I was born! Lol! My mother retired as a master sergeant in the air force, so a lot of prep came from the woman I already knew. The other parts of it came from understanding the writing and really wanting to bring those colors to life. Lastly, Motherhood. When my son was growing into the man he was going to become I had to exercise discipline in a lot of different ways, ranging from toughness to full on unconditional love. Anacostia will always be evolving!




Interview/Article by: Gareth

Sci-Fi Talk: Demetria McKinney (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on April 10, 2020 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

Talented actor and singer tells me about playing Anacostia Quatermain in Motherland Fort Salem. Besides playing both June Pointer and Whitney Huston, she also worked for Tyler Perry.






Audio by: Sci-Fi Talk

https://scifitalk.com/2020/04/10/demetria-mckinney/

Actress Demetria McKinney Talks Role On Freeform's "Motherland: Fort Salem," History Of Black Witch Roles, & More

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 23, 2020 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Source: Freeform Press / Freeform


While luck might be when talent meets preparation, magic is the ability to commune with natural forces to work in your favor. And, It might be the social distancing talking but I think Demetria McKinney might really be a witch. No, I don’t mean in the colorful language way, or even the #BlackGirlMagic way despite the fact that she is definitely repping the hashtag hard. No, I mean in the Rochelle from The Craft, Hermione from Harry Potter, Storm from the X Men (who we both believe is more witch than mutant), type of way. She is enchanting. Her voice has this warmth and friendliness that within seconds you are enveloped by this comfortable aura that you aren’t sure if you’ve been hit with a level seven disarm spell or are talking to your favorite cousin. It is that ability to endear herself to you that that has been the spell she has cast on everyone since her stellar portrayal of the complicated Janine Payne on House of Payne and continued with a resume that includes stints on screens, stage and even in the recording booth. With this much magic in her bag, it was inevitable that this woman who physically doesn’t seem to age, daughter of military parents, has faced homeless and being a single mother, forges a 20-year career in entertainment and now lands the role of a Drill Sergeant to an army of militarized witches in a parallel world where Matriarchy is the law of the land in Freeform’s new series Motherland: Fort Salem.


In the series, McKinney plays Anacostia, a tough as nails drill sergeant in a parallel world where gender roles are reversed. The Salem witch trials were more than just a footnote in history books but a real thing that when witches faced extension they bargained to become a new weapon to be used. Now, young witches are drafted into military service and it is Anacostia who gets them ready for war but also to live. McKinney’s balance of passion, presence and nurturing give Anacostia the chance to be added to the pantheon of memorable drill sergeants like Hartman, Foley, Highway, Toomey or Apone as well as add another iconic Black witch to the roles like Calypso, Nora, Rochelle, Prudence Blanchard, Hermione, Angelina, and Tituba. We spoke to Mckinney about her upcoming role.


Cassius Life: What interested you in this role?


Demetria McKinney: There were a couple of things that interested me in this show. The opportunity to be in a fantasy landscape was really intriguing. I love that. I love Marvel. Storm is one of my favorite superheroes. I watch Dragon Ball Z and all that kind of stuff. So to be able to stretch my legs in that genre was really attractive to me. But the bigger thing was the prospect of women ushering us into a new era. Even if it is in a parallel dimension. We’re being given an opportunity to flex our muscles in the ways they say were weaknesses. They wanted to persecute witches, witches are saving lives. They wanted to talk about our vulnerabilities being weakness and we are using them to challenge our strengths. And we’re doing that without making anyone else feel inferior? They were very careful about inclusion. They were careful about having the opportunity to show different roles being portrayed by different people. Men raising the children, women being the warrior. It was a really cool concept and an idea that I think will help today’s climate and make it a little better.


"But the bigger thing was the prospect of women ushering us into a new era. Even if it is in a parallel dimension."


CL: Tell us about Anacostia


DM: [Laughs] What can I say about her? She’s tough as nails. She plays no games. She’s very no-nonsense. But as hard as she goes with these girls, as much as she seems not to care, it’s really because she does. She knows what war can be and can do to people. She’s experienced it. She grew up being raised by General Adler (Lyne Renee) herself, so she has a more intricate view of what goes not only into warcraft on the field but what goes into the planning and the measures that have to be taken.


When these young ladies are drafted they may not be fully aware of their powers or how to harness them or use them in a way that is really optimal. So she understands the role she plays as a drill sergeant in these young ladies’ lives cannot be one where you’re My Little Pony, but you can’t just be a drill sergeant all the time and I think she starts to learn that a little bit later.


CL: How did you prepare for the role?


DM: So it was a couple of things. My mother and father were both in the military. My mother retired as a Master Sergeant so I saw the discipline. I know when the bed wasn’t made right what was going to happen. I knew that we had a regimented schedule. I understood the consequences of not following orders very precisely. And I definitely integrated that. But as far as me playing the maternal role that stems from a real-life situation and I think because I was a single mom I had to play both roles. There was no gender. No wait till your daddy gets home or your dad is going to teach you how to go potty as a toddler or yes you have testosterone that I know nothing about that but that’s not an excuse for this. Because the roles were so reversed in this alternative America, that’s something that I have lived my whole motherhood life. So I brought elements of that into it. Now with my son, when he was acting up, he got me. But when he wasn’t, I loved on him and I taught him in ways that were inventive because everybody learns differently and everybody’s situation makes them react differently. But I brought a lot of that into the nature that is part of Anacostia’s character.


CL: There have been some pretty iconic Drill Sergeant roles do you think this can be that breakout role?


DM: What I focus on is telling the truth of the character and in truth Anacostia’s prowess is undeniable. Like when you first see her you don’t even see her. You see people’s reactions to her. She hasn’t said a word. She doesn’t have to. You haven’t seen her face. There’s a back story to her. It’s just people’s reactions to her let’s you know that she is a force. Her presence, her very energy in the room is commanding. And so that element is what introduces you to her and lays the foundation for who she is. As you continue to build on her what I think will make Anacostia more attractive is the different layers as you crawl up the floors of her building. She is very much a powerhouse. She is strong. She can be a bit scary. But as the story evolves and she has the opportunity to evolve you realize that like every other character in this she has a lot to learn too. And because of that, I think we all have a lot of different strings to pull and things to offer and I feel that it will make her unforgettable.


Source: Free-form press / Freeform


CL: There have been some memorable witches played by African American women. Rachel True’s Rochelle from The Craft, Rutina Wesley’s Nora from Queen Sugar, and so on. But in the fantasy space as a whole the roles have been few and far between. Do you think your role will move that along?


DM: When it comes to roles for Black women in this space it’s a huge leap forward. That’s one of the things I loved about Storm cause I have always considered her more of a witch myself. Her history, the way she is able to manipulate weather and all those different things really spoke a different kind of energy versus the superhero type of thing. The difference between a witch and a superhero is the perception of the people. With Anacostia getting the opportunity to be a powerful witch in this sense, it’s not just about her witchcraft. It’s not just about her magic. It’s also about her ability to be strong as a human being. She understands the lives at stake. She’s not so militant that she’s above the humanity of it all. And as it pertains to the African American aspect, let’s look at it like this. I decided to go natural years ago. I was always so concerned about what would happen when people some me walk in with a fro instead of a silk press. So when I went out for the audition for Freeform they saw my hair and they loved it. And they wanted to make that part of who Anacostia was. It leaned to me being able to say, you know I want her hair to kind of line up with what is happening in her life, in the war, in the troops. I want this hair to manifest what’s happening in real-time along with the story. So that’s part of the Black Girl Magic I think that FreeForm, in its inclusive nature, in its desire to bridge the gap between people, they paid particular attention to those details and making sure there was a couple of strong African American Women in this. We’re dealing with LGBTQ, men may play a different role but it doesn’t diminish them. We’re really taking the power of everybody and putting it on a pedestal.


"The difference between a witch and a superhero is the perception of the people.."


CL: Did you channel any famous witches to prepare for this role?


DM: There’s always been witches that I’ve watched. Whether it’s been Angelina Jolie as Maleficent or the young lady Noemi Harris who played Calypso in Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s a different range. The cool thing was I could watch all of that, I could see all of that and I could admire all of that but not all of that could fit into this witch. Because we’re taking the magic and making it a tool versus a personality. I think it makes it a little bit of a different type of witch. At first, we’re women, so when these young girls come in at first, they’re scared. You don’t have time to just sit and focus on how pretty the lights are. You realized that this is connected to life and death. This is connected to pride, humility, fear, vulnerability, passion, sexuality. Like it’s an actual tool to make you the best you you can be and even if that means in war, so be it.


CL: What is your favorite part about playing Anacostia?

DM: [Laughs.] I get to be a badass. I’ve never gotten to be this person. I’m very goofy naturally. I’m silly. I don’t take myself very seriously. I’ve always been a tomboy so it’s fun to dress up in the heels and the cutesy moves and tell the comedic side of things but to be as strong and as stern and as non-concerned about the look of me. We all made it a point to be as close to who we naturally are. There’s not hella makeup. No glitz to it. You’re in the mud. You’re getting dirty. You’re fighting for something. And I have never had the opportunity to completely immerse myself into something like that where it wasn’t about a giggle. And life lessons weren’t taught in a pretty little bow at the end. That’s all great, but telling this kind of a story like this is rugged, raw, real and with an added fantasy aspect to it.


“Motherland: Fort Salem” comes on Wednesdays at 9 pm EST on Freeform.*





Interview/Article by: Ian Freeman

https://cassiuslife.com/136781/demetria-mckinney-freeforms-motherland-fort-salem-interview/

Geek Girl Riot - Motherland: Fort Salem feat. Interviews with Taylor Hickson, Demetria McKinney, Jessica Sutton, and Ashley Nicole Williams (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 18, 2020 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Clockwise from top left: Taylor Hickson, Demetria McKinney, Jessica Sutton, Ashley Nicole Williams

(photos © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc.)


This week’s Geek Girl Riot is witchy & wonderful. We’re talking all things Motherland: Fort Salem with the show’s stars Taylor Hickson, Demetria McKinney, Jessica Sutton, and Ashley Nicole Williams!


Motherland: Fort Salem is debuting on Freeform tonight at 9pm ET and we’re about to get you powered up and ready to rise up with the the witchy warriors of the American Military. Sherin and Alex give you a rundown of the upcoming series, which imagines an alternate history America as a matriarchal society with militarized witches protecting the nation. This series is so layered and multi-faceted that you’ll want to get a first taste right here, with our Rioters to ease you in.


What’s more, you’ll get to hear from the stars of the show! First Sherin chats with Taylor Hickson, who plays Raelle Collar – the rebel healer of the group. Taylor will tell you all about the show’s feminism, diversity, and worldbuilding. Then it’s time to stand to attention because Demetria McKinney stops by to talk about her formidable character: Drill Sergeant Anacostia Quartermain. She’ll also fill you in on Motherland’s work, which is this world’s word for magic. Oh, AND you’ll get to hear Demetria sing (it is glorious).


Jessica Sutton is up next to introduce her character of Tally Craven, a country girl who believes in the good of the army. She’s also an incredibly powerful witch, a “knower”, and a walking exclamation mark. Yup. Jessica digs into the wide-ranging themes of the series too. Finally Ashley Nicole Williams joins the show to talk about the rich history of Motherland and her queen bee character of Abigail Bellweather – the leader – who is not to be messed with (and we love her for it).


Stay tuned to hear some teasers from the cast about what they’re most excited for you to see and…







Article/Audio by: Alex Bear

https://idobi.com/podcast/motherland-fort-salem/



'Motherland: Fort Salem' is all about girl power on and off-screen

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 18, 2020 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)


"Motherland: Fort Salem" stars (from left) Amalia Holm, Jessica Sutton, Taylor Hickson, Ashley Nicole Williams, Demetria McKinney and Lyne Renee.(Frank Ockenfels/Freeform)


This isn’t a man’s world.


It’s a place where men mind the homefront while girls really do run things. This is the matriarchal dystopian-esque existence at the heart “Motherland: Fort Salem,” which premieres Wednesday on Freeform.


Set in an alternate timeline, the show centers on three young witches trained in combat magic to use on the U.S. military’s front lines. The witchy warriors are pressed into service as part of a deal that ended the Salem witch trials — the women could live, as long as they used their powers to protect the homeland.


But it’s not all spells and special weapons, there’s a strong message of womens’ empowerment.


“I feel as women, for a long time, we’ve had to stifle our power, we’ve had to stifle our sexuality, we’ve had to stifle our magnetism, those things that make us so powerful," said Demetria McKinney, who plays drill Sgt. Anacostia.


“So when you get to take off that veneer and you actually get to see these women shine in their prowess and in their power and in all aspects, it’s not just, ‘We are women, hear us roar,’ but while you’re watching us roar, you’re seeing that we’re bringing everybody else in with us,” McKinney, 40, explained.



Demeria McKinney in the New York Daily News studio in Manhattan.(Barry Williams/for New York Daily News)


Like members of a squad, the woman of Fort Salem developed their own camaraderie.


“I always struggled having or maintaining relationships with women in a school setting or at work," said Canadian actress Taylor Hickson, who stars as soldier Raelle. “They just didn’t seem to take to me very well. ... So going into this, I was a little bit concerned and intimidated. ... You’re putting a lot of big personalities in one room.”


Working on the series, she said, “really changed my idea of sisterhood and unity." Now, the “Deadpool” actress wants to advocate for “that sense of unity with so many women," which she hopes “to see out in the real world.


“I’d like to see the breaking of that woman vs. woman stigma,” she said. “We really need to support and carry each other, and lift each other up."



Jessica Sutton (left) and Taylor Hickson in an episode of "Motherland: Fort Salem"(David Bukach/Freeform)


McKinney echoed Hickson’s sentiments and lauded the show’s diversity.


“It’s really, really bringing all these different worlds together, much like how [creator] Eliot Laurence planned for these girls to come together," she explained. “Now I feel so empowered because I see that [all-female dynamics] can work, I see that it does work.”




Article by: Jami Ganz

https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/ny-motherland-fort-salem-interviews-20200318-fe7fjvbnljfnjkjwm62ojxf6vq-story.html

 

 

'House of Payne's Demetria McKinney to join new Freeform series 'Motherland: Fort Salem'

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 18, 2020 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)



Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’s Demetria McKinney is a triple-threat.


She’s an actress, musical artist, and health and women’s advocate. Coming soon, viewers will get to see her play Anacostia, alongside actors Taylor Hickson, Ashley Nicole, and Amalia Holm, on Freeform’s newest original series Motherland: Fort Salem, premiering March 18th.


McKinney had a love for the arts from a young age. Her drive to succeed stemmed from her hard-working military family. She pursued performing arts during her college experience at Okaloosa Walton Community College. Despite not completing her degree, her involvement and hard work in theater both inside and outside of college set her up for success. It was ultimately Mr. Tyler Perry himself who discovered her in the play called The Woman I Am Today. This launched her career.


McKinney worked closely with Perry on his stage play, Meet the Browns. In addition, she starred in Perry’s other plays, What’s Done in the Dark, Why Did I Get Married? and Madea’s Family Christmas. Her additional stage work includes The Mountaintop, Church Girl, the musical I Dream, and Dreamgirls.


Acting onstage was not her only specialty. She soon brought her stage talent to the TV screen. Her more recent productions include BounceTV’s Saints & Sinners and A House Divided for UMC. One of McKinney’s notable roles includes Janine Payne on the hit TBS sitcom Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, which produced over 250 episodes and received five NAACP Image Awards for Best Sitcom. The show now airs in syndication on BET Networks.


Now, McKinney has shifted her talent to a new network, Freeform. Here, she will be playing Anacostia on the much anticipated new series Motherland: Fort Salem. Set in an alternate America, the show follows three witches as they train to fight for their country. McKinney plays Anacostia, a tough sergeant who bears the responsibility of keeping the recruits safe and alive as they venture through basic training. Anacostia is fearless and determined in nature.


Black Girl Nerds had the opportunity to speak with McKinney about her new role for Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem, her success, and the future of her career.


What importance does it serve to have traditional gender roles flipped in this show? What can this generation possibly learn from this?


There is no role. We are all in this together. The less we make these divisions and compartmentalizations happen, the more we strive. My mother was in the military so I knew a lot about what I had to do with Anacostia in that sense. But being a single mom there were days when I was like, “Boy, guys just don’t get it. I don’t know how to teach them how to potty-train, I don’t know what to do when I have to go to work, and I still have this little person looking at me like feed me, feed more.” There were just so many things that I had to do because there was no division in the gender; I was mom and dad. Seeing something like this played out on screen with such generations with all of these different cultures, representing LGBTQ, representing men and women feel very differently, I think that once we understand that we’re all in this together, everything moves so much smoother and faster.



I think that is very powerful, especially what you said in the end.


Kudos to Freeform for being so willing to go there. They’ve been so inclusive in their content and willing to go there.


What excites you most about this project?


What excites me is when you get a script and you’ve got a chance to read the first season, you’re excited to see the first episode, you’re excited to see the critics, you’re excited to see the work, and all the editing and everything that was put in there, and see the final project. I think what excites me about this project is there’s nothing like it that I’ve ever experienced. I know I’m going to be experiencing it for the first time. It’s so far removed from any of us! With the exception of a couple of us — like Jessica Sutton who plays Tally. When I first met her, I was like, “Oh yup, I get it, she’s brilliant in that. She knows exactly who that person is because to an extent, we’ve all said that’s who she is.” Then you have Lyne Renee who plays General Adler. She’s there, she’s stern, she’s strong, she’s magnificent in her spacing and timing and talent. Then you yell cut, and she goes full noodle. She’s the goofiest person you’ve ever met. So it’s really cool to see all of the stretch and really get an opportunity to enjoy it as if it were the first time. When the magical elements are put in there, it just adds a whole other dimension to it.


What can viewers expect to see? Any sneak peeks?


[Laughs.] It’s so far removed from the norm. I think that what you can expect is that you don’t know this world but you’re really really interested in getting to know it. We are literally interested in getting to experience Elliot Lawrence’s Big Bang. He created this space and we don’t know how it got here. We don’t know what inspired off in his head to make him think of something like this. Having the opportunity to build the world and walk in it and live, cry, love, be afraid in that space is just going to be something so unexpected. I think that’s what they have to take away from it. It’s a whole new world.


You’ve done a variety of work in the past, from theater to T.V. series’ like House of Payne and Saints & Sinners. Where would you like to see your career take you next?


I think that my career has so many opportunities to go a bunch of different directions that I didn’t necessarily imagine before this one. I was kind of content in my bubble, and there’s nothing wrong with that bubble. I love that bubble. I’m never going to pop it. Now that I see there are other bubbles I can hop into, I’m very happy to extend in those as well. Advocacy is very important to me. I’ve always spoken very very openly about my experience with homelessness, molestation, and single motherhood at a young age. I’ve lived life, and I’m willing to share all of those experiences in any way that will help others. I’m also big into cancer research. My father is dealing with lymphoma. It’s taught me quite a bit about that process and really wanting to make sure that we don’t take the fear in as much as we take the opportunity to learn and grow from it. As far as my actual workload, House of Payne has come back for another season — really excited about that debuting. We’ll see about Saints & Sinners, you never know. But I’m looking forward to more action, I’m looking forward to more drama, I’m looking forward to everything that is possible. I think that we get in the mindset of, “I have to do this next,” and I don’t want to do that. I want to flow like the feather in Forrest Gump. Wherever I’m supposed to be, I going to be my best in it.


Sometimes we have an idea where we want to be. Sometimes it’s just where things take you.


Absolutely! I had no idea that there could be an Anacostia in my future. I had never dreamt of it, I had never imagined it, and now it’s here and I can’t be anything less than that. I am willing to go wherever the road takes me. Hopefully, we get 9, 12, 29 seasons of Motherland. That would be awesome.


Viewers can catch Motherland: Fort Salem on Wednesday, March 18th, 9 pm on Freeform.



Interview/Article by: Guest Blogger

https://blackgirlnerds.com/house-of-paynes-demetria-mckinney-to-join-new-freeform-series-motherland-fort-salem/

 

Demetria McKinney - Motherland: Fort Salem

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 18, 2020 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?

A) Life has been good! Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” has come back. They recorded twenty-five episodes so that should be coming out soon. There are some talks of other shows – things that we are conversation about. A couple of other things are on the horizon as well. The biggest thing for me is “Motherland: Fort Salem!” Ain’t nobody ready! [sings] It’s a really, really great ride and I can’t wait for everybody to jump on it.


Q) How was Anacostia on “Motherland: Fort Salem” originally described to you?

A) She was described to me as a no-nonsense drill sergeant. She’s tough as nails. I knew that she was going to be a war warrior. But I couldn’t have imagined the layering that was going to happen with her. Elliot Lawrence, the creator/writer, is the mastermind behind the world that is “Motherland” is a genius. He’s made meticulous efforts to make sure that everybody is so very concise in who they are and has the opportunity to grow despite that. Anacostia is an enigma. She comes from really humble beginnings. She was an orphan, but she has grown into this warrior and is a leader of sorts. Seeing her journey after that has been really cool.


Q) What did you find particularly challenging about portraying her?

A) [laughs] There were a lot of challenges. Not in a sense of what I couldn’t do as much as changing my mindset. Going into Vancouver (which I’d never been to before) and filming there for approximately six months was a really different thing. With the Tyler Perry model, we shot four episodes in a week! So, actually having the time to dive in, feel out and get acclimated to that space that they’re in was a really, really welcome change. Having to do the training – whoa! We were there a month early to go into combat training. We had to get in shape and learn how to use this whole different kind of weaponry because, yes, we are witches, but we’re not moving in the traditional form of a witch. We’re military and not “casting spells.” Our spells are very different and the modality to them is very different. Changing what I thought of a witch and personifying it and making it more human was something I had to get used to. On top of that, I’m a singer. [laughs] Some of the witches’ spells are done with songs. So, I had to change my mindset about what sounded beautiful and what was “witchy.” I really had to get into the beauty of the darkness. I had to get into the body of the spell versus, “I like this sound! This is cute! This a cute move! Let’s do this!” It was a really cool thing to witness everybody making the same sound and the same motions because, after all, it is military. So, you’re combining so many different facets that you have to really zone in and change what you think you know.


Q) Was there anything you added that wasn’t in her initial breakdown?

A) I’m hoping so. I’m hoping that the compassionate nature shines through the tough veneer. She’s a drill sergeant and I think they have that strong presence, which I definitely wanted to convey. But as Anacostia grows and realizes that there is still a lot that she has to learn, these three girls (Raelle, Abigail and Tally) make her soften where she is able to understand that she doesn’t know everything. I think that gives her room to grow into a more powerful being because of that.


Q) Were you familiar with any of your costars before working with them on this show?

A) I didn’t know nobody! [laughs] It was really cool in that sense because we were in Vancouver and it’s a whole different space. Everybody was new to the city and everybody came from such different backgrounds. We have someone from London, Sweden and South Africa. It’s such a diverse cast that I got a chance to only know people, but know different places. Our backgrounds are so different and we found the commonality in the fact that we were different and we embraced that and we brought that to each of our characters because each of the characters is so vastly different. So, we learned a lot about each other while we were studying each of our people and it was a really cool look. Now, we still text. We are all excited for each other and amped. We’re sending pictures. Did you know we had a filter?! It’s really, really cool to have perfect strangers become such great family.


Q) With such an intense storyline, how did you shake off a long day of filming?

A) I have to say that was in large part due to Freeform. There was no point in which I felt uncomfortable. There was no way I felt out of bounds asking a question. They treated us so very kindly and so very well. At the end of the day, whether we had done combat training or driving you home, we are in Vancouver and looking at all of these lights and architecture and you are realizing that you are getting to live your dream. With such a great network, such great people and it’s such an amazing story that you shake that off pretty easily and you look forward to the next one.


Q) What were some of your favorite scenes to film?

A) Oh, there was this part in episode six that ya’ll are going to like! Uh huh! And there is this part in episode eight that is really cool. Nah! I’m just playing. [laughs] As each of the characters grow and you see their journey, it’s a fascinating thing. For my character, Anacostia, she is loyal to the military. Her mindset is military. She is loyal to the military. She was raised in it and she is very, very close to General Adler (Lyne Renee). She makes it a point to stay away from loving or showing any kind of affection for these young ladies that she has to teach to stay alive. As she is starting to charge in certain aspects, you get to see other shades come out of her. And that is something I am really looking forward to. I tease on my Instagram page some of the stuff that these girls are being taught and you get to see a little bit of the power that Anacostia possess. So, any time you get to see that magic shine through, you are going to really, really appreciate it.


Q) You are a part of social media. Are you excited to get instant fan feedback to “Motherland: Fort Salem?”

A) Oh, without question! There are times when you finish shows and you are like, “Oo! I hope they get it! I hope they like me!” This is one where I’m actually so excited about it that I will gladly take what comes down the turnpike because I know it is going to be great. Getting to share that experience with everyone, getting to live tweet, getting to see the comments and respond – seeing people repost…One of my best friends is Kyla Pratt and she is so excited for me, especially as someone who has been in this industry since she was like seven years old. To see her like, “Oh, okay, friend! Let’s go! This is going to be good,” is like really, really cool. I’m posting it and she’s posting it. It’s just going to be really, really fun to get the feedback as everything is unraveling. And the biggest thing is, you think you know what is going to happen and then it just completely turns on you. So, when everybody has that “Ah-ha moment” getting to watch it, that’s going to be dope!


Q) How do you plan to celebrate the night it premieres?

A) It’s really contingent upon where we are. We were so looking forward to premiere this together by way of SXSW bringing us all together. But I have a very strong feeling that the ladies are going to be on a text chain together just like, “Oh my gosh! Did you see this?! Congratulations, friend! You were amazing in this.” My son has dreads and is 6’3. He’s very, very nonchalant about everything, but he seems to be super excited. So, we are definitely going to be watching it together. Then, just making sure (like you said) that I’m on social media. So, just really, really getting involved with the fans in whatever way possible. I’m going to take it all the way in.


Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure we share with our readers about your time on the show?

A) Guys, you have never seen this. I know that sounds cliché, but once you actually get the chance to live in the world that is “Motherland: Fort Salem” I hope that you take away from it the fun because it definitely is fantasy. Definitely take away from it the fun and the comradery, but also understand that we are all in this together. This world is completely flipped upside down – what “men do” and what “women do” are so reversed. Once you realize that we all have a part to play, but we all have to play it together it makes the climate change. We have a responsibility, even in this fun moment, we’re actually very aware of what is happening. And if we all just take a few lessons from these young recruits and all of these characters are learning we can all grow together. Let’s go have a great time and grow.


Q) What would you like to say to everyone who are fans and supporters of the work you do?

A) Guys thank you so much! It’s been a minute since I shouted out to the Demetrians. The Demetrians are this group of young ladies and gentlemen that have been rockin’ with me since like MySpace – since I was up, down, known and not. They have never left my side. They were constantly there and constantly supporting me. So, Iesha, Chelby, Sydney Simone – all of you guys, I really appreciate you guys. Everybody else – thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t thank you enough. My career – our career as actors doesn’t happen without the support of everybody. So, thank you for rockin’ with me this long. Thank you for rockin’ with me in the future. Thank you for your feedback on “Motherland.” “Motherland: Fort Salem” is March 18th!




Interview by: Jamie Steinberg



Inside the World of Motherland: Fort Salem

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 12, 2020 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Freeform's Motherland: Fort Salem imagines a United States where young witches fight all of Uncle Sam's enemies, foreign and domestic.



Ashley Nicole Williams, Jessica Sutton, and Taylor Hickson Photo: Freeform/David Bukach


When Motherland: Fort Salem creator Eliot Laurence pitched his witches-in-the U.S.-military drama to Freeform, he presented the network with a helpful supplemental tool alongside it: a glossary.


Such is the scale and depth of detail for Laurence’s vision. Many TV shows use the question of “what if?” as a starting point. Very few TV shows, however, ride “what if?” questions to greater lengths than Motherland. This is a show that asks: what if the witches of Salem were actual magic-users? Then it asks what if they cut a deal with the U.S. government to avoid persecution by promising to fight their wars? And what if that arrangement persisted all the way to the present day and 18-year-old witches across the country entered into the Fort Salem military base to learn how to fight all of Uncle Sam’s threats, both foreign and domestic?


“Originally I was thinking about a witchy Gossip Girl with some sort of secret witch school in New York City that was very fancy,” Laurence says. “And it just wasn’t interesting to me. Then the military thing happened and it just had that kind of electric vibe that tells you you have something cool.”


Laurence did indeed have something cool…and also big. There are a lot of fascinating concepts floating around Motherland: Fort Salem’s magical alternate universe – so much so that Laurence originally envisioned the project to be a book, written in epistolary style via diary entries and military reports, Dracula-style.


“I chose the hardest possible way. It couldn’t be like a third-person omniscient. It had to be individual diaries,” Laurence says. “So we sent it around and universally everybody was like, ‘This is fucking cool.’ But nobody wanted to publish it.”


That idea eventually earned a powerful advocate in producer Kevin Messick who brought aboard his Gary Sanchez producing partners Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Then the team eventually successfully pitched the project to Freeform.


Now Motherland: Fort Salem has 10 episodes to incorporate its many ambitious ideas into one season of television. It’s a tall order for the creators to be sure but is also an equally tall order for the viewer. Motherland: Fort Salem welcomes the audience directly into its vast world and invites them to catch up at his or her own pace. For those of you who’d like a primer before going in, however, Laurence, Messick, and Motherland’s full cast of witches were all nice enough to help explain the show’s many unique features.



Motherland: Fort Salem propaganda poster. (Freeform)


The World of Motherland: Fort Salem


Similar to HBO’s Watchmen (and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic before that), Motherland: Fort Salem is something of an alternative history exercise. Motherland differs from Watchmen though in that its timeline diverges from a fictionalized version of a real event. Like many other artistic pursuits before it, Motherland proposes that the “witches” of the Salem witch trials were not innocent women murdered by an oppressive society but rather real magical creatures.


“I’m a gay man and I grew up in like a very kind of repressed, Southern town. So I think just the ‘otherness’ aspect of witches always appealed to me,” Laurence says.


In the reality of the show, the witches avoided persecution altogether by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to provide magical martial support to the burgeoning country’s military and expansion efforts. The deal, known as the Salem Accord, was signed by witch representative Sarah Alder and the 13 colonies. The document eventually become a subsection of the U.S. Constitution, with provisions for the continued legal status of witches.


Understandably, that introduction of military witch might into the early history of the United States created a radically different country.


America is a more matriarchal culture in the world of Motherland: Fort Salem. Since women make up the most important specialized fighting force of the U.S. military (as witches are automatically enlisted in the army on their 18th birthday a.k.a. Conscription Day), matrilineal lines have become more important. Indeed it is the lines of matrilineal succession that determine witchood in the United States. Male witches once served in the Army alongside their female brethren but do so no longer due to plummeting birth rates.


The borders within the continental U.S. have also been tweaked in this new world. There exists a matriarchal culture near Sacramento known as the Matrifocal Allotment. A much bigger state, known as The Chippewa Cession, is a massive stretch of land bordered on the East by the Applachian mountains and on the west by the Mississippi River. The land was ceded back to Indigenous Tribal Federations in the 1830s in return for some magical help. That help includes magic that keeps the original Salem Accord signer, Sarah Alder, alive over 300 years later.


“Instead of giving Native American tribes these tiny, horrible reservations – a confederation of Native American tribes actually had a huge bargaining chip with the U.S. Government,” Laurence says. “Alder was dying and they needed to extend her, so she was able to make a deal with these confederated tribes to obtain a kind of magic that allowed her to kind of spread her age around a group of people.”


Alder is frequently accompanied by seven old women known as “Biddies.” The women, though they appear to be in their 70s or 80s, are actually in their early 20s. Together, they take on 40-50 years each of Alder’s extra years. Such is the nature of magic in this world – big gains require big sacrifices.


“(The idea of Motherland) was a nerd river and I just let go because the thing that lights me up more than anything is smart sci-fi,” Laurence says. “My goddesses are people like Octavia Butler and Margaret Atwood. I’m not saying this is smart sci-fi, but I try.”



Demetria McKinney as Anacostia, Amalia Holm as Scylla, Taylor Hickson as Raelle Collar, Ashley Nicole Williams as Abigail Bellweather, Jessica Sutton as Tally Craven, and Lyne Renee as General Sara Alder. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)


The Characters of Motherland: Fort Salem


Into the strange new world of Motherland: Fort Salem step a handful of intriguing characters. Motherland is notable for having an all-women cast, led by a trio of young actresses: Taylor Hickson (who plays Raelle Collar), Ashely Nicole Williams (Abigail Bellweather), and Jessica Sutton (Tally Craven).


“Three is just a magical number. I guess Charmed did that through the power three will set you free, and comedy comes in threes. It felt like an essential number,” Laurence says.


Just as the actresses hail from disparate parts of the world (Hickson is from Vancouver, Sutton from South Africa, and Williams from Texas), so do their characters from all over Motherland’s altered United States.


Raelle is from the Chippewa Cession in North Carolina and lost her mother to the country’s witchy military machine. She views her Conscription as all little more than a death sentence.


Abigail comes from a blueblood family in a prestigious social caste of witches known as the High Atlantics. The military is almost literally in her blood.


“She was trained to be a fighter. She is the perfect soldier,” Williams says. “Abigail’s biggest thing is going from that queen bee-like nature to realizing that she cannot do this alone.”


Tally received a special dispensation from the military to avoid enlisting but opts to join on Conscription Day all the same.


“Because four of her sisters died it was deemed that her Matraline was too important to keep sending people out into combat. So she got a free pass but came anyway,” Laurence says.


“She’s just this compassionate curiosity personified,” Sutton says of her character. “She’s the bridge between the two forces that are Abigail as this leader and Raelle who’s like an alpha as well. It almost feels like she’s just intuitive or instinctual and she’s guided by her curiosity and her compassion for her team. She sees this as the greatest privilege.”


Beyond the three young leads, Motherland: Fort Salem makes room for other powerful figures in this world. Upon arrival at Fort Salem, Abigail, Raelle, and Tally meet the mysterious enlistee Scylla (played by Swedish actress Amalia Holm). Raelle and Scylla soon strike up a relationship.


“My character, I don’t think really has found the balance between pursuing her relationship so that it could be the healthiest it can be,” Hickson says. “As she begins to tilt more towards Scylla, as she falls for her more deeply, you start to see all of her decisions impact the success of the group.”


Also part of the cast is the original witch general herself, Sarah Alder (Belgian actress Lynn Renee), who proves to be an imposing presence among her youthful charges.


“I think her posture was one of the most important things,” Renee says of Alder’s imperial aura. “I’ve worked on the physicality of Alder, what she looks like, how she’s stripped from anything that makes her look too feminine. I didn’t want it to make her feel like a male entity. It’s just her posture and the old colonial style that seeped through her.”


At Alder’s side is the proverbial drill sergeant with a heart of gold, Anacostia (Demetria McKinney), who shares Alder’s last name.


“Anacostia was a fosterling. So there’s a lot to learn from and grow with her,” McKinney says. “I’m inclined to think that maybe Alder gave her that name because she chose to take her in as her own. We’re in a parallel universe where men are the caregivers for the children. I would love to see what my name was when I was becoming a fosterling and how it became Anacostia. It’s going to be a whole journey.”


Together this group of seasoned witch soldiers and trainees must confront the threat of The Spree, a pro-witch domestic terrorist organization hellbent on ending mandatory military conscription through any (usually violent) means.



Jessica Sutton and Ashley Nicole Williams (Freeform/David Bukach)


The Magic of Motherland: Fort Salem


The final aspect crucial to understanding the culture and world of Motherland: Fort Salem is how the series approaches its magic. Every show, movie, or book about witches or other magicians needs a novel approach to magic and Motherland successfully brings something new to the table. In fact, the show rarely refers to its magic as magic.


“Eliot’s just taking it to that next fantasy level. He doesn’t even call magic, magic. He calls it work,” Sutton says.


“Work” on Motherland often means witches joining their voices together for musical incantations. The characters utilize “seeds” or “seed sounds,” which are 61 sacred noises tied to the Earth to create desired magical effects. Seeds can be layered together to create events like windshears (mystical shields), windstrikes (propulsive bursts of air), and many other curses, invocations, or spells useful to the martial and practical arts.


“The witches, the way that we fight is we sing storms. That’s basically how we defeat our enemies,” Renee says. “It’s an incredible thing to make a reality.”


In addition to the usual canon of seeds and spells, many witches at Fort Salem have their own specialties. The pilot reveals that Raelle is an adept healer or “Fixer,” while her burgeoning love interest Scylla is pretty much the exact opposite: a Necro. As the name implies, Necros are preoccupied with the arcane rules and uses of death, but stop short of being dead-raising necromancers. Though from the sound of things, something close to that is not out of the realm of possibility.


“In the series, there’s a big respect for death. But there’s also an understanding of it, especially in the necro department,” Holm says. “When something dies in nature, you can make something else grow out of it. It doesn’t have to be that it’s coming back into the same form. The necro department’s very advanced necro witches can actually almost bring a person back to life. It just comes at a cost. It depends also on how they died. Did they die from black magic or did they die from natural causes?”


Sometimes it can be easy for an enterprise this busy with other bits of world-building to view magic as an afterthought or worse: a crutch. But Motherland’s “work” is crucial to filling out the details of its massive world and contributing to the themes therein.


“I think it’s both figuratively and literally the power of voice,” Sutton says.


Or as McKinney puts it, “The magic isn’t your typical magic and this isn’t your typical show. (Laurence) spent nine years cultivating this world. And so when you find magic that is so deeply rooted in reality – we’re not David Copperfielding anybody.”


Motherland: Fort Salem premieres March 18 at 9 p.m. ET on Freeform.



Article by: Alec Bojalad

https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/motherland-fort-salem-world-characters-magic/

 

Money Making Conversations: Demetria McKinney (Audio)

Posted by Iesha Marie on March 9, 2020 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Appearing on this episode of Money Making Conversations is Bill Bellamy, Comedian, Actor, Featured on Netflix’s limited series, “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker”; Lisa Nichols, Bestselling Author, Founder and CEO of Motivating the Masses, Inc.; Demetria McKinney, Actress, Singer, Starring on Freeform’s new TV series “Motherland: Fort Salem,”; and Chef Alexander Smalls, James Beard Award-winning Chef, Restaurateur, Grammy & Tony Award-winning Singer, Author of new cookbook “Meals, Music, and Muses-Recipes from My African American Kitchen.”


The Money Making Conversations talk show is about entrepreneurship and entertainment. The interviews give the consumer and business owners access to Celebrities, CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Industry Decision Makers. They provide relatable information to the listener about career and financial planning, entrepreneurship, motivation, leadership, overcoming the odds, and how to live a balanced life.


It is essential to understand that everybody travels a different path to success. That is because your brand is different. The challenges you face in your life are different. So stop reading other people’s success stories and start writing your own. The Money Making Conversations interviews will encourage you to lead with your gifts and never use age as an excuse when planning your goals.


“Lead with Your Gifts!”


Rushion McDonald is a two-time Emmy Award-winning and three-time NAACP Image Award-winning television and film, producer. He is a sitcom writer, social media influencer, brand architect, entrepreneur, and award-winning baker.






Article/Audio by: Rushion McDonald

https://www.moneymakingconversations.com/bill-bellamy-lisa-nichols-demetria-mckinney-chef-alexander-smalls/


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