Having already made waves on BET’s currently #1 ranked new scripted series “The Oval” with dual roles, breakout star Melissa L. Williams, who has quickly become Tyler Perry’s new muse, is now set to lead Perry’s spin-off series “Ruthless,” as the title character ‘Ruth Truesdale.’ Coming to BET’s new streaming platform, BET Plus, in March of 2020, we would love to arrange a fun and inspiring interview with you and Melissa to discuss her roles in both series, working with Tyler Perry and her career overall.
Now airing on Wednesdays at 9:00pm, BET’s “The Oval” tells the story of a family placed in the White House by people of power while also highlighting the personal side and everyday lives of the staff who run the inner workings of the nation’s most iconic residence. On the new hit series, Melissa portrays twin sisters ‘Denise’ and ‘Ruth,’ polar opposite roles, both with their own agenda.
Perry’s spin-off series “Ruthless” follows Ruth Truesdale as she’s forced to play nice with a scandalous religious cult of powerful sex crazed fanatics in the hopes of freeing herself and her daughter. Williams stars opposite Stephanie Charles (“The Paynes”), Anthony Bless (“Tyler Perry’s Sistas”) and Bobbi Baker James (“House of Payne”).
Melissa grew up in Oklahoma City as the oldest of seven and utilized her family holiday gatherings to put together and star in her own talent shows. A natural performer from an early age, she set out to do as much local theater as she could find in Oklahoma City, eventually heading to Clark University in Atlanta for college to study theater. Williams joined the CAU Players, the University’s drama club, which puts on various productions yearly ranging from classical works, musical works, children’s productions, and one-act play festivals. Melissa starred as Carmen in F.A.M.E. during her time in the CAU Players. Even after leaving university, she went to get additional technical training so that he could produce projects herself and applied it to several music videos she produced when she moved to LA.
Williams is a true breakout star, landing her first series regular role on “Ruthless” and taking the town by storm, with plans to also produce and star in her own future projects. When she’s not acting or behind the camera, Williams is usually in Los Angeles with her new French bulldog, Ray, taking a spin class or working with the Young Storytellers.
Welcome to TV Series Hub, you are already hitting television with a storm after shocking “The Oval” fans by playing twins. What is something people don’t know about you?
Funny enough, I actually grew up really shy! Acting has allowed my personality to come through and express myself.
Already starring in BET’s #1 ranked new scripted series, “The Oval”, how was it to be getting your own spin-off?
It was such a blessing to see my manifestations of this role come true. It’s been incredible.
“Ruthless”, the spin-off where you are the lead, is set to air very soon (3/19).
What should fans be expecting from the show?
They should expect to be on the edge of their seats! Ruthless is a thrilling drama that has never been seen before from Tyler Perry.
How do you prepare yourself to get into character?
I flood my brain with information about the character. I also listen to music that puts me in a mood for each character.
Did playing twins require extra efforts as they were polar opposites?
It required the same effort, but really undertaking the difference between the two in order to relay that to the audience.
Working alongside Tyler Perry must have come with new experiences. What has been the best and most challenging moments so far?
The best moments were the phone calls of encouragement and the most challenging moments would be mastering how fast he shoots.
Having joined the industry at a very young age, how do you let the pressure not get to you?
I remind myself that what’s for me is for me and the same for anyone else following their dream. Also, making sure that I practice gratitude for the progress no matter how small .
What are your hobbies?
Lately, I’ve been going to the flower district in LA. I also love working out, going to the movies, and also chilling with friends.
Any fan experience that is noteworthy of mentioning?
I was shopping in a store recently and there was a group of women who approached me, jokingly asking “Where is that baby?!” of course referring to my character Ruth 🙂
Getting a bit serious, how important is it to have diversity on television and different voices telling their stories?
It’s VERY important. That’s something that would affect the generation to come. If we don’t have inclusion then it’s not a fair representation of what’s actually going on in the world.
Do you have any comments on the online discussions around the nature of Tyler Perry’s shows?
Some people aren’t always going to agree, but there’s so many more positive comments to focus on the negative ones.
Any future projects that you are working on?
I have a film called, “Dutch” in which I start opposite Lance Gross releasing soon. I also have music to release and so much more to come!
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
An EGOT queen!
Thank you for joining us, any final words for our audience? How would you sell “Ruthless”?
Do you want to watch a show that looks like every show on TV? Or do you want to watch a show that’s unique in its own way and keeps you on the edge? I would say the latter 🙂 New episodes will be released exclusively on BET Plus every Thursday starting on March 19, 2020. Tune in!
“Tyler Perry’s Ruthless,” premiered on Thursday, March 19, 2020 on BET+
Photo Credit: Tommy Flanagan