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First-Look Footage At Gabrielle Union As Mary Jane Paul In 'Being Mary Jane' + What To Expect

by Tambay A. Obenson
February 19, 2013 2:00 PM
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It's not much of a look at just 15 seconds, but it'll do for now I suppose. I'm sure a longer trailer for the Akils' Being Mary Jane BET original movie will surface soon.


Being Mary Jane, the BET pilot movie from Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the hit husband-and-wife duo, stars Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Tika Sumpter, BJ Britt, Lisa Vidal and Richard RoundtreeMargaret Avery, Richard Brooks, Stephen Bishop, Raven Goodwin, Latarsha Rose, Robinne Lee and Aaron Spears.

It's the first project under the mega-production deal the Akils signed with BET last year, and chronicles the work, social and family life of a successful African American career woman (Mary Jane Paul), an acclaimed host of a 24-hour national cable news network. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to family, viewers follow how far she’s willing to go to find those puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single black female.

In a 2012 interview, after principal photography wrapped, Gabrielle Union had this to say about what we can expect from Being Mary Jane:

"Being Mary Jane" is basically about a television host, who has her own show, and how she balances her life. Between wanting to talk about hard hitting news and other stories, she shuffles through her own personal morals. It’s about her trying to stand up for what she believes in but also keeping her ratings. She also struggles with the idea of being raised with the same morals, values and opportunities, throughout her family and being the only one to make it. How does that change the family dynamic? Her family comes from the upper-middle class, but she is the only one out of her siblings that is doing well. Her lack of a love life and the poor choices that she has made are also explored.

Being Mary Jane premiered at the 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival presented by BET Networks, last fall. I wasn't able to attend the screening, but from what I heard from others who did, it's a winner.

There's no broadcast TV debut yet, but while we wait, here's a just-released 15-second promo to hold you over.

'Being Mary Jane'
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More: Gabrielle Union, Television, TV News

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  • Danny | February 20, 2013 6:41 PMReply

    Wow Gabrielle Union in a movie with a black male love interest? I am shocked, usually Gaby has some hot white or Asian stud as her love interest in her films.

  • ALM | February 21, 2013 11:49 AM

    Danny, what films have you been watching? The ones that come to mind first paired Gabby with African American males....."Deliver Us From Eva", "Breakin' All the Rules", "Bad Boys II", etc. Danny, please provide examples to support your point.

  • Akimbo | February 20, 2013 7:01 PM

    So I take it you've only seen her in Think Like A Man and Flashforward? She's had plenty of black love interests, no need to get insecure about her interracial ones.

  • Aaron | February 20, 2013 8:20 AMReply

    I wonder how long before a black man gets thrown under the bus on this show to really set the tone.

  • ALM | February 19, 2013 10:14 PMReply

    Yay for Gabrielle! I love the backing music/track from Ms. Youssef.

  • saadiyah | February 19, 2013 6:22 PMReply

    I thought this was supposed to be a series?

  • Gigi Young | February 19, 2013 10:57 PM

    Pilot movie, it says. It's possible that the sharp decline in audience numbers for The Game and the steep uptick of weekly criticism made BET a bit wary of giving the Akils a full sitcom order sight-unseen, hence using a pilot movie to test the waters.

  • Geneva Girl | February 19, 2013 4:59 PMReply

    We "got" Gabrielle? We "got" a movie? Does BET have grammar? Pitiful.

  • urbanwhim | February 19, 2013 4:42 PMReply

    Crosses fingers that its witty instead of slapstick comedy. And no laugh track!! This is not the 90s Akil!

  • Tracy Twinkie Byrd | February 19, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    Thank you Tambay for giving MY Show such Wonderful Reviews!!

    Its a Awesome Cast and Hard Work is truly paying Off!!

    I look forward to its introduction to the World!

    Have an Awesome Day!!

  • D.A. | February 19, 2013 3:05 PMReply

    I have my fingers crossed on this one but if the reception is overtly positive then I definitely see myself tuning in. Now this has nothing to do with Gabrielle's talent, she is one of the most slept on Actors of our generation (IMHO). I'm more concerned with this project as a whole because it has the Akil's name on it. And when I think of Akil-anything, I think of the loss interest I had in 'The Game'. The show had lost it's spark when it re-upped on BET, and from the looks of it hadn't got it back. So I'm looking forward to this..............can't hold a grudge forever.

  • Troy | February 20, 2013 12:18 AM

    Sounds like their storytelling plays into the things they think women of color like. I thought women were like men, we just like new things created by other Poole to critique. Either we want it to play into our own ideas of reality or we want to hate it.

  • D.C. Kirkwood | February 19, 2013 9:00 PM

    I definitely will be tuning in, but I wish people other than the Akils were producing and directing. I love Gabby Union and I think she has a talented, quick witted humor, that comes naturally that will fit well with the show's premise. Finger cross that it won't turn out like the Game.

  • ceftcg | February 19, 2013 4:06 PM

    I, too, have much trepidation primarily due to the Akil brand attached. That couple is straight making a living and that's pretty much it, without eye on subtext, nuance or levity in their stories. I'd love to see Ms. Union grace my teevee on a weekly basis, but the hamfisted Akil-stamp of heavy handed, self-important melodrama laced with grade school humor has not improved, this show is another nice-sized check with no longevity. Audiences have no desire to watch a spinoff of "Sparkle" meets "Girlfriends". Fingers and toes crossed for Gab.

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