Interview: ‘Franklin & Bash’ star Garcelle Beauvais talks ‘The Talk,’ Kelly Ripa

08.03.11 8 years ago

As Hanna Linden on TNT’s “Franklin & Bash” (the first season finale airs this Wed. at 9 p.m.), former model Garcelle Beauvais is all the things a defendant could want in a lawyer. She’s tough, smart and nearly unbeatable in court. Off screen, Beauvais life is a little more complicated. Mom to twin sons Jax and Jaid, the Haitian-born former “NYPD Blue” star last year became a heroine to many when she called out her allegedly cheating husband via an e-mail (which later reached the media). These days, the newly single Beauvais is focused on her new job, parenting and pursuing yet another goal — producing. 

On “Franklin & Bash,” Hanna is an enigma so far — we haven’t quite figured out if she’s on Franklin and Bash’s side or her ex-boyfriend Damien (Reed Diamond)’s side.
That was definitely the appeal for me. I wanted to do something light and I thought the writing was really smart and I had already worked with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, so it was really cool to see him lighten up a little bit. But the main focus for me was I wanted an ensemble cast that shot in LA so I could see my kids. We originally shot the pilot in Atlanta and then we all fought to keep it in LA. I think Breckin and Mark-Paul even took a pay cut. It was that important to everybody.

The series just got picked up for a second season. Will we finally find out what’s going on with Hanna?

I’m looking forward to the writers developing my character more so that we see  some of her background and more of where she comes from. For me, my background work for her was that she was a daddy’s girl and always wanted to please him, and therefore she became one of the guys. That’s what’s so cool about her character; she doesn’t apologize for being smart, for being sexy, for being strong. She says, “This is who I am, take it or leave it.” 

Since we’ve already seen Hanna in a love scene, I’m guessing we’ll see more of that next year, too?
With Breckin, which cracks me up. I’m sure there will be more love interests. I hope so, because you need to see somebody be vulnerable. You need to see what makes someone tick. But I want to see what’s going on with [her relationship with Damien], too. Because obviously, there’s still something brewing and they don’t want to move on it right now.
Your dad was a lawyer in Haiti. Did you ever consider becoming a lawyer yourself?
I would never do that in real life. It’s such a tough job and a tough position but I’m happy to do it as an actor. And I’m glad I haven’t ever played a doctor because I’d be horrible with all that stuff, remembering all those things. But in a way, I’m paying homage to my dad with this part.
So how did you land the role of Hanna? Did Mark-Paul recommend you?
Actually, my manager had read the script and said to me, you should get in on it. And I had been wanting to get into the talk show genre, that’s really what I wanted to do even before I started acting. But I loved the script, I loved my role, and I had decided I’m really going for it this time, this is it, I’m not doing anything else, and that day I got a follow-up for “The Talk.” I thought, this is exactly what I want to do, but then I got the offer for “Franklin and Bash.” And it was such a great thing I couldn’t say no.
Do you ever watch Leah Remini or Holly Robinson Peete and think, that could have been me?
I’ve been on “The Talk” and they’ve said, oh, we wanted you! But hopefully in the future, I’ll do a talk show someday. But my perfect job would be Kelly Ripa’s job. You work in the morning and you have the rest of the day to spend with your kids. I saw her this morning and her arms are insane. I just got back to working out myself.
It used to be that having kids in Hollywood was almost a career killer, but in the last few years that seems to have changed. Is it getting easier?
It’s really cool. It’s no longer taboo to not only have an outside life but to have kids. And to incorporate them into your life. That’s what it’s about, right? You want to have a family and also have a career. But it’s a lot of work.
Can you take Jaid and Jax to work?
I brought them to the set of “Franklin & Bash” a while back, which was their first set ever. And we were in the middle of a conference scene,  and I heard, “I WANT MAMA!” What are you gonna do? Even though we’re an ensemble cast, there were days when I left in the morning  they were asleep and when I came home in the evening they were asleep. So I don’t know how people like Angie Harmon who are number one on a show, I don’t know how they do it.

Do you suffer from the age-old plague of mommy guilt?

I totally get it. I feel like I have some kind of Jewish guilt in me. I feel guilty all the time. And now that I only have them half the time, I try not to do anything when I have them, like go out. This Saturday there was a sale at Decades and my sister wanted to go and I wanted to go and I felt guilty leaving for an hour and a half. Just an hour and a half! But you do the best you can. It’s about quality time, especially now that I only have them half of the time. I try not to have my phone around when I’m with them. We’ll go to Target, which is their favorite store. Absolute favorite.
Now that you’re single again, any chance you’re dating? When you’re not at Target?
I’m going out and staying busy, but in terms of a relationship, I’m not ready for that. When I don’t have the boys, it’s still an adjustment for me. I’m dating here and there. It’s weird, though, because I haven’t been single 11 years.
Other than having a talk show, what else would you like to do? 
Something I really want to produce and put positive things out there. Reality is all about being scandalous and crazy and train wrecks. I’m working on a few things now, including a film I’m planning with a friend as a producer, but it’s too soon to talk about yet.

It’s been a year since the earthquakes in Haiti, but it seems to have dropped off the media’s radar. Is that frustrating to you?

I understand, though. Japan happened, and it’s understandable that people move on with so much happening in the world. I hope people don’t forget, but it’s natural. I’m going back to Haiti to get an assessment of what’s needed, so I can then come back and get involved again with helping and doing what needs to be done. I haven’t been back since the earthquake, so I just want to see it. Haiti is actually really beautiful, and the beaches are better than any high profile place you could go for vacation. But the country never got a chance to become a tourist destination because of the political situation. Hopefully, things will change.






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