True Star Catches Up With “Greenleaf” Actress Desiree Ross
Actress Desiree Ross, who portrays Sophia Greenleaf on the OWN mega-church drama “Greenleaf,” took time out of her busy schedule to chat with True Star. Check out what Ross, 17, had to say about aspiring actors, landing her role, Trump, and her favorite artists.
Q: How has acting contributed to your love for helping others?
A: I have a bigger platform that I’ve ever had, so I’m able to reach out to more people about subjects that are important. I’m now being invited to do things that I would have done and tried to get myself into doing even if I wasn’t acting. Like I’ve gotten to talk to and encourage an organization full of young girls.
Q: Name an actor you would love to work with in the future.
A: If I had to choose one, it would be Jennifer Lawrence. She’s one person I’d always pick because she looks as if she’s easy to get along with and that always makes it more enjoyable and also easier to learn from someone. Whenever I see her in a different movie, she can completely change into her character. I’ve always admired people who can completely shift who they are and become multiple different characters. I believe I can learn a lot from her.
Q: What are some of the challenges that came with being a teen actor on a hit show?
A: I’m not used to a lot of people contacting me on social media. Before acting, I was never one of those people who would be quick to reply to texts. So being who I am now, I would always want to take the time out to reply to everyone, but it takes so much energy. That’s honestly one of the challenges for me. There was even a time I deleted my social media because I’d be like, “Why do I have to be on social media?” I’d rather meet people in real life and talk with them. And I’m actually still in school, so I’m trying to keep up with social media, publicity, schoolwork and filming.
Q: Describe your most recent day on the set using emojis.
A: I would use the sleeping emoji because I was so tired and falling asleep at the table. The cool emoji with the glasses, the really cheesy and smiley emojis, the laughing emoji, and the rockstar emoji because they gave me my grill to wear so I was feeling like a lil gangsta.
Q: When you got the call that you would be working on a television show produced by the one and only Oprah Winfrey, what was the first thing you did?
A: I had been crying the day before because I had really big opportunities ahead of me, such as offers from other shows. I was stressed out and didn’t know what to do because people constantly asked me to sign contracts and I didn’t know if I should wait to see if I had gotten “Greenleaf”. I was so stressed but crying and praying over trying to make the right decision with all of the opportunities given. When I was finally offered my contract it was so much relief, and I knew that it was the right move for me. So when I found out, I’m pretty sure I started crying, dancing, even having a minor spazz attack. I feel like at that very moment, I experienced every single emotion that a human can ever feel.
Q: As a young upcoming actress what advice do you have for those trying to break into TV or movies?
A: It took me about four years before I even got my big break, and it took a lot of really hard work. It took a lot of free projects, taking time out of school, missing events that I had really wanted to go to, and not being able to do things with friends back in middle school before I got my big break. It had taken me about 156 auditions over the course of four years. So my advice to them would be to stay persistent and constantly praying. You can’t go into acting expecting things to go quick, so you just have to continue to stick with it and know that whenever the timing is right, everything is going to work out.
Q: Now that Donald Trump is the president, what are you most concerned about?
A: Don’t get me started. The day that Donald Trump had gotten elected, we had began filming season two. So Lovie, who plays my cousin on the show, was living with me at the time. We woke up in the middle of the night and saw that Trump won. I called my mom in the morning crying because he became president. I’m worried that he’s not going to implement a strong enough health care that will replace Obamacare, which was helping so many people with so many different kinds of services. I’m also worried because I’m going to be receiving so much money back on my taxes and that is something that honestly bothers me. I mean most people may be happy about getting more of their money back. But I’m not because that money could have been going towards more important things. Like there are people who actually need it.
There are starving people in America, and Trump is just trying to make the rich people richer. My issue with that is those who have more money never think about putting billions of their dollars into helping other people, they rather expand on their businesses so that they can make more money and keep it for themselves so that they could spend it on other luxuries. People have come to America thinking that this is the place their family can survive, be treated fairly, and have multiple opportunities. That is what America was founded on. Now Trump is ruining it. I’m also worried about Black people, but I’ve always been worried about them. But it is what it is because #BlackLivesMatter.
Q: Who is your crush?
A: One of my celebrity crushes would have to be Cameron Dallas. I met him at a party where I had felt left out because of the cliques and friends there. But out of everybody, he was the only one that came up to me and introduced himself. He is an incredible and sweet person. If I ever get to meet him again, I would thank him for making me feel included that night.
Q: What is one song that makes you turn up every time you hear it?
A: It would have to be “All There” by Jeezy and I can turn up to a lot of songs off of Migos new Culture album.
Q: Who would be your top three out of Tory Lanez, Drake, Migos, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and A$AP Rocky?
- Kendrick Lamar
- Kanye West
Q: What is your favorite junk food on the set?
A: They would always bring me warm chocolate chip cookies with ice cream. There was a time I was on a diet and they kept bringing me cookies, I would always be close to crying when I would have to remind them about my diet.
“GreenLeaf” Season 2 returns on March 15 at 10/9c on the Own network.
By Briana Wilson, Senior, Von Steuben High School