Sheryl Lee Ralph Reveals The Part She Wished To Play In Abbott Elementary

Elif Ozden

In a recent episode of Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Comedy Actress Roundtable,’ ‘Abbott Elementary’s Sheryl Lee Ralph revealed her thoughts about her role in the series. She admitted that she actually wanted to play a different role than Barbara Howard.

Recalling that Quinta Brunson insisted on her playing Howard, Ralph said she actually had a different role in her mind:

“Doing Abbott, Quinta was just like, ‘It’s all about Barbara Howard.’ I really wanted to take a jab at Ava. I was just like, ‘I can see myself doing that principle,‘ and it would be such a step away from everything that people had ever seen me do before. Quinta was just like, ‘Absolutely not!‘ and I said, ‘Okay, okay.’ She said, ‘Oh, no, that’s a deal breaker,’ and I was like, ‘Okay.’ I’m glad I listened to her.

Speaking to New York Times in 2022, Ralph stated that she first thought Barbara would be an invisible character in the show:

“If anybody had told me that I would be playing a character like Barbara Howard, I would have said, ‘No, no.‘ I honestly thought Barbara was going to be invisible in the show. I had no idea that people would really see me. I thought I was invisible.

Despite Ralph’s concerns, her role as Barbara Howard in ‘Abbott Elementary’ brought the actress her first Emmy Award with a win for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series.

This year, Ralph received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress and won Critics’ Choice Television Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance in ‘Abbott Elementary.’

You can watch the episode of THR’s ‘Comedy Actress Roundtable’ below.

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