Celebrity News May 10, 2023
Quinta Brunson Shares Style Evolution & Talks Writing ‘Real’ Women on TV
This last year has made Quinta Brunson the reigning queen of television, with the actress receiving acclaim for her work on “Abbott Elementary,” the ABC comedy series she not only created, but also executive produces and co-writes, and in which she stars.
Fresh off her “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig, Quinta sat down with InStyle for her cover interview kicking off their New & Next Issue to talk about the casting choices she made for “Abbott Elementary” and how she hopes her unique style will empower women to embrace their own individuality.
The Emmy winner told InStyle it was important for her to portray “women who have curves” and people who looked “real” when casting for “Abbott.”
“Lisa [Ann Walter] auditioned and she was perfect for the role. Janelle [James] auditioned and she was perfect for the role. It was more embracing those women in the way they look than rejecting them and their talent because of the way they look,” said Brunson. “Their talent is incredible. I lead with talent first and then everything... I don't really care how you look if the talent is there. That's how we should be doing things in general.”
Quinta, who is one of those “real” women herself, says she initially found it difficult to find stylists who could help convey who she really was, before meeting her current stylist Bryon Javar.
“Not only am I 4’11” [but] I’m 4’11” with breasts and a butt. And that’s just the cardinal sin: to be short and have the nerve to have any type of curve,” she said to InSyle with a playful eye roll.
“Before working with Bryon, there were times where I would work with other stylists and I just have to be like… ‘This feels too young for me.’ And it would be like, ‘No, you can pull it off,’” Brunson explained. “And I was like, ‘But it’s not about pulling it off. It’s about what I want to represent when I come to certain award shows or certain events I have to do.’ I’m not just an actress, not just a writer, not just a producer, not just a showrunner. I want to make sure I can convey who I am through what I wear.”
As a writer, Quinta, who used to be a digital content creator for BuzzFeed, says uses fashion as another tool to tell her story without words.
“It’s another extension of me showing who I am without talking. More and more, I start to hate talking as I go further in my journey. Things like fashion can help you say something without saying anything. And so I’ve come to really appreciate that,” she said. “As I talk to Bryon about how I want to present [myself at] an award show or an event, I’m like, ‘Wow… I’m getting to say who I am through the clothing,’ and I plan to do that more because I plan to talk less in the future.”
Quinta’s confidence and love of her body came from growing up as a trained dancer.
“Dancing is learning how to have control over your own body at a very young age. We usually hear about control in a manipulative way or in reference to sex, sexual control, or attractiveness. But I’m talking about truly having ownership over the mechanics of your own body, learning to control different muscles,” Quinta explained to the outlet. “I’ll talk to friends who came into appreciating their bodies much older or who still have trouble appreciating their own body and it makes me realize over and over and over again how much dance did for me. My body is mine. I work it, I control it, and it doesn’t belong to anyone else. I believe in God. I have a very spiritual relationship. I believe I’m a vessel. But this is still my temple.”
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The 2023 Golden Globe winner for Best Television Actress — Musical/Comedy Series already has her mindset for the summer, and says it’s all about being free.
“I always think of that freaking Beyoncé lyric, ‘I was born free,’ in ‘Church Girl.’ This is starting to really be my ministry. I was born free. I can do what I want,” she says. “That's important for us, especially for Black girls to remember, you were born free, you can do whatever you want. And the more you do it, the more it may piss some people off, but the sentiment is still true. You can do whatever you want. I just want to feel like that this summer.”