Robinne Lee won’t wait for someone to hand her an opportunity. Instead, she’s created a space for herself. The veteran actress, writer, and producer is demanding to be heard. It’s early morning in Los Angeles, and Lee is dropping her children off at school as she talks to me. A jack-of-all-trades, she is obviously is a master multitasker. Her latest film, ‘Til Death Do Us Part just debuted last month and her newest project – a role in Mario Van Peebles’ Syfy series Superstition is gearing up to begin.
Set in La Rochelle, Georgia Van Peebles latest work follows the Hastings — a family who owns the town’s funeral home and also dabbles in fighting unworldly phenomena and evil. For Lee – the script was a dream come true. “It was just different from the beginning,” she recalled, reflecting back on when she first learned about Superstition. “The way Mario pitched it, he talked about our country going through a period right now when we’re dealing with this new administration, and people being at a low point. The news is so depressing and frustrating. want to have something that is just for pure escapism.”
We all gravitate toward the cinema and to television because, if only for a moment — we can forget about the trials and tribulations of our everyday lives. However, with Superstition Van Peebles was determined to take it a step further. “He wanted to do it in a way that was novel, “ Lee expressed. “We had for eight years, this beautiful Black family in the White House to look up to and see these positive images. He thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a Black family who is like that we could see on TV, but in a supernatural realm?'”
Until Jordan Peele’s Get Out – Black characters were rarely taken seriously (or even seen) in the horror/sci-fi genre. Black women, in particular, have been erased from this particular space. Superstition is subverting all of that. Instead of being relegated to the background, Lee’s character Bea Hastings is just as badass and at the forefront of this series as her husband Issac (Van Peebles) and the couple’s grown son Calvin (Brad James). “I liked the fact that she was this pillar of strength for her family, but she had vulnerable moments, “ Lee said of her sharp and fearsome character. “She wasn’t a stereotypical matriarch.”
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