The best is yet to come. Sheryl Lee Ralph hinted at Janine (Quinta Brunson) and Gregory’s (Tyler James Williams) ongoing journey during season 2 of Abbott Elementary.
“I love the fact that Gregory is taking time to really, really learn about himself as a man. Janine is taking the time to learn about herself as a woman — working out some of her sticky relationships. I think that is very important for the two of them because I just love Janine and Gregory,” Ralph, 66, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, February 6, while promoting her partnership with Microban 24. “I’m just like, ‘You all respect it. Be careful and take your time.'”
The Connecticut native, who plays Barbara in the hit ABC sitcom, teased that the fan-favorite couple’s connection will continue to be explored.
“I love that. I can’t tell you anything about what’s going to happen with that. But you’re going to learn and see more of people’s families and that’s a wonderful thing,” she added. “And I honestly believe that this is going to be a season where people are satisfied. [They will be] very, very satisfied.”
In the sophomore season, viewers will also get the chance to see the teachers outside of the classroom. “You are continuing to learn more about these characters. Who they really are [and] what their points of views are,” Ralph shared with Us. “I just love that my character — even though you haven’t seen my husband in this particular season — we talk about him. I love the fact that that is a loving relationship.”
Abbott Elementary has quickly become a critically acclaimed series for its stories about teachers in a Philadelphia public school. According to the Dreamgirls star, it was obvious from the very beginning that the sitcom would be well-received.
“When we were shooting the pilot, Tyler and I had a moment where we looked at each other and he literally said, ‘You feel it, don’t you?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely, I feel it. Something is going on here. Something is happening,'” she recalled. “Going into the first season — the first 18 episodes — we were not shocked at all. We knew we were doing something very special.”
Since bringing the role of Barbara to life, Ralph has been nominated for the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and won an Emmy for her performance. Abbott Elementary’s success also changed the way Ralph has been able to choose her next projects — which includes her partnership with Microban 24.
“I think [when I select work now] it has to be what is natural. Like my partnership with Microban 24. It’s a product that I actually use and feel comfortable telling people that, ‘Listen, you can spray this product on your surfaces and battle the bacteria because I’ve been doing that throughout the whole pandemic,'” she detailed. “It’s the same thing in picking up scripts. You want to find scripts that represent what it is you want to show the world.”
The singer added: “For me, it has to be real because I don’t wanna fake it for my audience. Just like you can’t lie to the camera, you can only lie to your audience for so long. They’ll see you for who you really are.”
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Abbott Elementary airs Wednesdays on ABC at 9 p.m. ET.
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