Soap opera fans fell in love with talented beauty Angell Conwell when she played sexy lawyer Leslie Michaelson on The Young and the Restless. Now she's hoping those same fans will check her out as Lisa Stallworth in Bounce TV's upcoming sitcom Family Time.
From creator Bentley Kyle Evans (Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show, Love That Girl), Family Time centers on a young family, who are transplanted out of the hood, courtesy of a winning lotto ticket. Get this, vivacious, young Conwell is playing the mama!
In Family Time, the actress is reuniting with not one, but two of her previous leading men, her Baby Boy boyfriend Omar Gooding, who plays Lisa's husband Anthony in Family Time and The Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John, who appears as one of the Stallworth's bougie next door neighbors.
I recently caught up with Conwell to dish this groundbreaking scripted laffer for Bounce TV, as well as how her belief in blessings, miracles and timing played a part in finally snagging her dream role.
Daytime Confidential: How awesome is it to be starring in Bounce TV’s premiere scripted sitcom, Family Time? How did your involvement in the project come about?
Angell Conwell: It’s so funny, because I’ve always been a fan of Bentley Evans’ work. You know who Bentley is? He’s the creator of the show. He executive produced Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show. I’ve always been a fan of his work, and I would actually go in for an audition, you know, back and forth for different roles, and I hadn’t gotten anything. It just hadn’t clicked just yet. I was always looking for a way to work with him, because I was such a fan. Then this came up. I was really lucky because I actually auditioned for another role at first, and then I guess Bentley envisioned something else when he saw me read for that [part]. It all panned out. Stacey Evans Morgan, who is his sister and one of the producers of the show, was like, “You know, you kept coming in. Sometimes good things come to those who wait, but great things come to those who wait a little bit longer!”
DC: I love that! You play Lisa Stallworth in the series, a wife and mother of two, who moves to a middle class neighborhood with her family after her husband hits the lottery. You seem a bit young to be getting your Clair Huxtable on, no?
AC: That’s funny, pretty much everybody has said that thus far, but when they see me on set, or when they’ve seen me interact with the kids, and I love the kids—Jayla Calhoun and Bentley Kyle Evans, Jr.—it works! It meshes well and I think it’s kind of like a reflection of what’s going on today. There are a lot of young families, youthful families, making it work, who had kids a little bit young. It actually comes together when you see it. I think you’ll like it!
DC: Sitcom vet Omar Gooding plays your husband in the series. Did you two have instant chemistry, or have you had to work at learning one another’s comic rhythms?
AC: I actually played Omar’s girlfriend in Baby Boy.
DC: Wait...that’s right!
AC: Yes! So we’re actually reuniting. We’ve both matured professionally and personally. God truly has a sense of humor. [Laughs] Back in the day, we used to say, “Man we need cameras around!”, because we’re crazy! Then all of the sudden, this opportunity comes around and I didn’t even know he was playing my husband. We found out pretty much on the day of. I got the script, the final script with the cast list, a couple of days before I went in. I was like, “Oh ain’t that about a biscuit!”
AC: So yeah, we have chemistry!
DC: As you mentioned, Family Time is from Bentley Kyle Evans, who recently did Love That Girl for TV One. Evans also wrote for Martin and The Jamie Foxx Show. Will Family Time have a similar vibe to those sitcoms?
AC: You know what? I don’t want to categorize it, or compare it to anything yet. I definitely feel like it’s something fresh and new. The dynamic between Omar and me, and the kids, it’s really something different. There are definitely times where [we] remind me of an old couple on a sitcom back in the day, I can say that. But I don’t want to put it out there, comparing us to anybody just yet. I want people to be able to get a feel for it themselves without having any preconceived ideas. I think it’s something new and different. That’s the thing about Bentley, he’s so creative; he’s just so talented. He’s able to make something new and fresh each time.
DC: Bounce TV is a majority black-owned cable channel. Two of the network’s partners, Rob Hardy and Will Packer are experiencing huge success on the big screen with Think Like a Man. Do you think the success of that movie will bode well for sitcoms like Family Time?
AC: I would like to hope so! I think it’s an indication that good, quality African American projects are still in demand. We still want them. We’ll show up for them and support them. I think that’s a good sign. The fact that they are involved with both of these projects, they’re blessed, and hopefully this project will be blessed. Bentley is blessed as well. Everybody knows what they’re doing; they’re all experts at what they do. I have a good feeling about it. As actors, we can only do what we can do. We get the material and we bring the best that we can to the table. After that, it’s out of our hands, but there are some projects that come along and you feel a little extra miraculousness around it.
DC: Imagine my surprise, when I watched the teaser video for Family Time and saw your former The Young and the Restless leading man Kristoff St. John as one of the Stallworth’s bougie neighbors! What was it like working with him again?
AC: Neil Winters? You mean Neil Winters? [Laughs] I was so excited about Kristoff! What’s funny is, he has such a big personality and this natural comedic timing in real life. Neil, is a different character, so you don’t get to see that side of him on Y&R. I enjoy watching him. It was hard to keep a straight face during his scenes. He had me cracking up! He is a nut. So yeah, you’ll get a little Leslie and Neil on Family Time!
Family Time premieres at 8 pm, June 18 on Bounce TV. Check your local listings.
Photo credit: Model Actor Photography