Bonafide legend Tisha Campbell is at a place in her career where she can appreciate the support and love her icon status brings. However, that doesn’t mean she’s done entertaining us. The Martin star spoke with The Root about her new Netflix comedy Uncoupled, her years in the business and what she has planned for her next chapter.
Uncoupled stars Neil Patrick Harris as Michael, a middle aged gay man who finds himself navigating the modern dating world when his longtime boyfriend suddenly breaks up with him. Campbell co-stars as Michael’s friend and business partner, Suzanne.
Suzanne is Michael’s cheerleader and instantly takes his side in the break up–because you know there are always sides. As he tries to get back out in the world, she’s there to keep him positive and moving forward. She’s that friend who lets us know it’s not as bad as we think it is.
“My character is that support system for Neil Patrick Harris’ character, Michael. He was my friend, I support him no matter what and try to get him to see the hope in it all,” she said. “My character is a is a very free spirit as opposed to Marcia Gay Harden’s character, who is uncoupled in the show as well, but she’s on the bitter end of the spectrum. And we have Michael in the middle. He doesn’t want to be like me, and he doesn’t want to be like her. He has two examples of where he is in his life. He just wants his relationship and I think that’s what’s really good about Uncoupled is that it really is a universal thing. Heartbreak is a universal subject.”
The series portrays the full scope of a break up, from the grief to the inevitable comedy of suddenly going through such a major life change. As someone who went through a public uncoupling, Campbell appreciates the role Suzanne plays in Michael’s journey.
“You literally have to learn how to re-adjust your entire life. I have to use myself as an example of understanding the difference in 26 years ago, where there was no social media when I was single,” the Harley Quinn actress said. “It’s just a lot of newness that you have to go through that is actually comedic. And if you find yourself having to go through a journey like this where there is a beautiful devastation in it, you have to pull yourself out of there. Thank God that I had friends like Michael has in Suzanne, that kept reminding me of who I was, and making light of it. Now I’m in such a joyful place.”
House Party, School Daze, My Wife and Kids, Empire. I could spend all day listing memorable Tisha Campbell roles. She’s literally done it all. It was this revelation that led the actress to embark on a new path during quarantine.
“I’m writing a lot. I discovered during COVID isolation, everything that I ever wanted to do, I did,” she said. “I’m enjoying producing, writing and creating characters that nobody has really seen. I wanted to create shows, movies, and teach while I entertain.”
Writing is something the NAACP Image Award-winner has wanted to do for years, but she kept listening to the people who told her she couldn’t do it. When the shutdown happened and there was no one around to tell her no, Campbell finally went for it.
“I have some really great friends, who kept pushing me to strive to do it,” she said. “I’ve had positivity around me. And now I think I’m the most joyful I’ve ever been in my life doing exactly what I have always wanted to.”
Uncoupled premieres on Netflix Friday, July 29.