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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

The Best Man: The Final Chapters' Nia Long, Melissa De Sousa Share Their Best Life Advice for Finding Your Purpose

The two actresses spoke with The Root ahead of the release of The Best Man: The Final Chapters limited series, which is available to stream now on Peacock.

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Nia Long, left; Melissa De Sousa.
Nia Long, left; Melissa De Sousa.
Screenshot: Courtesy of Peacock

Today marks the premiere of the third and final iteration of the popular Best Man franchise, The Best Man: The Final Chapters.

Starring Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Harrold Perrineau, Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Melissa De Sousa, the eight-episode limited series catches up with our old friends as their relationships evolve and past grievances resurface in the unpredictable stage of when midlife crisis meets midlife renaissance.

While the first two films revolved heavily around the complex dynamics between the men in the group, in this series, the woman and their respective evolutions also take centerstage. Specifically, and without giving too much away, each person finds themselves at a crossroads in their personal relationships true enough, but it’s the choices in their professional lives that also prove to be just as monumental.

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In situations like that, that’s when some good ole friendly advice would arguably do some good. And it’s in that vein, that we asked both Long and De Sousa to share the best piece of life advice they’d ever gotten when it comes to finding your purpose and operating toward your passion.

A still of Nia Long in The Best Man: The Final Chapters, available to stream now on Peacock.
A still of Nia Long in The Best Man: The Final Chapters, available to stream now on Peacock.
Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal
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“I remember an actress told me, ‘Never pass on work.’ And she was an older woman, maybe close to 70. Beautiful actress. And I remember thinking to myself, ‘I don’t know if that applies to me.’ Because if I look at it as work, how can it be art?” Long explained to The Root. “So I have to kind of look at it as I’m creating art, which is the job that I’ve chosen. But if I look at it as work, then I’m looking at it as something that I have to do. So I try to—of course, everyone has bills to pay and a life to sustain and kids to take care of and kids in college and all of those things—but I really try to do the things I just want to do and not the things that I don’t want to do.”

She continued, “I don’t need to have a lot to feel full. I think I’m entering another stage and phase in my career to where now it feels like I’m playing the mom to 20-year-old actresses. I just go with it. It’s a process, it’s about the collective work. The purpose in doing each job is different. The purpose in creating each moment is different. Some is personal, some is practical. And it’s just about understanding what the assignment is so your expectations are actually matching what you hope the outcome ends up being. Live in the truth of the moment and understand what you’re doing.”

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For De Sousa, she shared that it’s important to attempt to go after the things that make you passionate because that’s what’s going to keep you going when it’s all said and done.

Melissa De Sousa, in a still from The Best Man: The Final Chapters, available to stream now on Peacock.
Melissa De Sousa, in a still from The Best Man: The Final Chapters, available to stream now on Peacock.
Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal
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“It’s important to keep evolving as a person and as you get older, there’s gonna be a whole ‘nother evolution. As long as you’re open to continuing to learn and grow and learn about yourself and know thyself,” she explained. “And also, when you talk about what you really love—I think if you’re gonna do something, if you’re gonna be in business—the only thing that’s gonna get you up the next day and keep you going is you really, really, have to love it. You have to really, really love what you do. A lot of people just have a 9-5 and they’re just getting through it day to day. And listen, sometimes that’s just how it is in life. But as an artist, I’m lucky to do—I can say that I love doing what I do. And when I don’t have a job, I’m not at my happiest because I enjoy going to work. I enjoy that and a lot of people can’t say that.”

She concluded, “Find your passion and don’t settle. If you’re doing something now and it’s not exactly what you want to do, just try. At least try, don’t go out—don’t not do it out of fear. But if it’s something you’re thinking you really, really, want to do—even if it’s not what you’re doing now—just try. You have to follow your passion because at the end of the day, that’s gonna be what keeps you going.”

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All 8 episodes of The Best Man: The Final Chapters is available to stream now, only on Peacock.