It Ain’t The Huxtables: Melissa De Sousa Talks “Reed Between The Lines”


VIBE VIXEN: While you’re on this new venture, fans still can’t let go of your character Shelby from The Best Man. When’s the last time you were recognized for that role?
MELISSA DE SOUSA: Guys are scared to approach me! They’re like, ‘You’re not like her, are you?’ But if they’re scared to approach me but want to, they say something like, ‘Oh shoot, here she comes!’ [Laughs] Especially when I’m home In New York, I get recognized all the time. I get a lot of love.

It still resonates strongly for fans. Twelve years later, what do you feel The Best Man brought to the urban community about understanding black love and relationships?
It brought class and let people know that African Americans and love stories don’t have to have a color on it. It can be like The Big Chill where a bunch of people know each other from college, get together for a wedding, [and] it can have the same story. Since it’s people of color, it doesn’t have to be ghetto. They still live classy lives and have beautiful homes. It showed the African American culture in a different light, as opposed to what society likes to portray or usual see. Everybody isn’t living like The Wire. It showed a modern middle class story and that exists everywhere.

The show is being shot in Atlanta. Have you gotten a chance to enjoy the city offset?
Our schedule is so crazy, so I haven’t had much social time. We went to Puffy’s restaurant, Justin’s, and Malcolm had his band playing there. You know, Malcolm does spoken word and he has a band. He took us there one night and he performed with his band; we had so much fun. Since then we’ve been buckled down working, but I’ve been to Wal-Mart and Target a lot. [Laughs]

That’s the regular stuff!
Yeah, my big social hour is going to Target. Me and Anna Maria Horsford, we’re Target buddies.