Erika Alexander: ‘Living Single’ Character Encouraged Viewers To Become Lawyers
Famed actor/writer Erika Alexander shared timeless advice and insight during her stop at “The Breakfast Club” on Thursday (Mar. 22). The Arizona native revealed her honest thoughts on the magic of comic books and how her role as Maxine Shaw on Living Single inspired viewers to become lawyers.
“Marilyn Mosby who’s up in Baltimore, she said it. Mayor de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCrary told me how important it was to them,” Alexander said of people who tell her that her Living Single character inspired them to pursue a law career. “You meet people and they say hello and then they tell you something special like that and then you realize that representation matters. And there I was and I hadn’t gone to college – and I still haven’t – and I was being a lawyer. But I just graduated high school and kept working because my father passed, I helped my mother, and here I was helping people go to college and become lawyers.”
With talks of reboots of classic 90s sitcoms like Martin and Living Single or films like Rush Hour, Alexander said she wouldn’t rule out rejoining her cast, but she wants viewers to become attached to other characters that she hopes to bring to life in the future.
“I think it’s great people are nostalgic for things of the past, maybe for a good reason, it happens, but for me I always try to be honest and said if my film and television career had been a lot better, I might not have any problem dipping my toe back into that water and going and doing the Max character, but for me time is so finite,” she said. “You have so little time. I think I just want to see if I can do other things and see if I can get people as happy for me or into a different character or a different way. That’s my goal now, never say never. I enjoyed them and this wouldn’t be because I didn’t have a good time. Just a matter of maybe because I do come from orphans and my father did pass, that you don’t get tomorrow. Today is it.”
Alexander also tapped into the comic book world with the next installment of her Concrete Park series and said children aren’t as excited about comic books in this era. “It’s a shame because it was not only a way to stimulate their own imagination, show them things that they may not see but also it taught them reading, it taught them how to do narrative work; continuing stories, how to do cliffhangers,” she said. “There were really amazing moral stories tuck into there. Jack ‘King’ Kirby and Stan Lee were amazing at it, but they were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much talent was out there doing that.”
Watch the interview above where Alexander speaks on growing up in Arizona, working on the Bill Cosby Show as Cousin Pam, and why her career wasn’t as broad as her peers.