Ahead of the 2023 SAG Awards held on Sunday night (Feb. 26), Abbott Elementary’s Emmy-winning star Sheryl Lee Ralph opened up about anther role that she initially wanted to play on the hit show.
“When I mentioned to Quinta [Brunson], ‘Give me a shot at the principal,’ she said, ‘Absolutely not,'” she revealed to Entertainment Tonight when discussing her initial conversation with the show’s creator. “‘We need a queen for Barbara Howard, and you are that queen,'” Ralph recalled.
“And I’m so glad that she stood up for Barbara Howard the way that she did, because she’s really given me the gift of a lifetime. I know blessings, and that is one,” she added when discussing the successful show.
Abbott’s tone-deaf principal, Ava Coleman, is played by actress Janelle James who won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a comedy series at the 54th Annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday (Feb. 25).
At this year’s SAG Awards, Abbott Elementary earned Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series and a nod for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, in which Brunson lost to Jean Smart of Hacks.
The last comedy sitcom to score a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble was ABC’s Modern Family in 2013. Ahead of Abott Elementary‘s paramount win, the 66-year-old star projected the show’s feat.
“I think it’s absolutely time, and I think that Abbott Elementary is the show to do it,” she declared.
See the full list of SAG winners here.