Gail Bean always knew she wanted to become an actress. At 16-years-old, she dreamed big of moving to LA to pursue her career, but her mother, an educator stressed the importance of school and guided the budding beauty through college. “I respect it,” Gail says.
After finishing college, Gail set her sights on landing her first Hollywood gig. Now, with a lead role in Kris Swanberg’s Unbreakable, that made its Sundance premiere to rave reviews, Gail’s dreams are coming true.
Find out more about Gail’s rise up the Hollywood ladder, below:
HelloBeautiful: When did you first discover a passion for acting?
Gail Bean: I first started loving performing and entertaining when I was a little girl and my mother put me in ballet and theater. At one of my recitals, she said, ‘You ran out on stage and fell. You got up and blew the audience a kiss.’ She said, ‘most kids run on stage they fall, they cry and their parents have to pick them up. Not you!’ I think when I got my first taste of it, I was like ‘Oh, this is great.’
HB: At what age did you decide pursue a career in acting?
GB: About my senior year I planned to not apply to college and move to LA. My mother was like, ‘That’s not an option. You gotta go to school.’ The teacher in her was like, ‘education first.’ My whole college career I thought about moving to LA. I kept trying to quit, I kept saying, ‘I think I’m done’ but my mom wouldn’t let me quit. I got a film with Tommy Ford called “At My Most Feat,” and that’s what got me representation. I chose to move out to LA and it became the biggest film I was in.
HB: Tell us about your big break…
GB: My very first film was SCAD, written by Christopher Moore. I wasn’t the lead, I was the supporting actress but he said, ‘your presence was so felt, you would think you were the lead.’ There were so many obstacles to not let the film be made. They lost the location and I was like ‘You can use my house and my club house. We can make it work.’ And we did.
HB: How does your first film differ from Unexpected?
GB: With Unexpected, I love how Kris Swanberg let me be apart of the process. I got to sit in on auditions for some of the other characters. It was really cool to see the behind the scenes. She was really free with it. With “Unexpected,” she allowed us to improve and make it our own. We all had a great part in it. And, the difference between this film and [my first film] was I got to work along side celebs.
HB: What have you learned working with Cobie Smulders and what advice did she give you?
GB: Be yourself. Have fun in everything you do. You hear all these stories about how these big actors are mean and won’t run lines with you and how they’re so to themselves. Being a newcomer, I wanted to run lines and get some feedback and they were really honest with me and cool. There was one scene we ran and she just loved it. Then, when we shot it, she was like ‘You know what you can give more.’ But I appreciate honesty. That’s what I like. That’s going to make me better.
HB: As a young Black woman in the industry, where do you see yourself?
GB: I feel like the world is progressing and I’m blessed, happy and thankful. I feel like I can only go up from here. I’m on people’s radar which is good and I’m very thankful for that. Like, you have Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four… I want to do action and drama. I want to make a film and be the love interest of Spiderman. I feel the way the world is going, that’s very possible. I see myself getting to a point where people can look and don’t see color. They don’t see White, they don’t see Black, they just see a good actress. Watch the trailer for Unexpected, below: