Tichina Arnold on getting through the pandemic: ‘I’m a single Black mother trying to make it work’

"I just like the fact that I could be home," Arnold says

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Tichina Arnold is back on our small screens now that The Neighborhood is back from its mid-season hiatus. The CBS series that also stars Cedric the Entertainer has already been picked up for a fourth season, which means there are still plenty more laughs on the way. 

theGrio caught up with the actress to find out how she feels about being part of a show that tries to meet the moment and how comedy can be a cure for tough times. 

Tichina Arnold thegrio.com
Tichina Arnold attends 51st NAACP Image Awards Nomination Announcement at SLS Hotel on January 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

“How great is it that we started off before pandemic? We’re working through a pandemic and we got picked up for a fourth season. So we have the opportunity of being a nostalgia and that feels good. You know, it always feels good and especially to be a part of a body of work that you can believe in and you love and you love the people that you work with,” she says.

“All the elements are great. So it’s almost like, you know, it’s a blessing from God. I mean, to be able to work is a blessing from God. But to be able to work through a pandemic is even better. We’re all just very grateful and the show is wonderful and we like that CBS is sticking with it.”

Read More: Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold team up for new talk show

When it comes to tackling the time, the show has integrated what’s happening in the real world into its storyline. 

“Comedy always comes most often, likely it comes from tragedy. I think having somebody at the helm like Cedric the Entertainer, who is just an amazing, amazing man, amazing friend, amazing comedian, amazing father, amazing husband, he’s just everything rolled up in one. He’s a big teddy bear,” she continues. 

“Having him at the helm, and especially during a time like this, it made a difference. And that’s why it was pure testament to having someone that is using their platform responsibly and going through what we went through and are still going through, we just want to make sure that as Black actors, that we do ourselves justice to make sure that we convey social issues through laughter. We have to convey social issues and not turn away from it without us throwing it down your throat.”

Tichina Arnold thegrio.com
Tichina Arnold attends the 2019 Soul Train Awards presented by BET at the Orleans Arena on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET)

While Arnold and her co-stars continue to try to make us laugh through these trying times, she’s also having to cope with all the chaos in her real life.

“I’m a single black mother trying to make it work and and trying not to be afraid of change and trying not to be thrown off by whatever the circumstances are like. I can only imagine people not being able to leave the house with the kids. A lot of lives have been changed and no longer will it be the way it used to be. Things are going to be different,” she says. 

Read More: ‘The Neighborhood’ showrunner exits series after race-related complaints

“I pray and I meditate and I’m spending more time with my daughter at a very crucial time where she really needs her mother to be home,” she continues.

“I just like the fact that I could be home. I’m a Cancer, so I’m a homebody. I kind of made the pandemic and quarantine work for me. And the way it works for me is that I’ve had a little more time for myself, even health-wise. You know, I’ll be 52 in June, so I’m training myself to do things that I was kind of slacking on and that’s eating better, being a little more health-conscious, getting fit, and making sure that I am being an example for my daughter.”

Check out the full interview above. 

The Neighborhood airs Mondays on CBS.

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