Shalita Grant on ‘You’ and her acting career: ‘What people project onto me is about them’

Exclusive: Grant appeared on theGrio's Acting Up podcast and broke down her latest role that is taking the internet by storm

In the latest episode of Acting Up, Shalita Grant opened up about starring in the third season of the hit Netflix series You, assumptions made about her in the industry, and more.

From a Tony-nominated performance in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike to her long stint on NCIS: New Orleans, Grant has enjoyed quite the acting career. Her latest role in Netflix’s You, however, is what has everyone talking about the actress.

In season 3 of the thriller series, Grant plays Sherry, who is a super successful “mom-fluencer” stirring everything up for the lead characters. Chatting with theGrio‘s Cortney Wills, Grant explained that she loves all of the fan chatter surrounding her breakout character.

Shalita Grant
Shalita Grant attends the 2013 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Reception on May 1, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

“Sherry Conrad is a movement, okay? I love it, I felt it when I was doing it,” she shared. “I love playing so much, so when I think about scenes and things, I’m thinking about how I can elevate things, right? Like, ‘what is the point of this scene, and how can I help them reach it?'”

Grant certainly helped elevate the role, with countless think-pieces and reaction tweets stemming from her interpretation. She gushed, “I love the audience so much, you know?! Because I was a fan of the show before, like as an audience member, ‘what do I love about this show and how can I bring whatever I got going on to like give people those feelings,’ you know?”

She also shed light on her upbringing, and how just like her character Sherry, appearances are not always what they seem. “The greatest disappointment for me as a person is that I don’t look like what I’ve been through. People assume so many things,” she explained.

From having teen parents, being the oldest of nine kids, and growing up in poverty, she revealed she has “so much life she has lived” because of where she came from.

“I agreed a long time ago that what people project onto me is about them, and I will not fit into whatever and that’s not my fault,” she revealed. “For me, with Sherry, I love how multilayered she is because I know what it’s like to have so many layers.”

Shalita Grant
Shalita Grant attends the 2013 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Reception on May 1, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

She also spoke to people assuming things about her due to the color of her skin.

“People assume that I come from money…I don’t look like the girl that comes from [a poverty] background based on what the media tells us about poverty, that it only looks one way,” she explained. “There are so many things that contribute to that class. Not everyone is stupid, not everyone is on drugs, but [those were] a lot of issues in my family.”

The full episode of Shalita Grant on Acting Up is available to stream now.

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