Abbott Elementary School became one of the breakout hits of the 2021-2022 TV season. The ABC show features a captivating cast of characters played by a mix of newcomers and veteran actors. Sheryl Lee Ralph plays Barbara, who was partially inspired by the series creator’s mother, Quinta Brunson.
Barbara is a strong and loving presence on Abbott Elementary
Abbott Elementary School strikes a balance between zany sitcom antics and resounding commentary about the daily struggles of teachers in underfunded schools. Barbara represents this dichotomy in the most grounded way. She is initially pessimistic about Janine’s attempts to shake things up, preferring to stick with her old-school methods.
The religious character provides many comedic moments for the show, from her unexpected bond with Jacob to gardening to her missteps in relation to popular culture. Barbara doesn’t understand how to use a new computer program, but she has other ways of getting things done. And she acts as a reluctant mentor to Janine (played by Brunson herself).
The show’s makeup artists thought deeply about how best to style Barbara
The show’s head of makeup, April Chaney, and head of hair, Moira Frazier, did a joint interview with Gold Derby about the styling choices for each character. Chaney explained how she used her personal experiences combined with Brunson’s ideas for the character to explore how Barbara would present herself at work.
“I look back at mine [childhood] and my elementary school teachers and what I noticed, and then I communicated with Quinta and got her to do what she wanted, and I also got a little bit of background on those characters,” she said. “I met her on another set and she told me what the show was about. It was primarily based on her mother, who was a schoolteacher in Philadelphia, and the character portrayed by Sheryl is that character.”
They eventually decided that Barbara’s mood was a combination of Brunson’s mother, a churchwoman, and a politician. Ralph also had to add some input to the details later in the process. Her look became a huge hit with fans, who gave Chaney over 500 DMs for the lipstick that Barbara uses.
The ovation Sheryl Lee Ralph received for the show is a long time coming
While some only know them from Abbott Elementary School, Sheryl Lee Ralph is anything but an overnight success. She made her acting debut in the 1977 comedy A piece of action. She continued to appear in films throughout the ’80s and ’90s, including Sister Act 2: Back into the habit.
Ralph remains best known to many for her work on Broadway. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in dream girl. In addition, she has appeared in popular TV shows like shape women, moeshaand Ray Donovan.
Despite these remarkable projects, few have been as well received as Abbott Elementary School. Ralph is very appreciative of the response to the show and its character. “I love the fact that Barbara is a role model,” she said in an interview with Black Girl Nerds. “My entire career has been focused on giving my audience something positive, something wonderful to aspire to, something that expands the imagination, heart and mind, and was done on purpose.”
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https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/sheryl-lee-ralph-barbara-makeup-inspired-abbott-elementary-creator-quinta-brunson-mom.html/ Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Barbara makeup is inspired by Abbott Elementary creator Quinta Brunson’s mother