Tracee Ellis Ross commemorated the eighth and final season of her hit series “black-ish” by sharing her audition tape with her co-star and friend Anthony Anderson. The pair, who respectively portray Andre “Dre” Johnson Sr., and Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson, are husband and wife in the show.
“black-ish,” which first premiered on ABC in 2014, follows a man who grapples with a sense of cultural identity crisis as he raises his children in a predominantly white, upper-middle-class community. Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Jenifer Lewis, and Laurence Fishburne also starred in the series.
In the Instagram clip shared on Dec. 20, Ross and Anderson, watched the 49-year-old’s audition tape, which also featured the actor. Ross said as she showed him the recording, “Apparently, we are going to see my audition tape. You remember the day.”
Anderson responded, “Yep, Valentine’s Day.” Ross mentioned how watching the old clip would make her emotional and how young she appeared in the video that was shot before the show’s premiere almost eight years ago. She said, “I’ve never seen this. It’s going to make me cry. She’s so young, that girl.”
The clip shows Anderson approaching Ross and relaying a man named Arsenio’s joke about the Republican Party trying to convince President Obama to say his name is Toby. The reference is to the “Roots” character Kunta Kinte, a captured African, being whipped until he will say his new slave name, Toby. LeVar Burton portrayed the role in the 1977 mini-series based on the Alex Haley book.
As the duo began laughing, Ross stated she didn’t understand the joke. When Anderson said it was from “Roots,” the actress said, “I didn’t see it.” Anderson quickly quipped, “Baby, blacker America has seen ‘Roots.’ How you not going to see ‘Roots’?”
After viewing the audition tape, Anderson begins to fight back the tears and describes how incredible this journey has been with Ross by his side. He said, “Now I’m getting emotional. We always talk about never being afraid to fall, and I’ve always said if we are afraid to fall, we’ll never take that leap.”
He added, “I will take this leap with you anywhere, anyplace, anytime.” Following the star’s statement, the pair embraced and expressed how much they loved each other.
In addition to the recording, Ross captioned the post while promoting the farewell season of “black-ish,” What a delight it’s been to leap, stretch and grow with you these past 8 years, @anthonyanderson. The rapport we have as Mr & Mrs. Johnson was apparent from the start. Most importantly, we’ve never let each other fall. You are the absolute best TV husband a gal could ever ask for, Pherny. The @blackishabc farewell season premieres 2 weeks from tomorrow.”
As fans began to view the video, many brought up Ross and Anderson’s on- and off-screen chemistry.
“This chemistry is so natural. Never forced. Going to miss you both together.”
“Love the bond both on and off-screen it’s rare you see that. And not have people make a big deal from it. Continue on with the greatness you both give to us. It’s appreciated.”
“I absolutely loved this show from the first episode..the writing ..the humuor was so real.. and the onscreen chemistry was apparent from the very beginning @traceeellisross is so talented.”
Among the chemistry remarks, one Instagram user mentioned how the duo should work on more projects together in the future. “Y’all gotta promise y’all gonna work together again chile!!!”
The success of “black-ish” not only won the series numerous awards but also spawned two spin-offs, including “Grown-ish” starring Yara Shahidi in 2018 and “Mixed-ish” the following year. “Mixed-ish” was ultimately canceled in 2021.
The farewell season of “black-ish” is set to premiere on Jan. 4 at 9:30 p.m.. on ABC.
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