‘She Didn’t Want to Be Around Me!’: Anthony Anderson Reveals He Fumbled Making a Good First Impression with Tracee Ellis Ross a Decade Prior to ‘Black-ish’

Tracee Ellis Ross and “Black-ish” co-star Anthony Anderson have undeniable chemistry when the cameras are rolling, but that hasn’t always been the case. 

The comedic duo has played married couple Andre “Dre” Johnson and Rainbow “Bow” Johnson on the hit family comedy show for seven seasons; their eighth and final kicks off this month. 

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross Photo: @traceeellisross/Instagram

But according to Anderson, building rapport between the two was a rocky road that began long before audiences knew them as the on-screen parents of five children. “We laugh about this now, but Tracee didn’t like me for maybe 10 years!” Recalling their first time sharing a stage while presenting an award at the 2005 VIBE Awards, Anderson said that oddly enough a joke was their undoing before a friendship was ever an option. 

“As we were walking onto the stage there was a loud sound over the speaker, and I said, “Tracee? Did you fart?” The audience loved it, but what I did not know is how offended Tracee was by that comment,” said the Emmy- nominated actor during an interview with Parade.

Six more years would pass before Anderson and Ross would reunite to work on her show “Reed Between the Lines.” But even then, Anderson said he was completely unaware that the “Girlfriends” star was begrudgingly sharing screen time with him. “When it came time for my close-up, she would leave the stage like, “The stage is Anthony’s!” I thought Tracee was just showing me the utmost respect as an actor.” It wasn’t anything of the sort. 

“Looking back on it, she didn’t want to be around me! She really didn’t start liking me until we were midway through the first season of ‘Black-ish,’ and so we laugh about it now.” As “Black-ish” comes to a close, it is clear to see the only thing standing between the duo is love, admiration and the history of a successful show. “There’s nothing that I would not do for Tracee.”

In fact the connection shared between the two has often left fans in their feelings. Ahead of the show’s season- eight premiere on Jan. 4, Anderson and Ross took a look back at their first time auditioning together as Dre and Bow. Immediately, fans could see the two were destined to be together on screen, but a non-scripted kiss shared between them also had fans questioning if they’d missed their calling at something more. 


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