On the heels of her receiving a huge sparkler from D.Wade and in anticipation of her return to television on “Being Mary Jane”, Gabrielle Union graces the December cover of Essence Magazine.
And the over story doesn’t just revel in the successes of her love life and career. Gabrielle is very candid with the mag about overcoming jealousy and her new attitude on life.
Gone are the days when she’d “revel in gossip or rumors” or “shrink in the presence of other dope, beautiful women.” Gabrielle realized that “living your truth takes real courage” and is doing the work to find her happy.
“There’s this intense desire for us all to be chosen by a man, or a job, or chosen for fame, whatever. But when you’re in the public eye and you’re not chosen, the rejection feels public,” says Union. “So to cover the wound, you attack the person who is chosen.”
While the actress has lost roles to her industry peers—most notably, Scandal to Kerry Washington—Union now understands how those setbacks have set her up for a comeback.
Gabrielle’s audition for the lead role in Jumping the Broom, which went to Paula Patton, impressed director Salim Akil so much that he knew she’d be a perfect fit for his wife Mara Brock-Akil’s latest project. Being Mary Jane starring Union surprised everyone with the 2 hour premiere teaser which earned 4 million viewers and critical praise for the portrayal of a female Black lead who is both complex and beautiful.
“It would be easy to label Mary Jane a freak…but enjoying sex doesn’t make you a ho,” says Union. “I hope [Being Mary Jane] widens the conversation. I hope people will be more forgiving of those who explore their sexuality unapologetically.”
Read the full interview in the December issue of ESSENCE.