Sheryl Lee Ralph was ‘shocked’ by her reaction to ‘Abbott Elementary’ role

Sheryl Lee Ralph sits down for a candid chat on Sunday’s episode of TV One’s interview series, Uncensored.

The actress and singer talks about her decades-long career, overcoming an early eating disorder, and her Emmy-winning role in Primary Abbott.

Ralph says she originally hoped to play the school principal on the ABC sitcom. Instead, series creator Quinta Brunson wanted her to take on the role of veteran teacher Barbara Howard.

Ralph, who was one of the first dream girls, never expected fans to embrace her character because she didn’t consider him as important as the main one.

“I don’t see it as an escape [role]”, she says in a preview clip. “So I’m shocked when the show starts airing and people declare their love for Barbara Howard.”

Related story: Sheryl Lee Ralph explains why she sang the Emmys speech (video)

Since the series launched in 2021, it has won numerous awards, including three Primetime Emmys.

Among those wins was a supporting actress Emmy last year for Ralph. The actress says Uncensored she never thought she would win.

“I’m here to support my casting, my show. Do I have a speech? No, there’s no need,” she explains.

But she won and burst into song on stage.

Celebrity Interview Series Uncensored is produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, James Seppelfrick, Jay Allen, Nikki Byles and Rachel Valley for Swirl Films.

The episode of Uncensored with Sheryl Lee Ralph premieres Sunday, April 16 at 10/9C on TV One.

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