Sheryl Lee Ralph Originally Wanted The Principal Role In ‘Abbott Elementary’
Ahead of the 2023 SAG Awards held on Sunday night (Feb. 26), Abbott Elementary’s Emmy-winning star Sheryl Lee Ralph opened up about anther role that she initially wanted to play on the hit show.
“When I mentioned to Quinta [Brunson], ‘Give me a shot at the principal,’ she said, ‘Absolutely not,'” she revealed to Entertainment Tonight when discussing her initial conversation with the show’s creator. “‘We need a queen for Barbara Howard, and you are that queen,'” Ralph recalled.
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“And I’m so glad that she stood up for Barbara Howard the way that she did, because she’s really given me the gift of a lifetime. I know blessings, and that is one,” she added when discussing the successful show.
Abbott’s tone-deaf principal, Ava Coleman, is played by actress Janelle James who won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a comedy series at the 54th Annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday (Feb. 25).
At this year’s SAG Awards, Abbott Elementary earned Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series and a nod for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, in which Brunson lost to Jean Smart of Hacks.
The last comedy sitcom to score a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble was ABC’s Modern Family in 2013. Ahead of Abott Elementary‘s paramount win, the 66-year-old star projected the show’s feat.
“I think it’s absolutely time, and I think that Abbott Elementary is the show to do it,” she declared.
See the full list of SAG winners here.