Stephanie Charles has been in the industry for a long time in which she is seen on such television series such as “Smart Guy,” “Sister Sister,” and most recently, “The Paynes.”
The Boston native has many credits to her name as she has also been a member of an R&B group as well. Now, Stephanie stars as Sarah on the BET+ hit series Ruthless and I recently got the chance to speak to Stephanie as we talked about how she got the role, and the behind the scnes production of the series.
The Knockturnal: How have you been since the COVID19 outbreak began and what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?
Stephanie Charles: I got to do a lot of cleaning. I’ve been procrastinating because I wasn’t cleaning since this started. So my plan is to clean tomorrow. I’ve been also cooking more which is good. I have been cooking more healthy food, too. I’m craving pizza though because I’ve been eating nothing but the same thing and i am thinking to myself ‘I want something else right now’ and it is hard!
The Knockturnal: This is the first Tyler Perry series to be streamed on BET+ and the cast is very strong. How does it feel for you to be part of this strong cast of Ruthless?
Stephanie Charles: Oh it feels great to be part of the cast. We keep in touch, we have a group text and we are literally on there every day. These are the best castmates I could ever ask to be a part of. This has been a great journey and it is all teamwork from day one. We all want to work with each other and rehearse and everything. It’s exciting to be part of BET+ with an original show and to be part of a show and something different than what Tyler Perry usually does. It’s gritty, I’m telling you it’s really good and It’s not for the kids.
The Knockturnal: Who pitched the series to you? And do you remember your audition for Ruthless?
Stephanie Charles: It was Tyler Perry that pitched it to me. I was actually auditioning for his other show Bruh. Then I got a callback and he was like ‘You know, I don’t think you’re right for this part. But I do have another roll for you.’ Then he told me about the show And I’m like ‘Oh my God, it sounds so fun’ and then he told me that this show is more of your vibe and tone. So then I audition and one week later, I find out that I got the part.”
The Knockturnal: How much of an influence Tyler Perry has been to you when you watched his films, and when you were on the set of Ruthless? Also, what are some of your best memories on the set?
Stephanie Charles: He’s such an influence. He’s one of my inspirations because I’m inspired with stories that people take matters into their own hands and not waiting for anybody. Tyler just inspires me with his work ethic and I strive to be like that man. Even on the set, he is a professional to me and the entire cast and crew and he encouraged us to bring a little bit of ourselves into our characters and he took care of all of us from the first day, until the final day of shooting. Some of my best memories were rehearsing with my scene partners. We were so excited to be there and literally have schedules and the teamwork was amazing. Here is something I have not said in other interviews, the entire first season was shot in 13 days. Other shows, it takes about six months, but we shot all 24 episodes in 13 days. We were with each other for those two weeks like we were family. We were also rehearsing and making sure we were on point the whole time. In that time, we really grew closer and I loved the tikme I spent with the cast.
The Knockturnal: What are some of your favorite scenes that you have been part of?
Stephanie Charles: I love a lot of my scenes. And there is a couple of my scenes with a character named Mack (Herve Clermont) who’s the head boss of the FBI. There are a few great scenes that I have done with him that I love and I wish I can say more about those scenes, but you will have to tune in and find out!
The Knockturnal: Would you like to tell me what was your hardest day on the set?
Stephanie Charles: One thing Tyler does really well, is that he shoots really fast. So I think the hardest thing was for me to remember because we do block shoots. So let’s say we have scenes to shoot for house scenes. We shoot all the majority of the house scenes that day. Keep in mind that there are 24 episodes to shoot, you would have to like remember what happened the scene before the last scene. And you would have to remember the mood in those different scenes so it can be consistant on throughout the show So I think that was probably like the hardest part, but it was fun. There would be hundreds of these scenes per day and there were different episodes shot per day because we block shoot. So it could be an episode of the house scene in episode one, five, six, fifteen, or nineteen. And if it’s too long then we’ll switch and break it for another day.