(CBS Local)– Michael Michele has been a big name in Hollywood for decades and she has always been intrigued by the shows being written for television. While the actor got her big break in the movie “New Jack City,” with Wesley Snipes, her work on TV shows like “ER” and “Dynasty” has allowed Michele to sustain success in the entertainment industry.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith recently chatted with Michele about playing Dominique Deveraux in “Dynasty,” her favorite memories from working with Will Smith and Michael Mann in the movie “Ali,” and how the television industry has changed since over 30 million people were tuning into each new episode of “ER.”READ MORE: Priyanka Chopra Jonas Will Be Hosting The Global Citizen Festival This Fall
“I have had a lot of very positive experiences, but I think most importantly is having the opportunity to bring Diahann Carroll’s role to 2021 and tap into this extraordinary idea that she brought to the creators of Dynasty back in the 1980s due to her fortitude and agency,” said Michele. “Because of who she was as a woman, I am playing this role of Dominique Deveraux today. That’s probably the most important part for me anyway.”
“Dynasty is set up in this somewhat fictional world because we are doing things that don’t necessarily happen everyday, I believe portraying where women are today… Dominique has her own fashion company and she is a mother and she really is representative of what so many women are doing today, which is managing their careers and holding down a family. That part I really like. I like that she is a career woman aside from being a mother.”READ MORE: 'Secret Headquarters' A Teen Twist On The Superhero Formula
Michele has seen the evolution of women being the accessory to a man on a TV show to now being the stars of their own shows independent of any men they are sharing the screen with. The actor loves how fierce the women are on “Dynasty.” Michele has played some interesting women over the years and one she still gets asked about to this day is Selina in “New Jack City.”
“New Jack City was my first gig and we were all basically struggling New York actors,” said Michele. “We shot in and around New York and shot most of the film in Harlem, which was fantastic. There was a camaraderie there because Judd Nelson was the only Hollywood guy. For the most part, we were unemployed performers. Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, me, Ice-T, that was his first acting gig and there was something that felt comfortable about that. It became this big cult hit. After that, I said to my representatives that I wanted to go into television and I wanted my 9-5 job in entertainment. I wasn’t focused on being a movie star, I wanted to be in television. New Jack City gave me a great lead in to my career.”
Michele has seen a little bit of everything in career and she like everyone else in the industry has had to adapt to the boom of streaming in the past five years. The actor can still remember what it was like to be on “ER” when tens of millions of people were watching the same show at the same time.MORE NEWS: Jamie Foxx A Vampire Hunter, In Netflix's Dreary 'Day Shift'
“I can remember very, very vividly on ER when at the time we were averaging 36 million viewers a week,” said Michele. “We had some rumblings on the set about this reality show that was going to be up against our show. ER was this massive, successful drama and then this reality show aired and it was called Survivor and it did really well and continued to do well. I remember when we went from 36 million to 34 million and 32 million and now if you get two million it’s a big deal and if you get double digits it’s other worldly. That’s the biggest change I’ve observed.”