Boyz II Men Share How They Prepped for 'Black-ish' Finale (Exclusive)
The season finale of Black-ish has some iconic guests for fans to enjoy! Boyz II Men’s Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman guest star on next Tuesday’s episode, and ET’s Lauren Zima got the chance to speak with Wanya and Shawn about their time on set and how Anthony Anderson put them through their paces to get them into tiptop acting shape.
The two are the only members to physically appear on the episode titled “Urban Legend” with Nathan making a virtual appearance. Wanya explained that Nathan hasn’t left his home during the COVID pandemic, but Black-ish writers worked it into the episode’s script. The band stops by the ABC comedy when Dre’s (Anderson) team at Stevens & Lido needs help on a new marketing campaign. Dre and the team know exactly who to call to provide much-needed guidance: Boyz II Men.
Even with them down one member in person, Wanya had nothing but good things to say about their experience working on the show.
“I believe that they are probably the most talented group of actors on TV, just simply because of how they play off of each other, their banter, the way that they come right with their lines and then acting to make it even more, you know, intense and funny at the same time,” Wanya said.
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The 47-year-old added that generally, the trio comes on shows for brief cameos to sing a song before their time is over. “But this time we had actual lines and we were able to interact and see how it all works,” he said. “They’re just an incredibly talented group of people. I’m talking about just from the directors to the actors, just amazing how they put it all together.”
“The cast was great…the whole cast and crew made us feel comfortable beyond cool,” Shawn added. “Being singers, we don’t have too many opportunities to, you know, stretch out our acting chops. So to be able to do it on the fly, it was a little nerve-wracking to some degree, but… Anthony made it fun even though he was hazing us a bit when we messed up our lines or something like that.”
Although the duo said they “can’t actually say” some of the shenanigans Anderson got up to during his mini acting boot camp, they told ET that the actor “whipped us into acting shape” by helping them with all their lines.
“He said, ‘You can remember all those songs, the lyrics to the songs, but you can’t remember three lines,'” Wanya shared, laughing.
Shawn revealed that he and Wanya tried to teach the cast some notes from their debut single, “Motownphilly.” The single, as well as Boyz II Men’s debut album, Cooleyhighharmony, recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. Although Shawn admitted the trio is “kind of mellow” about celebrating anniversaries, he shared that they are proud of the group’s longevity.
“I think we will probably be the most happiest when we are able to tour, period,” he added. “It’s been a year, and we have not seen the road. Trust me, the first performance, I think that’s going to be a celebration for everybody to be able to come together like normal and enjoy a concert.”
Wanya joked that if the group had kept their original name, Unique Attraction, they wouldn’t have made it long enough to be giving interviews on Zoom. And, although they’re more than ready to hit the road and perform all together once again, both men said they’d be happy for more opportunities to act.
“Acting is fun and it actually challenges us in a different way. So being able to act and do things like that is always fun, especially with the synergy between other actors and stuff, it’s a great experience,” Shawn said.
“Black-ish is such an important show and one of the more successful shows on television,” he added. “So… the fact that we were a part of not only that show, but the finale of the season, it just makes it that much more special and that’s why it was such an honor for us to be a part of it.”
Watch Boyz II Men on Black-ish‘s season finale, airing on May 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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