EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

Cuba Gooding Jr. teases romance with 'Forever's' Jo Martinez

Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. has been lighting up the big screen for years. More recently, he has graced Broadway stages, and he’s now making several exciting television appearances. The EW Community caught up with the actor to talk about his guest spots on Empire and Forever, and to hear what’s coming up next for him.

EW COMMUNITY: Obviously you’ve had a very successful film career. How has the transition to television been for you?

CUBA GOODING JR.: A lot of these really interesting roles and projects have started to develop themselves made fit for the television format. You have binge-watching now, so you have the opportunity for people to not just watch a half-hour or an hour of a program or a two-hour film. Now they can literally watch a character develop over three hours, six hours, 10 hours. For me, that’s been more intriguing because I have time to really let someone not only play out the life of the character I created, but they get more of an understanding, a complete vision of a story.

I think that’s why you have so many big-time filmmakers being drawn to the television format now, because they have that opportunity to tell a wider-ranging, more encompassing tale of a story that they want to be more specific about. It’s almost like screenplays now are being turned into novelistic approaches when it comes to their execution. As an actor, it just gives you more to play with.

I was on Broadway in 2013, in a play with Cicely Tyson. It was the first time I’d done theater since high school. I forgot how amazing that act of discovery was when you can rehearse and sit with a character and understand not only where he comes from, but his environment and the people in his environment, because you’re doing the same piece over and over again and you get to really get into it. After I left Broadway, I realized I’d never look at a role the same way. You forget these tools that you learn in the theater, and it opened me up to really want to delve into the mindset of a character. All of this breaks down into why television is so attractive.

Do you have a preference among film, theater, or television?

They’re all different. It’s almost like having a preference of Chinese food over Italian or Mexican. It’s whatever you’re in the mood for or whatever you’re engaged in. It’s all about the quality of the material and the filmmaker involved. It’s more so with television because with a film, let’s say you’re doing a movie, you’re working with a director and something doesn’t click; your experience is only gonna be a handful of weeks or at most, two or three months. But when you’ve invested your time on a television series, you’re stuck with these people. So if you don’t click with them … you can not click with some of the material, you can be upset with something you can’t say, but you can work through it. But if you’re working with people for a long period of time, that’s getting into bed with a family. So I’m a little more hesitant to do that. I’m more forgiving when it comes to just popping into a role like a three-episode arc, or doing a miniseries or a film, than I am to committing to something that’s going to be a longer haul.

Speaking of guest-starring, you did one episode of Empire. Is that show as much fun to work on as it looks?

Oh, absolutely. Like Lay’s potato chips, you know. All of those people are just so talented. Taraji P. Henson is amazing. Terrence Howard is amazing. It was great to just come in and do it. It was funny because that actually came about because Lee Daniels and I are good friends, and he had an actor fall out to do a three-episode arc. I wasn’t available for three episodes, so they reworked the script so I could come in for that episode that week. I just flew in to do that series of scenes and then fly out. So who knows if I’ll be back or not, but to be able to just jump in to save the day was great, and it’s a fun show to watch. Talk about a show that’s clicking.

It’s amazing the way it’s exploding.

Crazy, right?

So crazy. So what can you tell me about your arc on Forever?

Well, I play a philanthropist that comes in. This wealthy, debonair, charming guy who the Jo character … there’s a chemistry there. I guess you would say my character is her love distraction for a few episodes, and our relationship blossoms. It was fun and Ioan is fun to work with, too. They’re both really talented, and we had fun. Every episode I tempt her on dates, so it’s another one of those fun arcs.

I don’t know if you know this, but there are vocal parts of the fanbase that are very much rooting for Jo and Henry to get together. Are you at all concerned about the way they may respond to you getting in the middle of that?

[Laughs.] Well, let’s just say that some of what the audience wants to happen will be addressed. I won’t say it’ll be resolved, but it will be addressed. And it is what it is. If I come in and they’re like, “Oh, boooo,” it is what is [laughing].

What was your favorite part about working on Forever?

There’s a couple of things. There’s this one karaoke scene that was fun, really high energy. You’ll see.

Can you tell me about any upcoming projects after your arc on Forever?

I start this Ryan Murphy anthology series, American Crime Story, next month. So I’m just going into my research. I’m playing O. J. Simpson, so that’ll be my next focus.

Forever airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like