Gabrielle Monique Union Wade is an American actress and former model. Among her notable roles is her performance as the cheerleader opposite Kirsten Dunst in the film Bring It On,. In 2000, she played a medical doctor in the CBS drama series City of Angels. In 2003, Union starred opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the hit film Bad Boys II. Also in 2003, she starred with LL Cool J in Deliver Us from Eva. In 2008, she was featured in the film Cadillac Records with Adrien Brody, Beyoncé Knowles and Jeffrey Wright. In 2012, Union was featured in an ensemble cast of the film version of Think Like a Man.
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Hello everyone. I'm an actress, and a stepmom. And I believe that whatever incarnation your family comes in – that’s good enough. It’s about unconditional love and inclusion. Everyone has a place. Everyone matters. I partnered with Tylenol on the campaign How We Family – a program to instill pride and confidence in all the ways in which we do family today. You can learn more about it here: http://howwefamily.com/
I'm here with Victoria to answer your questions. AMAA.
Update: Thanks everybody for your questions. Thank you for making me think (I usually get a lot of dimwit dumb actor questions, so I appreciate the thoughtfulness). And I hope you take time to check out HowWeFamily.com, see my family story, share yours, and join me in the call to action to celebrate all families.
Is Dwyane staying with the Heat?
I have an embarrassing admission to make..I'm a 34 year old guy and in 2001, Bring It On was the reason my Blockbuster membership got revoked. I kept it for 9 months....granted I could have paid the fees and rented again but that was like $350 in 2001 money.
So my question to you is...Can I maybe get a bluray copy from you?
I don't have my OWN copy of BRING IT ON, so if you still have your VHS copy of BRING IT ON, can I borrow it from you?
Meet me at the corner 7/11. I'll be there at 10.
i want to ask you something deep and meaningful but, honestly, I've been waiting my entire life to ask you: HOW do you keep your skin so stunningly beautiful?!?
You know...uh...water. I drink a gallon of water a day.
You pee a lot. But the other side effect is healthy skin, nails and hair.
so can you ever just be whelmed ?
I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be underwhelmed, but you can, in fact, be whelmed.
I'm whelmed right now!
Is Idris Elba as awesome as I imagine him to be?
And that accent...but he's like, a man's man without being chauvinist. He's effortlessly badass. And funny.
What is your best memory of making Bad Boys II? That is still the best car chase I've ever seen.......42 cars and a boat.
Best memory...hanging out in Puerto Rico when we were shooting the big finale action sequence. Will would do this thing where he would have a spray bottle and then pretend to sneeze on your neck. It worked every time. Because it was so gross, the thought of someone sneezing on you!
What was the most embarrassing moment of your life?
I choked during a soccer shoot-out. I missed the whole goal in a big soccer tournament, a championship. I was the 11th shooter, the goalie shot before me, and I just psyched myself out, and not only did I miss, I missed the entire goal, because I shanked it so far right. We lost, I turned to my dad, and he was making the "choke" sign.
Thanks for doing this AMA!
I just wanted you to know that as a Black woman, you've been such an inspiration to me for as long as I can remember. Has your race been a barrier in the industry? If so, how did you overcome it, and do you have any advice for another Black woman in a male-dominated industry?
I'm sure my race has stopped me, I'm sure. Racism is not always overt, and there's a lot of other code words that are used instead of flat-out saying "We don't want a black woman." But luckily I've been fortunate that there's enough open-minded people that actually believe in diversity, and those people have supported my career and provided jobs. And now that I'm an executive producer with my own production company, I try to provide opportunities for other marginalized people.
But I think having an education, having a college degree, has always given me extra confidence - knowing that I can do all kinds of things.
My advice would be to get as much education as possible. And find a passion outside of the industry that can keep you going, and keep you inspired, when the industry gets you down.
What was the scariest/creepiest thing that has ever happened to you?
Well, people following you into the bathroom, reaching under the stall with all kinds of things... things for you to sign, or a phone, to talk to their mother on the phone... I guess that'd be the creepiest.
With all this new hype with super hero movies. If offered would you be in one? And if you got to choose who would it be?
I've even like, researched black female superheroes! I would LOVE. So give me one I can campaign for! That you guys would like to see me do!
Could you give an honest critique of Dwyane's interviewing skills?
He surprised me! I'm actually VERY Impressed. I've given him a few tips. And all the notes I gave him after the first interview he actually applied to the second. And he's steadily improved with each segment. I'm actually really impressed!
Love and basketball has got to be my all time favorite love film. Who would win 1 on 1. You or Dwayne?
In basketball? Dwyane.
In fake-acting basketball? Me.
Are you watching the finals with DWade, are you guys rooting like heck for Lebron and Co?
Also, what are your thoughts on moving to Cleveland for the next few years?
Also, you were the best cheerleader on Bring It On. Hah. Go get em.
I haven't actually had the chance to watch WITH him in the finals. We've both been working. Obviously, we're friends with Lebron, it's one of his best friends, if not his best friend, so we're a little biased. And half the Heat team is on the Cavs, so it's like Heat North!
(And clearly, you have some vision problems, I was the worst cheerleader in BRING IT ON, but thank you!)
Also, I forgot to tell you....Go Big Red! It is so cool that your Wikipedia page mentions Cornhusker football.
I AM A HUGE Cornhusker fan. HUGE. Massive! I have a sports bar in our house, in Miami, and the bulk of it is, I would say 80-90% of it, is Cornhusker related, and then I have a little corner of Heat-stuff. My favorite Cornhusker of all time is Tom Frazier. Natch.
What inspired you to become an actress?
I was working at the bookstore, making $6.16 an hour, and that's after 3 raises and glowing evaluations, and I started an internship at a modeling agency, and I booked my first modeling gig pretty fast, and they paid me $125 for the day. And I thought I think there's something to this whole entertainment business.
What is the most interesting character that you've played, and why?
Oh! Well, I did a movie called NEO NED, a little indie with Jeremy Renner, and she was a patient in a mental institution who believed she had the soul of Hitler trapped insider her. And Jeremy was in there for a hate crime, against a black man. And they fall in love, and run off together, and live in a trailer park.
I don't know why it wasn't a smash!
I actually use the product! So it's an easy brand to get behind, because it's been a part of my life my whole life - headaches, aches and pains... and it's been around a long time. It's been in family medicine cabinets, including my own family's. So it's a really organic relationship for me.
What have you learned from being a stepmom? What is your next film role?
My next film role is SLEEPLESS NIGHTS with Jamie Foxx, and it's an action movie, and I just wrapped on BIRTH OF A NATION, which is the Nat Turner story, directed by Nate Parker and also starring Nate Parker.
I've learned to be consistent, I've learned to be patient, and I've learned that you can never replace anyone's parents, so don't try - just try to be a reasonable, helpful adult person in their life that supports them.
How you doin'?
How YOU doin'?
(said like Joey Tribbiani on FRIENDS)
How did you and D-Wade meet?
We met at a Superbowl party!
Thanks for the reply. I'm just starting in production and it can be tough sometimes living in macho-land. Definitely printing this out and putting it somewhere important!
Tenacity and adopting the mantra of being allergic to no will be key for you.
Because you're going to hear 1,000 "no's" but there is a yes out there.
So when you get there, kick the door down, but hold it open for the next guy.
Are you coming back for Bad Boys 3?
If there is one!
If you were not an actress what would you like to be?
I used to want to be a lawyer. But after playing lawyers on television, and employing a number of them...I would probably be a social worker. Or a veterinarian.
I just wanted to ask how do you and Dwayne manage both of your careers and have enough time for each other at the same time?
A lot of flying! And a lot of sacrifice.
So, how're you doing?
I'm good. I'm here launching the Tylenol How We Family campaign, which celebrates families of all different kinds. The idea that you are golden by birthright, and whatever incarnation of your family is good enough is amazing, and there's no need to explain it.
So after this, I'm going to be headed to Access Hollywood Live today, where I'll be talking more about the campaign.
But for now, I'm here at reddit.
Do you still speak to any of the actors from Bring It On?
I do! I see Eliza a lot, and Nicole Bilderback, Bianca Kajlich, and I talk to Brandi and Shamari from Blaque.
What was the best moment of your life?
August 30th, 2014, getting married.
What acting role have you had that was the most difficult, or challenging?
The most challenging was the one I just filmed for BIRTH OF A NATION. It was by far the most challenging, frightening, and rewarding role I've had to date. I play a married slave whose rape triggers the insurrection. So it's a very powerful film. And it's based on historic events.
Do you still support president Obama?
Ha, great response Gabrielle.
Thanks for doing the AmA, wish you nothing the best with the new family and life!
PS: Message me once you find out where Wade goes, for your sake I hope he stays in Miami :). But I know you wouldn't mind watching him in June the next few years as well!
Do you watch the HBO series Game of Thrones and if so who's your favorite character?
I don't watch. I did role-play Daenerys for THINK LIKE A MAN 2. I had a costume with the long blonde hair and everything. Jerry was Khal Drogo. It's all coming back to me now!
What was your favorite scene to film in Bad Boys 2? And what was is like working with Michael Bay?
I love Michael Bay. He's actually a Miami guy, a Heat fan, he lives near me.
My favorite scene to film... probably the car chase. It was epic. It took a few days to film, because it was over a few different locations. We shut down the MacArthur Causeway. If i was living in Miami, and they shut down the MacArthur Causeway, I would've hated the movie! I can't believe they gave them permission to do that...
As an African American actress, what's your opinion on the tv show Empire? Would you ever consider guest starring?
I would guest-star in a hot second if they would have me! I've actually lobbied Lee Daniels for a role. And EMPIRE stars so many people that I'm friends with, and I love that they're employed, and that the show is using people who are under-employed and under-utilized, and certainly under appreciated.
Hey Gabrielle, I think you are very beautiful and talented, and I've seen every show and every movie you been in and you have always been so strong and powerful, how did you get your start?
I got my start on SAVED BY THE BELL: THE NEW CLASS. And I was Mistletoe Girl Number 2.
That was literally my first job. And I also did a 1-800-DENTIST commercial. And that's how i got my SAG card.
You were fantastic playing Renee on Ugly Betty. Thank you for taking that role.
What was it like working on the show? It was such a refreshing and different series than I'd ever seen before.
I LOVE Vanessa Williams. I've been obsessed with her for 1,000 years. So I was humbled and thrilled to be on the show. And America is as amazing as advertised. So it was a treat to be around those ladies. And Rebecca Romijn is my neighbor, so it was a reunion!
What do you look for when choosing a new role?
The people I'm working with. The material.
What was your most favorite acting role?
Probably being Mary Jane in BEING MARY JANE. Because I've had the chance to fail and get it right with her over 3 seasons and a pilot. Usually with a movie you've got one shot at it, pretty much. But with a TV show that we just finished season 3 for, I've had a chance to learn and grow with the character. So that!
I guess this isn't the sort of question, you would usually get, but what do you think is wrong with the world today and what should be done about it?
Where do I start and how long do I have?
Wade is staying in Miami right?
That's a great Dwyane question!
What's your best or favourite movie/TV show to have ever been involved in?
BEING MARY JANE, OF COURSE!