As a dark-skinned actor, you’re pretty much starting from zero every single time. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what your resume says — a lot of the determining factors for being ‘qualified’ are out of your control, no matter how much time and effort you put into the script.
Hilary has a lot of moments in Bel-Air where we see her standing up for what she believes in, standing up in her truth, which is ‘I am good enough. I am talented, and I work my ass off’. Morgan wanted me to channel that. The reason he was interested in me playing this role to begin with was the larger-than-life star quality and confidence that he saw in me. All I had to do was be me, and that was so freeing.