Theodore Barnes is back as Junebug Williams for season two of the BET+ comedy series “The Ms. Pat Show.”
Based on the stand-up comedy and memoir of Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams, the show follows Williams as a fictionalized version of herself; a former convicted felon turned suburban mom whose hustle and resilient spirit was forged on the streets of Atlanta. As Junebug, Theordore plays Williams’ youngest son who brings all the real, relatable teenage comedy.
Additional credits for Theodore include appearing as Brian Walls on ABC’s currently airing hit series “The Goldbergs,” a series regular lead on Netflix’s “Prince of Peoria” and guest-starring roles on “Goliath” on Amazon & “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on FOX. In addition to his career, Theodore has supported California’s Heal the Bay Coastal Cleanup, which inspired him to have a deep love and care for the ocean, beaches, and coastlands. He has also volunteered over the past years with Habitat for Humanity, helping families across southern California build and improve their homes.
Check out our interview with Theodore!
What are people in for with season two?
Theodore: You are in for season one on steroids, that’s for sure. Season two is a couple steps up. I know with season one I’ve said it was gonna be a step up but season two is a couple steps up. We are visiting a lot of current situations and things that are going on in the world and we’re just telling them from our perspective and our point of view and our opinions. And it’s, once again, like season one, it’s unfiltered. We’re not holding back. We’re getting down to the nitty gritty. That’s a good word to use, but I definitely describe season two as season one on steroids because I thought season one was a lot, but when I came back for season two, and looking at the scripts I was like, ‘oh, okay, we’re going all in, we’re raising the stakes here.’ So there’s definitely some stuff, without saying too much.
Last season dealt with themes of social media and race and human rights. Are those conversations going to be continued in addition to some newer ones?
Theodore: Yes, we definitely use those as, you know, in remembrance, so to speak, for these new themes. We do have a few new themes, you know, abortion or gun control, which those, in itself, we could talk all day about that. So, we definitely are revisiting and there’s not too much on the revisiting but, you know, it’s how we deal with certain things as a black family, you know, a lot of times we might say stuff in the house that will never go outside. We’ve been taught, you know, what we say in this house stays in this house, but we are opening the door and we’re inviting the world in to come have this conversation with us.
According to the character description, Junebug “brings the real relatable teenage comedy.” What exactly does that mean going into season two?
Theodore: It means, well, for season one, yes it means that, and for season two it means that again, but I will say for season two, it’s more so of the situations that Junebug is in. Season one was, you know, the comedy, the smart remarks and certain things like that, and in season two, it’s the same way, but he has situations that we address with him that are like, ‘oh, yeah.’ There is going to be a majority of people that are going to look at Junebug’s situations and go, ‘yep, I remember when I went through that,’ or, ‘I remember when I had to have that conversation with my mom and dad,’ or, you know, ‘yep, I remember when I was doing this or I was doing that, but I didn’t really know what I was doing until I got older.’ So for season two, Junebug is relatability is going to apply to the situation and his actions this time.
Do you feel that way with him as far as relatability?
Theodore: Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, when I hear him, even though I’m, you know, portraying Ms. Pat’s son, I definitely, definitely feel that. Even when me and Jordan talk about it, about where the character is going, it’s like, ‘okay, yeah, definitely, I can see that.’ When people watch it, they don’t be like, ‘Oh, okay! That’s what he meant.’
What is it like working with Ms Pat?
Theodore: Oh, it is lovely. It’s like, I don’t drink coffee, but it’s like having coffee first thing in the morning on an early Monday, you know, but think about that feeling 24/7. And especially when we have scenes together, you know, you just always gotta be on your toes. You don’t know what she’s gonna say or what she’ll do and I think that’s really the best part of working with her. She always keeps it fresh. And, you know, she pours in and, you know, we pour into her. So the fact that she’s always, you know, down to clown and she’s always keeping it fresh is really just unbeatable. There’s never a dull moment with Ms. Pat.
Is it hard to get through a scene without laughing?
Theodore: Yeah. I wouldn’t say it’s hard, we’ve just kind of accepted that on set like, ‘this might be something that we all might break. If we all break, shoot, we just broke.’ We have conversations sometimes it’s like, ‘okay, guys, we know this is gonna be funny. So let’s just prepare ourselves. Let’s try to stay in it because it’ll be such a great take if we can stay in it.’ But we’ve gotten better. We’re still working on it, but we’ve gotten better.
Was there anything that you learned from season one that you brought into season two that really helped you out this season?
Theodore: Yeah. I would say being on set and, you know, not suggesting certain things with the character, as far as Junebug, but- well, for all of us, I feel like in season one we were allowed to, you know, add and suggest and say certain things, but it was different. It was our first season, we’re trying a whole bunch of stuff, but, you know, it’s like, ‘okay, wherever we try has to work,’ because you know, season one is like a newborn, I guess. This is our first look and like, coming back for season two has been way more I would say collaborative, you know, with everybody adding, taking stuff away, like certain movements and, you know, shout out to Jordan and the whole writing team for allowing that because that helps us to grow as actors and it keeps our competence up. So, I would definitely say the collaboration from season one and season two that I’ve been involved in. I love it.
What is something that you are very excited for people to see when season two comes out?
Theodore: Well, I’m excited for it to come out because, you know, like I said before, there’s a lot of things and we go over and not a lot of shows do that. We’re probably the only show that was really doing that for real, just not holding back. But also for people to see as well that, you know, season one was good, but of course, like any show that gets a lot of traction the first season, it’s like, ‘okay, can they continue that, can they can they keep that up?’ And I’m excited to see how the people react to it. I haven’t seen all of season two yet, but I was there every day working, you know, playing with it and having fun with everybody. So, I saw the reaction we were getting from people on set, so I’m just really excited to see how the world, you know, says, ‘okay, they came hard in season one but they backed it up with season two.’
If fans want to connect with you, how can they do that? Are you on social media?
Theodore: I do. My Instagram is @theodorebarnes, it’s just my name. I always respond. For those that follow me, they know I always respond to comments. I respond to everybody’s comments. Certain DM’s, of course, they are, you know, appropriate, I will respond. But, you know, I love them. They take the time to come support my page and talk to me, comment, and give me some good vibes. So hey, I’m gonna return that favor.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about the “The Ms. Pat Show”?
Theodore: August 11th, be ready. We’re back!