Celebrity Spotlight: Judas and the Black Messiah’s Alysia Joy Powell
Tell me a bit about yourself and career.
My parents met in an Acting Class. My Dad was a working actor. I wanted to follow in his footsteps but I’m a late bloomer, being in the business for 20+ years. I started off in the Gospel industry as a singer, I managed artists, then got into acting. I’m originally from California and now, I live in Brooklyn, NY. Still a Film and TV girl, although I love the stage as well. My other talents are writing, poetry, making jewelry, and I design Plus Sized clothing.
How would you describe Judas and the Black Messiah?
The story centers around the life of Chairman Fred Hampton of The Black Panther Party of Chicago. But, as the title implies, it’s about the ultimate betrayal by one that is closest to you.
What attracted you to the role?
My career prior to now has be mostly comedy but I love drama. This was important as far as a turn in my career so people could see another side to my work. But this role turned out to be so much more than that.
In what ways do you relate to your character?
Being a Black woman, I have felt the grief of loss that my community has endured. Doing this role has made me feel empowered and it made me a maternal representative of mothers who have lost children to police brutality.
What was it like working with such a great cast?
I was on the set the 1st day of shooting, so my interaction was mostly with Daniel. I loved working with him. He was very generous and present. Especially with me having the majority of the dialogue. He took the ride with me, to the end.
What were some challenges of playing the role?
I was blessed not to have challenges. I was most concerned about staying present. When I got to set, you could feel the intensity. At one point, they called cut on the scene, and I looked up to see the camera man teary eyed. I knew I was present. I knew I was where I needed to be.
What are some of your favorite memories from working on set?
I had been researching my role. I didn’t know if my character was fiction or a real person. The day that I got to set, I was talking to another cast member and discovered an article on my characters’ son. It totally changed everything. When I got on set the day of shooting I asked everyone I came in contact with if I could tell them of my son’s story. It set the tone and gave it weight for me.
What else are you working on?
I’m working on a One Woman Show I wrote, Different Shades of Love.
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
I am a Licensed Nurse, a Full Spectrum Doula, a Lactation counselor, and an Activist for Moms and Babies of color. I am also a huge sports fan.
What are you watching on TV these days?
I love Queen Latifah in The Equalizer. We needed a kick ass, crime fighting woman in our lives. Between the hair and the motorcycle, I’m sold. A black woman’s hair has never looked so good on TV. I also like Nurses on NBC. I was a nurse for 20 years, so I wanted to see how closely they were coming to a nurse’s story and they are doing a great job of telling those stories.
Anything else you want to share?
I’m single. Lol.