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When Nice Gals Finish First | An Interview with Yvette Nicole Brown and Kiersey Clemons

The phrase “Girl Power” can mean different things to different people. After interviewing Yvette Nicole Brown and Kiersey Clemons, two extremely nice powerhouses on the set of Lady and the Tramp, it was refreshing to hear that nice gals and guys can  indeed finish first. However, you don’t have to step on people to get there. If you want to hear good advice on how to be successful and be a good person, check out these words of wisdom. 

Interview with Yvette Nicole Brown and Kiersey Clemons

He Wanted Us Individually

The niceness started from the beginning. Both Yvette (Aunt Sarah) and Kiersey (Darling) told us how they received letters from the Director Charlie Bean expressing how excited he was for them to be on this beautiful film with everyone.

Yvette said, “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a letter from a director. I’m the one going, ‘Dear Sir or Madame…’ and being very nice. You know, so the idea that he wanted us, individually, each one of us, he picked us to come and play which is amazing.”

Yvette Nicole Brown Can Act

Brown’s character, Aunt Sarah, despises dogs. This is the exact opposite from her! “This is the biggest acting job I’ve ever done because I love dogs so much, and have to be so hateful.”

It was her mother who encouraged her to audition for the role when Yvette Nicole Brown was hesitant. “My mom said it’s Lady and the Tramp; it’s Disney; you’ll get to be on set with dogs; you’re going to the audition.”  I guess Mother Gothel from Tangled was right. Mother knows best.

Aunt Sarah in Lady and the Tramp

Either Everybody Matters or Nobody Matters

In following with the mother knows best theme, someone commented on Nicole Yvette Brown’s positive energy. She said she learned that from her mom.

Yvette Nicole Brown: “She just kinda told us that either everybody’s special, or nobody is. So you don’t get to walk around in life as if the sun rises on your doorstep, and everybody else is beneath you. Either everybody matters, or nobody matters, and so that kind of equalizes things, especially on a set where there’s some people that walk around with who I – no, you’re not. It’s just a job.
We all have a job. Some people are in front of the camera, and some people are taking down cables, but everybody matters. Nothing gets done on the set unless everybody shows up and does what they’re job is. So she taught me that. She was a secretary for thirty-two years; my dad was a custodian for thirty-five years, so I come from hardworking midwestern people. And so you just take that mindset with you wherever you go. At least I try to.”
And that’s when the tears came for me. You know they do on every visit, someone gets me, and this time it was Yvette Nicole Brown. I talked to her about how her gratitude resonated with me, and my eyes welled up, because I was so grateful for that moment right then and to be on set. She looked straight back at me, “Don’t do it to me.” See, we’re the same. Besties, already. 

“I can’t do anything without God. I literally decided when I entered this industry, the moment I had to set God down to go forward, I won’t go forward. So that meant if it was a role that I had to put something aside to do it, I wouldn’t do it. If I had to stab someone in the back or step on somebody’s neck to get ahead, I wasn’t gonna go ahead. I need to be able to sleep at night. And when you do dirty things, you can’t sleep well.”

Yvette Nicole Brown is a napper, and so am I. So yes, Virginia, good people can finish first. Bravo to the whole cast of Lady and the Tramp for this incredible love letter.


About Lady and the Tramp

In Disney+’s “Lady and the Tramp,” a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home. Life is good for Lady, an overachieving American Cocker Spaniel who resides in an upscale suburban neighborhood. Her owners, Jim Dear and Darling, spoil her daily and her neighbors, Jock, an outspoken Scottish Terrier and Trusty, a world-weary Bloodhound, are always within barking distance. But when a baby enters the picture, Lady is no longer the center of attention, and the arrival of catloving Aunt Sarah only complicates matters.

Lady soon finds herself alone on the streets in an unwelcoming part of town. Fortunately, Tramp steps in, and the streetwise mongrel is quick to teach her the ways of the world. Before long, the prim and proper pure bred and the fast-talking mutt are partaking in moonlight strolls in the park and romantic spaghetti dinners by candlelight. Tramp savors the independence of a world without leashes or fences alongside his roguish friends Peg and Bull, but Lady misses the comfort and safety of a family, and soon both must decide where – and with whom – they belong.

A heartwarming romantic adventure that seamlessly combines live action and photorealistic animation, “Lady and the Tramp” stars: Tessa Thompson as the voice of Lady and Justin Theroux as the voice of Tramp; Kiersey Clemons as Darling; Thomas Mann as Jim Dear; Janelle Monáe as the voice of Peg; Yvette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah; and Sam Elliott as the voice of Trusty. The film is directed by Charlie Bean from a screenplay by Andrew Bujalski and Kari Granlund, and is produced by Brigham Taylor with Diane L. Sabatini serving as executive producer.

“Lady and the Tramp” premieres on November 12, 2019, streaming only on Disney+.

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