Awakened Convos: Cast of Tyler Perry’s ‘Ruthless’ Chats New Season

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Ruthless is an American drama series created, executive produced, written and directed by Tyler Perry. It is a spin-off from the BET drama The Oval. The first season of Ruthless premiered on March 19, 2020 on BET+.

On May 7, 2020, the show began airing on the BET Network following episodes of The Oval. The highly anticipated Season 2 will premiere on November 26, 2020 exclusively on BET+

I had the pleasure of speaking with Melissa L. Williams who portrays Ruth Truesdale, and Matt Cedeno who portrays The Highest.

Still from BET’s “Ruthless” episode 104. (Photo: Charles Bergmann/BET/Tyler Vision, LLC)

Naomi begins by speaking with Melissa L. Williams who portrays Ruth Truesdale, and Matt Cedeno who portrays The Highest.

Naomi: Hey Melissa and Matt. What you are looking forward to the most in this upcoming season of Ruthless?

Melissa:  I am most looking forward to seeing the fans reaction on the twist and turns that Tyler has thrown in there. We took that long break and now we are coming back where we left you in suspense with the last episode, where Tally and Ruth are in the woods with their guns and they are ready to…what are they going to do, we do not know. So, it is pretty cool to leave the viewers in suspense and to come back on that high. I want to see how people will respond.

Naomi: Awesome and what about you Matt?

Matt:  For me, I am most looking forward to, the fans who are groomed to expect the unexpected, but they are not going to expect this. It is going to be on another level of unexpectedness. So, I think that I am most looking forward to the alliances that you thought were super solid to maybe see some cracks there, some new developments. The development of the characters and the different dynamics between them, chemistry that you never thought was possible before will come to light. Mostly it is the relationship driven things that I am excited for the fans to see, where they will be like (he gestures that the audiences minds will be blown), it is a lot of fun. 

Naomi: So, speaking of the unexpected things that this new season will reveal, I know that Ruthless has a unique plot, so for our audience can you identify the character that you portray and tell me how you relate to your character?

Melissa:  Okay, so I play Ruth in Ruthless and she meets the definition of Ruthless to a T, if you were to look up Ruthless in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Ruth. This is the thing, she knows what she wants and nobody or nothing is going to stop her. She kidnapped her daughter and people did not understand how that was possible but in her Ruth fashion, she got her fellow brothers and sisters in the compound and they came in there and we got Callie and have taken her to the Ragadooshi Compound.

 I think that I identify with Ruth because of the passion that she has towards whatever goal it is. I am the same in that, nobody can really ever tell me no, especially if it is something that I want to do, and my mind is set on it, it’s like oh I hear you but I am still going to do it anyway. I think that I can feel the determination in Ruth and liken that to myself.

Matt:  My character, The Highest, you know there are not too many traits from him that I can really identify with, other than, he too is a visionary…he is like the ultimate visionary, what is admirable about him is his ability to influence so many people and to cast them under his spell. He is very charismatic and relatable in a lot of ways and it takes a little while for people to realize that there is something else that is percolating underneath; the veneer of what initially lures people to the place to begin with. I can identify with those aspects of him, being driven and trying to accomplish his goals, albeit that they are a little different than me in real life but he has got more of a troubled past that has led to him having certain behaviors that are just unacceptable. 

Naomi:  Awesome, thank you both so much, it was a pleasure to speak with you today and I will be sure to catch you in this upcoming season.

I went on to speak with, Yvonne Senat Jones who portrays Tally, Lenny Thomas who portrays the character Dikhan and Colin McCalla as River.

Naomi:  Hello cast, how is everyone? (The cast greets Naomi, stating that they are doing good). So for our audience can you describe the characters that you play and how you are able to identify with them?

Yvonne: Sure, I will start. I play Tally and identify with Tally in that, I have a tendency to be the mom of the group, to make sure that everyone is okay and taken care of. I know that Tally is very supportive of Ruth and just trying to save everyone, so a lot of the time, I tend to fall into that category. I love Tally because she has such a resilience, and she has been in the cult the longest, but she still has this fight in her to get everyone out, so I really love Tally. 

Naomi:  Cool, awesome. 

Collin:  River is a law school graduate; he is a very smart and charismatic fellow. He has come into the cult to shake things up. I can relate to his confidence a little bit, but he is way smarter than me, he has plots in his head that I could never come up with, he is a little smoother than I am. He is a smooth guy and I do not think that I am as smooth as him. Selfishly, River is my favorite character and I think that is going to be fun to see what the audience thinks of him. 

Naomi:  Cool.

Lenny: I play Dikhan, the menacing Dikhan. If agent Smith and Morpheus were fused together, that would be who Dikhan is. He is calculated beyond calculations; he is 5 steps ahead of himself sometimes. There is a smoothness about him that I sometimes identify with because I am mostly a goof ball myself, but it is really hard to say. I will do whatever it takes to get what I want done, that is where we are similar, if I put my mind to something then it is going to happen, and he is the same way. 

Naomi:  That’s great. Tell me what you all like the most about working on the set of Ruthless?

Yvonne:  I loved actually what Camp Qu (Camp Quarantine) was like, that we all lived next to each other and although we were not allowed into each other’s houses because of social distancing, we got to meet around the food trucks and it was a camp, a family. It already becomes a family on a Tyler Perry set because you all rely on each other so heavily, but this was another level because no one was leaving, we were here for the full 2 weeks filming and just being with each other. 

I love the family aspect of everybody, even in the hair and costume departments, it is a big family whenever you are on a Tyler Perry studio set.

Collin:  For me, it is the people. My favorite thing about acting is just reacting off of other people and creating something with other people and this cast has been my favorite actors to work with to date. These guys are so creative, fun, and so surprising, they surprise me…it’s crazy, it is so much fun. So, it is just the people for me. 

Lenny:  I agree. I think that I am spoiled now because I am going to want a Camp Qu situation when I go to work on another project, and it is not going to be the case, but you know one can dream. The bar has been set so high for any other project that I do from here on out…seriously because Mr. Perry has set a standard and I know that I am probably never going to get close to this again but I am going to shoot for it because it is too good to not have in as many aspects of your career as possible.

We get to do this amazing thing, we can play make believe on film, that is beautiful in and of itself. So, the experience I feel like, should be a family affair. It should feel like a family reunion, the vibes are beautiful. We come in here and we do this really difficult thing and the best part of it is that we build together, and it lasts forever. So yes, high standards. 

Naomi:  I agree that the family aspect is very important. Thank you all so very much for taking some time out to speak with me today and I am looking forward to tuning in to Season 2 of Ruthless. 

ABOUT AUTHOR

  • Naomi K. Bonman

    Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

Naomi K. Bonman

Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

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