Who Is DeWanda Wise? New Details On The Star Of 'Someone Great' On Netflix

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Who Is DeWanda Wise? New Details On The Star Of 'Someone Great' On Netflix

Have you checked out Netflix's Someone Great yet? The Netflix original follows Jenny (played by Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez) on the day after she broke up with her boyfriend of nine years. She convinces her best friends Blair and Erin to blow off work and join her for day-drinking, a little drug use and a concert where Jenny, of course, runs into her ex-boyfriend. All of this takes place literally on the day after the breakup so emotions are loaded. The character Erin absolutely steals nearly every scene she is in. Playing the role of Erin is relative newcomer (well, she's been acting for years but is now just hitting it big) DeWanda Wise. Who is DeWanda Wise?

1. Early days

DeWanda Wise was born DeWanda Jackson in Jessup, Maryland. She was raised in Baltimore, Laurel and Woodlawn. She attended Atholton High School where she thought she wanted to be a therapist until she took AP Psychology and decided it wasn't for her. She started acting during her sophomore year when her high school theatre director offered her a role in a play instead of detention. She graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in drama and urban studies. She was at NYU at the same time as her Someone Great costar Gina Rodriguez. While she was in college, she was a resident assistant and worked as a stocker at Trader Joe's. 

2. Early acting career

After graduating from NYU, DeWanda booked a number of roles in short films and TV shows like Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, Boardwalk Empire and The Mentalist. She had a recurring role on Underground, which also starred her husband Alano Miller. 

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3. Her breakout role

Though DeWanda has been acting for more than a decade, her breakout role came when Spike Lee cast her as the title character Nola Darling in the updated version of Lee's 1986 classic She's Gotta Have It. In the Netflix series, DeWanda's Nola is a sex-positive, polyamorous pansexual who doesn't believe in monogamy. She also appears in Jordan Peele's adaptation of The Twilight Zone

4. She gets by with a little help from her friends

Throughout the course of her career, DeWanda has lived by one premise: make movies with your friends. It isn't unusual for the actress to call up a college friend to see if there's a role for her in any of his or her upcoming projects. Or she may meet a director at a party, hit it off and connect on social media only to have that director send her a DM saying "What are you doing in December 2017." To which, DeWanda replied, "Chillin' why? We making a movie?" That turned out to be the upcoming romantic comedy Weekend, which is about a comedian who visits her parents bed and breakfast with her ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend.

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5. The key to the cast's chemisty in Someone Great 

One of the things that makes Someone Great so fun is the chemistry between cast members Gina Rodriguez, DeWanda Wise and Brittany Snow. The film's writer and director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson told The Hollywood Reporter that is all started over brunch. She said: "We had that bond, and then the four of us came together, and we had a short rehearsal process, but I would say the moment that really solidified it was very early on, the four of us went to brunch. It was kind of a sleepy, stuffy restaurant in Beverly Hills, and we were all just screaming. It was mayhem. I am so surprised we didn't get kicked out. I walked out of that brunch and the chemistry was so instant and it felt like lightning in a bottle."

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.