Tag Archives: Yvette Nicole Brown

‘Community’s’ Yvette Nicole Brown Honored by Real-Life Alma Mater

Yvette Nicole Brown NBC photo

“Community’s” Yvette Nicole Brown heads to Ohio this weekend, where she will be honored with a Distinguished Alumna Award from her real-life alma-mater, the University of Akron.  She’ll also speak to students there.  The school could not have made a better choice.

Besides her talent for being funny, the sparkling personality has a gift for encouraging others in their dreams – and is a walking testimonial to the power of hard work and education.  While attending UA on scholarship, she worked in the dean’s office, pledged a sorority, served as a school ambassador and led campus tours, was a radio DJ — and carried a full load.

These days she’s still working hard (“Community” returns for its new season tonight), but certainly has more financial leeway than back in college days.  She can, for instance, indulge her penchant for Muppets.

“I will not tell you right now how many Kermits are in my house,” she confesses.  “Every incarnation of ‘The Muppet Show’ I have watched.  I love what they embody:  believe in your dreams, take care of each other, build a community, be responsible, don’t make excuses.  It’s all solid stuff.”

We’re sure that when Kermit realizes Yvette is a fan, he’ll be very proud.

‘Community’ Finale a Game-Changer says Yvette Nicole Brown

Yvette Nicole Brown NBC photo

Look out, ‘Community’ fans — tonight’s (5/20) season finale episode ‘is a real game-changer.’ So reports the show’s Yvette Nicole Brown, who adds, ‘The study group as we know it may shift next season. What takes place in the last five to seven minutes of the episode will change the dynamic of a lot of relationships. Some will love it, some hate it. Some will go ‘Yeah! Yeah!’ and some will go, ‘What?”

How does the actress feel about it? ‘I think it’s interesting. I don’t know that I saw it coming,’ she says. ‘It doesn’t involve my character so much, so I get to be more like an observer.’

Whatever the response to the changes, the Joel McHale series featuring Chevy Chase is assured a return next season. Brown, who’s amassing her own following as loopy advice-dispensing, Baptist divorcee Shirley, feels confident her character will ‘continue to have her ups and downs, but whatever she goes through, it will be for good reasons. As crazy as our show is, it has a lot of heart.’

A Christian herself, Brown says that series creator Dan Harmon has been, and continues to be, respectful of her faith as he writes Shirley. ‘If he does something with her that creates a crisis of faith, it will be in a good way and nothing that will go against what I believe,’ she says.

In fact, Harmon has taken some cues from Brown herself when it comes to putting words into her mouth. The effervescent actress admits that friends and family ‘think I’m playing myself. Maybe a cartoon version of me. I don’t think I’m as judgmental as Shirley. My mom is convinced I’m playing her.’ And that view has some merit, Brown admits. Like Shirley, she was a divorced single parent ‘who could be very tough when she felt her babies were threatened. I saw her as sweet, kind of like a Muppet. Shirley also has those two sides.’

Don’t Look Now, but Hollywood is Bringing Us Some Positive Christian Characters

Sandra Bullock in 'The Blind Side'

Sandra Bullock in 'The Blind Side'

What do Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side,” Candace Cameron Bure in “Make it Or Break It” and Yvette Nicole Brown in “Community” have in common? Besides being famous and beautiful, that is.

Each has a character currently in a mainstream hit who is an avowed Christian, who is not a buffoon, a villain, ignorant or crazy — as has often been the case with Christian characters in product emanating from Hollywood in the last two or three decades.

Bullock’s portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, real-life adoptive mother of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, has her in the Oscar running, in fact.

Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure

Bure’s quietly faithful and sympathetic character, Summer Van Horn, is a standout in the hot ABC Family “Make it Or Break It” series about a group of champion gymnasts. She has been seen winning the confidence and friendship of the show’s beleaguered bad girl, Lauren (Cassie Scerbo).

Brown’s divorced mother, “Community” college student character, Shirley Bennett, certainly has her foibles, including repressed anger. The Christmas episode of the Joel McHale series had Shirley in a very unattractive, disapproving mode — but she learned a lesson about the perils of rushing to judgment by the end. She’s trying to be a better person and is ultimately likeable despite her failings. Those layers of character make Brown, a Christian in real life, feel happy indeed.

Yvette Nicole Brown

Yvette Nicole Brown

A hip comedy from the co-creator of “The Sarah Silverman Program” — Dan Harmon — might not be the place one would expect to find such a character, but Brown is quick to let us know that Harmon is respectful of her faith. And evidently, some of his cues about how to write Shirley’s Christian ways have come from Brown herself.

She tells us with a laugh, “Dan watches all of us like a hawk, and none of us will ever admit what things got in that made it out of our own mouths or happened in real life.”

As for what she’d like in Shirley’s future? “I’d love her to have a chaste love affair — a divorced Christian woman, a mother, wanting to keep it together ’til she gets another ring? Dealing with that mine field? It would be nice for people to see that option. I think it would be kind of cute. Goodness knows, we see enough of people going the other route.”

Stacy Jenel Smith