From its inception, “Greenleaf” has been an instant hit. Through the show’s development, fans have had the opportunity to grow with and understand the cast, allowing actress Desiree Ross to capture her audience’s heart.
Beginning her career at a young age, Ross often appeared in short films and tv shows like TNT’s “Falling Skies.” Now, as a season regular on Greenleaf, Ross is determined to use her platform to inspire other girls and show them that success in Hollywood is attainable if you stay true to yourself and persistent. Though she has gained much success and still has so much more to achieve, Ross is still the typical 18-year-old that loves all things creative, her friends and family, and of course social media. Her constant posts on her Instagram of her stunning style and her having fun and being silly, allow her fans to authentically connect with her, and confirms her platform message isn’t just for show, but how she truly lives her life — carefree and passionately.
Read her exclusive interview below.
“Greenleaf” began in 2016. How have you seen your character Sophia evolve since then? How have you seen yourself develop as an actress?
Well, first of all, she went from being atheist to getting baptized and possibly wanting to be a preacher. She has matured not only as an individual but also in her faith. I’ve evolved as an actress by just having more fun, not getting too rigid in my performances, and letting the character take over instead of holding back. I can’t wait to see what this next season has in store and how Sophia and I will grow together.
What can fans expect in the next season?
Lots of drama, besides that, I know nothing and what I do know is secret.
What is something you’d like for Sophia to do in the next season?
I want her to preach to a more mature audience and take a firm stand in her beliefs. I think Sophia is in a perfect position to preach to people her own age or even adults that are older than her. Her belief is so strong and unshaken; I think it could bring something refreshing to Calvary — to hear from someone with a faith so powerful and new.
What’s it like working with Lynn Whitfield?
She is amazing. I look up to her; she’s an absolute inspiration. Working with her is so much fun because that’s exactly what she’s doing: having fun! She is the one who encouraged me to be more playful and fun and just let go when I’m acting. We really need more scenes together this season; I can’t get enough of her.
How is being a season regular, opposed to your previous film or recurring role projects?
I like it! I like the stability of knowing how long I’ll be working for and that I’ll be getting a consistent check. I’m more comfortable now this third season than I was the last two because this year my family moved to the city we film in so they’ll be right by my side this time. Season one, I had to completely uproot myself and move to a city I wasn’t familiar with and leave family behind to live with guardians that I didn’t really know all too well. I didn’t really know the cast that well either until the season progressed. Season two was better because I knew the cast like family, my dad lived with me, and I was kind of familiar with Atlanta. Now I’m all set.
You’re a young actress. How do you make sure you don’t grow up too fast in this industry?
I think keeping the right people around you helps that: people that are humble and grounded and aren’t afraid to call you out when you start doing something wrong or making decisions that don’t better yourself. The company you keep is a reflection of yourself, so make sure the people you hang with are people you would want to grow up like: successful, humble, hardworking, kind, drama free, etc.
How do you find your balance in Hollywood?
For me, I have a hard time being patient because I have so much access to see what everyone in the world is doing. I want all my success to come quick … but I know everyone’s journey is different and I have to remind myself of that and be patient. That’s one of the hardest things for me to do in Hollywood. Otherwise, good company helps me find balance. I like spending a lot of time with my family to keep me grounded.
What else are you good at creatively, besides acting?
I love singing, dancing (which I’m only partially good at, but I’m going to start taking classes), photography, and fashion design. I’m actually working on Desiree merchandise to put out, so be on the lookout.
How do you hope to inspire young women with your platform?
I want to be able to talk with girls about a series of different issues and let them know they aren’t alone and also inform them. I want to be an inspiration that your dreams really can come true if you put in an adequate amount of effort and time. Persistence is key. I’m blessed to have the platform I do to reach people and help them in whatever way I can. I love giving back.
What are your goals for 2018?
To stay focused and continue working. My goal is to work all through 2018 and to be super productive and grow as an artist and a person.