Gabrielle Union Chats ‘New Money’, ‘To Be Real’ & the Shows She’s Obsessed with Right Now

Gabrielle Union is spilling the tea on her newest projects.

PureWow had the pleasure of chatting with the Bring It On alum, who is now partnering with Ford to help charities supporting the LGBTQ community and women in need. Aside from discussing her passion for giving back, Union also opened up a few of her upcoming shows that are currently in development, including queer teen series To Be Real and the Showtime comedy, New Money.

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To Be Real, which will follow a trio of queer high school seniors on their quest to attend their first Pride parade, will be produced by Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions in partnership with Amazon Studios. And the bonus? It'll be directed by none other than Emmy winner Billy Porter.

While discussing her inspiration for the series, Union told us, “It’s based on my own experience with my daughter Zaya and wanting to go to Pride, and her saying ‘I’ve always wanted to go to Pride.’ And I’d gone to Pride all over the world so I was like, ‘I can absolutely make that happen for you.’ But just knowing that the child who had complete access to Pride didn’t feel that she had that access, the idea sprang from that. So if you live someplace that didn't have a Pride or it wasn't the Pride of your dreams and you're trying to get to a [different] Pride, what would that be like?”

Described as a cross between Superbad and Booksmart, Union promises that the edgy comedy will deliver plenty of laughs while tackling real stories that are often overlooked. She said, “We just wanted to make the funniest, raunchiest, most accurate road trip movie that we've ever seen, that centers marginalized folks from the LGBTQ community, which we never see.”

She continued, “Usually, the characters that we center in this particular narrative are the sassy friend to the main characters, but we've assembled marginalized characters that are rarely, if ever, centered. [We see what] their journey is like, as they’re finding their community and reaching all of their dreams and having an epic, unforgettable trip in the process.”

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Since To Be Real is still in the earlier stages of development, a release date hasn’t been confirmed. But fans will be happy to know that Union also has a second comedy in the works—one that will definitely resonate with women who’ve climbed up the financial ladder in their careers.

New Money will revolve around a group of Black women in their 30s who’ve achieved financial independence and solidified their careers. But unfortunately, with “new money” comes new problems, from fake friends and greedy family members to unwelcome media attention.

Union said, “This show came about because I have some pretty amazing friends that I’ve known in this industry for a long time. Obviously I work a lot with the media, and on Being Mary Jane I got to meet a lot of Black women journalists and really dive a lot deeper into their journey. I knew I was just playing [a news anchor], but I thought, ‘Tell me more about your life and your journey. Tell me about how your visibility and your fame and money impacted your families.’ So I knew what it was like for me, and it was just us choppin’ it up like, this could be a show about when you’re the first generation with just a little bit, how it can change the trajectory of your life and your whole family’s life.”

The actress also revealed that the series will explore issues like one-sided friendships and maintaining healthy boundaries with loved ones. She continued, “You kind of realize that, oftentimes, the love is not always unconditional. What happens to your heart and to your mind when you realize that the relationships you've always assumed were more equitable, become conditional, based on what you give people? And how they feel about you is tied into what you give them, what access you allow? What is your obligation to the community and to your family? Are you your brother's keeper? We just wanted to tell that story in a funny way.”

Unfortunately, fans will have to wait a little while before they can enjoy the first episodes of this new series, but if you’re looking for a great show to binge in the meantime, Union has a few suggestions.

She told us, “At the moment I’m watching The Morning Show and On My Block. I always recommend those. But on that international tip, Blood & Water. I’m obsessed. I mean, I binged it in one sitting.”

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for new updates on New Money and To Be Real, but until then, we’ll just watch what Gabrielle’s watching.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...