Ava Coleman is easily one of the most entertaining characters on ABC's Abbott Elementary. And thanks to Janelle James's incredible performance, we couldn't imagine anyone else bringing the pop culture-obsessed principal to life. So, you could imagine our surprise when we discovered that Sheryl Lee Ralph—AKA Barbara Howard—initially had her eye on the role.
It may seem like an odd choice for the seasoned actress, who was practically made for her role as the no-nonsense teacher. But it turns out Ralph was eager to showcase her acting range. She told Insider, "Oh hell yes, I could've seen myself as a principal. It would've been a wonderful departure from what people saw from me."