5 Questions with Stephen Bishop of BET’s “Being Mary Jane”

Being Mary Jane
Photo Credit: Benjo Arwas

The first three episodes of the third season of Being Mary Jane have been jaw-dropping, and Stephen Bishop’s character David has been at the center of it all. When I spoke to the actor before the Season 3 premiere, he’d been sworn to secrecy about much of the the new season, but revealed that his favorite scenes from last season were the ones he shot with Chris Spencer. “He and I have been friends for a long time,” Bishop said,” but we’d never gotten to shoot together. It was fun to see him do drama. He’s such a great standup and comedic actor! It was great, first of all, to work with him, and second, to see him do drama and really do well. I was really impressed with his skills and we had a great time.” And although Bishop couldn’t share spoilers from BMJ Season 3, he did spill personal deets in our “5 Questions.”

1. What has been one of your craziest fan encounters?
After the first season of Being Mary Jane, I was at the BET Awards and the woman sitting next to me jumped all over me about the way I was treating Mary Jane. We got into a heated discussion until I realized I was defending a television character, as though I was defending myself.

2. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
I got totally starstruck when I met Gary Oldman. I was at a pre-release party for Moneyball and I’m a huge fan of his so I went up to him and told him that I was a big fan. I could tell he was a little uncomfortable because I was gushing so much. Right in the middle of that conversation, someone walked up to both of us and started talking to me. This person had just seen Moneyball and was telling us that he was a huge fan of mine and that I had done a fantastic job. When he walked away, I looked at Gary and asked, “Did I make you as uncomfortable as that just made me?” And he was like, “Yeah.” I laughed and said, “I’m sorry, I totally get it now. I apologize.” That was my biggest starstruck moment.

3. What three things do you need in your fridge or pantry?
I eat a lot of eggs. Catfish. And since I need carbs, I’ll say angel-hair pasta.

4. If you weren’t an actor, what would you do for a living?
At this point, I would probably be a professional baseball coach or a manager. But I could also see myself being a sports analyst or an attorney, like my brother. We’ve got attorneys on both sides of my family, so when I was a kid, I said I was either going to go into sports broadcasting, law, or play professional baseball. And I got to play baseball professionally, so the other choices fell by the wayside.

5. What is your dream role?
I’ve been saying for 13 or 14 years that I’d like to be the first black James Bond. I know that there’s a lot of talk about Idris Elba being the front-runner. But I don’t want to go down without a fight, so I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and compete for that one.

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