Karimah Westbrook, who plays Grace on the popular CW series, All American, chatted with us about what to expect from the upcoming Season 2!
All American is a new CW series that has become a breakout hit on Netflix. The show has frequently been trending over the last few months, and many fans are looking forward to the premiere of its second season this October.
We had the chance to speak with Karimah Westbrook, who plays the mother of Spencer James, Grace, on the series. Aside from All American, you can also spot the accomplished actress in films like Bolden, Suburbicon, and The Rum Diary.
She recently confirmed she’ll be playing the role of Karen in the highly-anticipated film After We Collided, the follow-up to this year’s After, based on the popular book series written by Anna Todd.
Hidden Remote: The last time we spoke it was towards the end of season one, and you guys didn’t know if you were going to be renewed. How did you find out, and what was the reaction?
Karimah Westbrook: We were all very excited. When All American went to Netflix, the numbers were really high. We were trending for a few weeks. Shortly after that, we got the news we would be renewed for a second season.
HR: It seems like it’s doing super well on Netflix. I’ve seen so many people talking about it now that it is available to stream.
KW: Yeah, that’s true. It has given the show a lot more exposure, which is really nice.
HR: During our last interview, I know you were working on the film Bolden. You’ve just announced that you’ll be part of the upcoming film After We Collided. That’s exciting.
KW: Very exciting, the fandom for that book series is so huge. It’s just nice to see it and be welcomed in the way they have, into the After family.
HR: Going back to All American, at the end of season one Grace got into a new romantic relationship with Micah. Is that something we will see continue into season two?
KW: In season two, Grace is definitely still opening herself up to love and hoping to find true love, so I think you guys will see a little bit of Micah in season two.
HR: In the season finale, we discovered a huge bombshell concerning the possibility that Dillon may not be Cory’s son. What was your reaction to reading that in the script?
KW: I cried. I really cried. I was like, “Oh my god!” Because I’m surprised just as you guys are when you watch it, I don’t know until I read the script what’s going to happen. It was very shocking for me and sad.
HR: How would Grace react if Spencer decides he’s going to return to Crenshaw and play for Cory?
KW: Grace has worked hard to position Spencer for a different experience at Beverly High, and so if he chooses to come back to Crenshaw High, I don’t think it would be something that she would approve of, just because she worked so hard to get him out of that environment. So if he chooses to come back, I think she would have a problem with it.
HR: It seems like there is still so much left to explore between Grace and Cory, is that something we’ll see happen in the second season?
KW: You will definitely see the impact of Cory returning to Crenshaw and how it affects our family dynamic going forward.
HR: Is there anything you specifically would like to see in season two in regards to Grace or even Spencer or Dillon?
KW: I would like for the James family, for all of us to be happy with the journeys that we’re on without any huge obstacles or setbacks. It always seems like there could be something right around the corner. It would be nice for us to have a good groove with us moving forward and finding peace with everything that’s happened while still having a strong family structure, you know, which includes Cory.
For my character, Grace, I’m hoping that she starts to move towards her personal fulfillment and look at some of the things that make her happy and move in those directions. But you know, it’s a drama, so it’s not going to be all smooth sailing.
HR: Do you feel like the core family dynamics are one of the things that draw people to the show?
KW: I feel like people relate to both families on the show. With Grace being a single mom, that is a reality for a lot of moms out there, raising kids on their own, raising boys specifically. I think it definitely does reflect the life of a lot of women, so they’re drawn to watch how that experience plays out on television and relate to that.
As well as the boys too, I get a lot of messages from kids on social media, just boys expressing things about me as a mom. I’ve even had moms reach out to me saying “last night’s episode was really powerful, it helped open up a dialogue between my son and me.” So when I read stuff like that, it’s very humbling and reaffirms the power of art.
HR: It’s incredible to know how impactful the show has been to its audience.
KW: Absolutely, it’s a blessing for sure.
HR: I’m looking forward to watching the show when it comes back in October. I wish you guys all the luck, and hopefully, it’ll go on for many more seasons!
KW: Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Good talking to you again!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
All American returns for season two on October 7, 2019. Season one is now streaming on Netflix.