HollywoodLife got EXCLUSIVE scoop from Corbin Reid about the state of Sondi’s relationship with Matthew and why she feels Sondi is putting herself on the ‘backburner.’
Sondi and Matthew weren’t exactly ready to take their relationship public since he’s her thesis advisor, but life threw them a curveball on Run the World. They’re now living together but a recent conversation with one of Matthew’s colleagues has sparked doubt in Sondi’s mind. Is this the life that she really wants?
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Corbin Reid about Sondi not being completely fulfilled with her relationship — both at home and at school. She teased the tension and drama comes to a “hilarious head” in the upcoming season finale. Corbin also dished on working with Rosie O’Donnell and how she could have played another one of the Run the World girls.
Sondi has moved in with Matthew, and that’s a big step for both of them. The party at their place got really interesting, and by the end of the last episode, I feel like Sondi is starting to maybe question some things. Is that really the case?
Corbin Reid: I think in her case she’s a very outspoken, intelligent, honest, brazen young woman. She definitely speaks her mind, so for her to get into this relationship where you very much see her sort of floundering and struggling to find her voice academically because she’s studying underneath him — he’s her thesis advisor — and she’s sort of taking on his voice instead of finding her own. And then in the relationship, he’s much more established as a person. He’s got his own home and has a kid, so she’s very much trying to accommodate him at every turn. As a result of that, she is putting herself sort of on the backburner both in terms of what she needs in her personal relationship there and being a step-parent to his kid and also what she needs on an academic and professional level. It’s interesting that she would she put herself in a position where she’s becoming a bit of a people pleaser because it’s very much out of her personality. I wouldn’t expect that from her. At the end of episode 5, you totally see her starting to question what she’s doing. Like, why am I running myself in circles? She’s kind of making herself crazy because she’s obviously not comfortable and getting what she needs from him or from the relationship or at school. I think she’s worried that everyone’s judging her and maybe questioning her motives, And so she’s at this party and she’s kind of trying to prove everyone wrong in a way. You’ll definitely see a lot more of that in 6, 7, and 8. It kind of comes to a hilarious head and in episode 8 she really lets loose and goes wild.
The upcoming episode has Rosie O’Donnell as a guest star. What was it like working with her?
Corbin Reid: Honestly, I was so nervous because I’m such a huge fan. There are just so many films that she’s done that I am a huge fan of, so I was nervous. We each had our turn with her. It was actually the last episode that we shot. We shot this one out of order. We block shot the season, so we would work on a few episodes at a time, which was a little crazy. This one was just completely out of sequence. We all have our moments alone with her in our therapy sessions. I was just in a room with her for like 5 or 6 hours shooting my stuff. She was so sweet and so warm and supportive. Once, I got ready in the makeup trailer and she was in there, too. I talked to her for like an hour getting ready. She was so excited to be there and excited about the show. She’ll come back when there is, hopefully, a season 2. It was wonderful and was such an honor to get to work with her. This episode is really cool because there’s a lot of stigma around mental health in general, but specifically in the Black community. I think it’s really fun to see these characters work through their problems in a way that’s like, therapy’s important.
Now that Sondi is living with Matthew full-time, what is Sondi’s relationship like with his daughter going to be like moving forward?
Corbin Reid: She loves this little girl. We’ll see what happens in season 2 and all of that. It’s concurrent with her relationship with Matthew. Amari is his daughter. They’re not married. She has her own real mother, and she’s taking on this role because she loves being like a mentor figure almost in this little girl’s life, but also a caregiver in her life. I think you get to continue to see that. It doesn’t really alter or change over the course of the season. However, she will continue to question her relationship with Matthew and what it needs to look like for her to be okay.
In addition to Sondi’s life with Matthew, there’s Whitney’s wedding. Whitney is still keeping a big secret from her fiance Ola. What can you say about how that drama and how it builds in these final episodes to the finale?
Corbin Reid: Oh man, I can’t tell you anything about that. All I can say is you will see what happens. That’s when you’ll really get answers. I can’t say too much about it other than say things come to a head. You’re not going to get left hanging completely, but you’ll see how it gets handled. You’ve got to stick around until the end. You’re not going to get the answers before you see the finale.
All four of the ladies of Run The World are just so incredible in their own way. You’re perfect as Sondi, but was that the only character you auditioned for, or were you interested in other characters?
Corbin Reid: When I read the script, I really felt like I could see myself in all four of the women. I remember them asking me, “Which one would you want to play?” I think they’d already had Amber Stevens West as Whitney and they were auditioning Renee, Ella, and Sondi when I first went in for it. Initially, I was going to test for just Sondi, but then the day of my test, they called me two hours before and we’re like, “Actually, Leigh [Davenport] and Yvette [Lee Bowser], the creator and showrunner, really want you to test also for Ella.” I got an additional 20 pages of side, which I was happy to take on because I was like, “Look, I love this show. I want to be a part of this so bad. I’ll do anything.” I’m a theater girl, so memorizing things quickly is in my wheelhouse. I’m not going to say I’m perfect at it, but I was like, “I got this.” So I did my best and took it on. I went in there and tested for both for Ella and Sondi. They were doing mix and matching so I did read with different girls as the different characters. I was bouncing back and forth between my version of Ella that I just created two hours prior and my version of Sondi. It was a little bit of a mindplay, but it was a cool challenge. In the end, I came out as Sondi, and I think she’s really close to who I am as a person in a lot of ways. It felt right all around. But it was flattering that they were just trying to find anywhere to put me, that they wanted me on the show.