( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Aba Arthur Discusses New Project “Bad Monkey” With Vince Vaughn
ENSPIRE Contributor: Gabrielle Maya
Praise the recent film “The Color Purple,” which was released nationwide in theaters on December 25th, 2023. The renowned actress Aba Arthur plays the character Abena in “The Color Purple.” You may recognize her from the 2022 blockbuster film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Aba Arthur was born in Washington D.C. She grew up in Ghana and Colorado with her sister Bozoma St. John (Netflix CMO turned Author) and Alua Arthur (Author/Ted speaker). Her education consists of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Performing Arts and a Political Science degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she is on the Dean’s Advisory Board. Her acting career began when she moved to LA, where she landed roles in TV shows, including Netflix shows “Cobra Kai” and “Legacies,” NBC’s “Southland,” WB’s “Boomerang,” and ABC’s “Queens.”
Besides being an actress, she is also a producer and director. Owning her production company, The Ohemaa Project. She created her first film, “The Womb” in 2018. Aba has performed in several stage plays and is also an avid writer of screenplays. She played Miss Gold in the feature film Respect, a biopic of Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson. Furthermore, Aba will be in an upcoming project Apple TV’s “Bad Monkey” where she stars opposite Vince Vaughn, in the long-awaited comedy. The series which was filmed during the pandemic, and then delayed because of the strikes, is finally set to drop this Spring!
Aba Arthur shares her experience playing the character Abena in “The Color Purple”, her experience working with Oprah Winfrey and the cast, how her educational degrees helped her performance and career, being in the entertainment industry and so much more about future projects.
Tell us about Abena’s character and significance in “The Color Purple” and how the overall filmmaking experience was for you.
As Celie’s daughter-in-law, Abena represents many elements of the resolution. She is the mother of the next generation in Celie’s lineage. Their reunion signals the next chapter in Celie’s life. The experience filming was incredible!! We had so many heartfelt moments both on and off camera. It was indeed a dream.
What was it like working with Oprah Winfrey and the rest of the cast; what was the personal coaching and guidance on a set like?
It was such a warm environment, figuratively and literally! Everyone truly supported each other. Ms. Oprah was our biggest cheerleader from day 1. From our phenomenal director, Blitz Bazawule, to all of our crew, it was a very familiar space.
In what ways did your degrees in fine arts and political science help contribute to your production projects and acting roles?
My degrees have contributed so much! My first acting classes were in college. That is where I learned the foundation of developing a career in the entertainment industry. Political science is unique because we rarely think of the influence of the arts in politics. The intersection of the two is where we get political/ activist theater. I love art, which simultaneously teaches.
Being in the entertainment industry for two decades, what is your personal experience when pursuing your acting career in Los Angeles?
It has certainly been a long journey thus far! With talent, hard work, and dedication, success is not far behind. I stay ready so that I can be at my best when opportunities come my way.
What are some tips as an actor that will help future actors/actresses in roles or getting into the entertainment and film industry?
I would tell future actors to stay persistent. Make sure to study the field so you are not blindly walking in. Get some great training, good photos, and an agent/manager, then adjust as necessary until you see the results you are hoping for!
Tell us about your creation of The Ohemaa Project. Besides “The Womb,” what other productions and screenwriting have you worked on?
The Ohemaa Project is my production company. I am continuously creating film, television, and theater projects. The word Ohemaa means Queen in my language- Fanti. It is essential to me that we are reminded of our royalty through our art. Things change so fast, so please stay updated on everything coming up through my website or on social media: abaarthur.com and @abathegoddess.
What are you currently doing with your time in Atlanta and Los Angeles?
Since the top of December, my whole life has been The Color Purple! I will be hosting a screening in Denver, CO, next and then returning to Atlanta to prepare for the next project!
Tell us about your upcoming project with Apple TV, “Bad Monkey.” What is it about, and what details did you enjoy about the production and your collaboration with Vince Vaughn?
Yes! Bad Monkey is our new TV series starring the comedic genius Vince Vaughn! He plays a detective who finds help through an unlikely partnership. I play the character Samara. We had such a blast filming this show. I found the cast and crew so lovely, and I am sincerely excited for you all to see it.
Aba Arthur is currently based in Atlanta, splitting her time between cities for projects. For more information on her upcoming projects, visit https://abaarthur.com/ or follow her on Instagram. If you haven’t seen “The Color Purple,” it is available on Apple TV, Vudu, or Amazon Prime. Click below to view the trailer.