Sophia Greenleaf is continuously perfecting her walk with God and realizes this walk is not going to be easy. She knows she will have experiences and situations that test her patience with God. Desiree Ross portrays his character and gives a vivid description of Sophia.
ATM: Do you feel this show takes the perfectionism off the church family?
DR: Yes, because we are putting everything out into the opening. Families are still families. No one is perfect. You see the people who should have it together but fall apart on this show.
ATM: How does your character fall apart?
DR: Sophia seems like the perfect girl. She is a Christian, has a high GPA, and is abstinent. My character seems to have it all together. In this season, something happens that shakes her world a little. You see her fall apart and start to doubt everything she believes in. She pushes away people who love her the most. It gets to her head and affects her entire life. People who seem to be perfect have their troubles underneath their pseudo.
ATM: How would you describe your character’s walk with God?
DR: She started off atheist and did not know much. My character committed herself to Christ. Sophia has experienced a complete unwavering faith. Life has hit her a little harder and she cannot comprehend these things. Sophia has learned to have faith in God when things are not going her way. Things have been going her way. I think it is going to be interesting to see how she gets through this and reconnects back with God. You see her step away from God in this season.
ATM: Personally, how do you have faith in God when things are not going your way?
DR: I have to remind myself to pray and take time with God. I have to remind myself that God has a plan for me when things are not going my way. There is going to be something better waiting for me at the other end of the situation. God is not going to let me down. This is how I get through dark moments. I say a lot of prayers. I am around people who encourage me and help push my relationship with God.
DR: They were really tight when first meeting on the show. The more Sofia got into the God, the less she saw Zora get into God. It became a brick between them. Zora got into a toxic relationship that pulled her away from Sofia. She tried to have Zora’s back and be there emotionally. Sofia cannot stand to see her cousin hurting because of these choices.
ATM: How is the relationship between Sophia and her mother Grace? Is your connection with Sofia and Grace?
DR: They have gotten closer, but Sofia is now pushing people away. Sofia has distanced herself from just about everybody. It is hard for her mother to watch. The bond and love are still there. Everyone is waiting for Sophia to realize life is still going and to see the light is at the end of a tunnel.
ATM: What is now your ideology of an average churchgoer?
DR: Now, I go into church wondering what is going on. I just wonder. The show, in general, has forced me to look at things from other perspectives and not make assumptions about anybody. Also, this show broadens my point of view about people coming off a certain way based on what is going on behind closed doors. I take a step back to think about what a person’s point of view. I do not take stuff as personal anymore.
ATM: In what ways does Sophia relate to Desiree?
DR: We are pretty similar in different situations and circumstances. I am a part of a church family, but my family does not run a church. Her parents being divorced is a little different for me. People say we are always completely different, but I do not see it.
ATM: What do you see?
DR: I see that we are the same. Sophia is more on the conscious side. She is soft, gentle, and innocent. Whereas, I have seen and been through a lot of stuff. I am kind of like “uhh.” I am not as naïve as Sophia. She has more of a naivety. I was not grown up as sheltered as my character or maybe I was. I went to public school and I am also in the film. This has forced me to mature a lot quicker. Desiree is more gangsta than Sophia. Whereas, Sophia is more like a flower child.
ATM: Explain how acting shows your life values. How do you show your values and morals through acting?
DR: This is a good question. Most of it is off camera when I am not working. It is about how I manage to be in such a chaotic industry filled with a lot of toxicity. I manage to deal with all of this.
ATM: Does acting in a scene help release prior anger?
DR: Through acting, I am able to have experiences that I do not actually have to experience. I feel I’ve been through all of the things Sophia has without actually going through them. It is an outlet for me. It gives me a platform to make good work for whenever I have the stuff to let out. I am not running off without expressing my emotions in unhealthy ways. I just put it into my work. I’ve had to cry at work. I break down sometimes in the first take a work. They say, “Dang you must have had a lot of let out.” I respond, “You have no idea what I’ve held in.”