You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union on Leading ‘L.A.’s Finest’: ‘We Get to Be the Action Heroes’

Few shows on television feature woman leads that are also people of color — and even fewer in the action drama genre. Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union, and the showrunners behind Charter’s Spectrum Originals maiden program “L.A.’s Finest” wanted that to change.

The new series is a spinoff of the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence franchise “Bad Boys.” This time around, the two “bad boys” are now women of color.

Union, who first signed onto the project, wanted Alba to co-star. “She’s boss as f—k. She’s badass as f—k,” Union told Variety at the premiere afterparty in Los Angeles.

Aside from her admiration of Alba’s “badassery,” Union thought it “means the world” to share lead roles with another WOC. She asked rhetorically, “If we’re only covering or reflecting a very, very small slice of life, who is it for?” 

Alba told Variety that an action series led by two non-white women is “unprecedented.” She said, “Usually we’re the token something — girlfriend, bad girl, side piece. And women in the action genre are usually pretty one note.” But L.A.’s Finest is different, according to the actress. “They wrote us like real people,” she said.

Union said the show flips the genre’s traditional gender roles. “We’re not saved by anybody. We’re the ones saving people. We got to be the action heroes, comedians, and a little sexy on occasion,” she said.

Being cast on the show reminded Alba of her experience getting her breakthrough role in Fox’s “Dark Angel.” Alba reminisced, “James Cameron was like, ‘I’m going to hire a 17-year-old Mexican white girl to be the star of my one hour sci-fi action drama.’ That was unprecedented too.”

Co-showrunner Brandon Margolis discussed with Variety how groundbreaking it was growing up to see two black cops in the original 1995 movie. He said of the spinoff, “It’s not the same universe to me if they are not actors of color. That’s the DNA of what made those movies special.”

Co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier told Variety that the “two kickass female diverse leads” is what makes the show special. Sonnier said from day one on set Union and Alba’s chemistry “harkened back to the ‘Bad Boy’ films. The films we love.”

The actresses have been friends for years. Union has fond memories with Alba coming up in the industry. “We were always those girls at the bar at Hollywood events cracking jokes. So I knew we were cut from the same clothes,” said Union.

“L.A.’s Finest” will premiere May 13 on Charter’s Spectrum.

More TV

  • Jeremy Sisto, Ebonee Noel, Dick Wolf,

    Dick Wolf Plots Cross-Network Crossover Between CBS, NBC

    Veteran television producer Dick Wolf, best known for creating the “Law & Order” franchise, is eyeing a cross-network crossover between his CBS freshman procedural “FBI” or its in-the-works spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” and one of his NBC shows, such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” or “Chicago P.D.” The decision whether to go with [...]

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content