Branden Wellington

The Accomplished Artist:
Branden Wellington's Path to Lead Role in Tyler Perry's BET Series 'Sistas'

Conducted by Guillaume Jean Lefebvre

Branden, your role as Tony King in Tyler Perry’s BET series has garnered immense popularity. Could you share your experience joining the cast and the evolution of your character from a recurring role to a series regular?

I appreciate you saying that. Joining the cast felt like showing up at a family reunion and meeting your extended cousins. It’s all love at Tyler Perry Studios. On the fan side, I personally feel like it has been a little mixed love and a lot of that has to do with my character’s storyline evolving.

For the first 6 1/2 seasons, fans fell in love with Danni’s original boyfriend Preston, who’s played by Trinity Whiteside. Trinity is a phenomenal actor and person, and his character is one that I also rooted for when I was a viewer. He and Danni had an up-and-down relationship, that taught us a lot about the importance of communication and the complications of racial dynamics. Their back and forth opened the door for my character, Tony, to walk into her life and he mentions it right away. That started a bit of tension between Preston and Tony for season six and created a dilemma for fans: root for the long-term relationship or lean into something new?

That question gets answered in the title of the season 7 opener: New Beginnings. There was a three-month time jump and now Danni and Tony are in a full on relationship. As an actor, it was great to do the character work and create a backstory for what may have happened during those three months to bridge the gap between where we left off and where fans currently find us.

Branden Wellington's rise to prominence in the entertainment industry is nothing short of inspiring. From his humble beginnings to becoming a pivotal figure in Tyler Perry's acclaimed BET series, Branden has captured the hearts of viewers with his remarkable talent and versatility. His journey from supporting roles to a lead character reflects his dedication and passion for his craft. With each performance, Branden brings depth and authenticity to his characters, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impact. As he continues to excel in his career, Branden Wellington stands as a shining example of hard work, talent, and determination in Hollywood.

Portrait Of The Month

( June 2024)


2. Tyler Perry is known for creating compelling narratives. How has working with him influenced your approach to acting, and what aspects of his storytelling resonate with you?

What I love about working with Tyler Perry is how efficient that he is. I feel like there’s not much wasted time on set - we’re filming a lot in a short time span - so when you’re there, you’re working and that’s a great feeling. It’s helped me to stay sharp and to stay ready, we don’t have all day to do 10-12 takes so make bold choices, and if it doesn’t work, he’ll tell you. Secondly, what I’ve always loved about his storytelling is that there’s always a message and a larger conversation to be had at the end of it. In my opinion, Sistas is a conversation piece about an array of relationship dynamics.

3. The latest season of the show brings significant changes for the characters. What can viewers expect from Tony’s journey, and how does he navigate the whirlwind of changes alongside the women in the series?

There’s no relationship on Sistas without a little bit of drama, So, in the second half of the season, fans can expect the waters to get a little murky. This first half has been about Danni and Tony finding their balance while she’s also going through therapy. I think Tony does a good job of supporting and encouraging her along that path. He’s also navigating challenges of his own - becoming a full-time father after his kids come to live with him after his ex-wife gets deployed.

4. From Orange is the New Black to Russian Doll, your repertoire spans various genres. How do you choose roles, and what attracts you to diverse characters in both television and film?

In the beginning of your career, you’re not really choosing your roles. You’re more so being offered an opportunity to audition, and ideally you audition for characters and shows that you find interesting. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on shows that I was a fan of and with other actors whose work I’ve also enjoyed. The goal is to one day be a part of a show starting in season 1 episode 1 and help curate a world that I love to play in and that people love to watch.

5. Orange is the New Black has been a landmark series on Netflix. How did your experience on such a critically acclaimed show contribute to your growth as an actor, and what memories do you hold dear from that chapter of your career?

Orange is the New Black really helped my confidence as an actor because every day I got to work with Academy Award winning actors and be trusted to do my part. There were some nerves on my first day for sure, but everyone helped me settle in and made it feel like a home. I also joined that cast in season six and was there for the final season. I’ll always remember the last day, it felt like your last day of high school or college. There was a lot of love, hugs, and tears. No matter where life takes you all after that, somewhere in the back of your mind you know that those people will always be a root on your life’s tree. I have into a couple of my castmates over the years, and we’ve always had that unspoken look at each other, where we know we accomplished something together.

Actor: Branden Wellington
Photographer: Tim Schaeffer - @timschaefferphoto

6. Your Emmy-winning work on the spoken-word broadcast open TV Dreams In A World of Sports for Fox Sports showcases your versatility. Can you delve into your writing process and how you balance your roles as an actor and a writer?

My process is a writer and as an actor begins at the same place, with a question. What is the truth? Once I gather all the facts I try to figure out how I can express that creatively from my point of view. One thing that has been interesting is that I’ve never had a writing job at the same time I’ve had an acting job, so I’ve never had to find the work balance. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to give my undivided attention to one or the other.

7. Congratulations on your engagement to Meagan Tandy! How do you both navigate the dynamics of being actors, and what values do you believe contribute to a successful and supportive relationship?

I love when we get to talk about scripts and sides together. It’s one of the jobs where you’re happy when work finds its way into the house. We have an understanding for what each other does so that makes some of the scheduling and off hours easier to manage. I believe rooting for your partner and championing their wins as if they’re yours too creates a supportive environment. The most important thing is to be friends with each other and talk about everything no matter how simple, difficult, big, or small. Communication is the bridge to understanding, and understanding is the bridge to peace.

Quality, not quantity

We have made quality our habit. It’s not something that we just strive for – we live by this principle every day.