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Interview: Danielle Pinnock of ‘Ghosts’ On Running Through That Open Door and Much More

Sitting down to speak with actress Danielle Pinnock was equal parts informative, delightful, and inspiring. Actually I would have to say it was much more of the latter two. Pinnock did also provide a dive into her remarkable work as Alberta on the hit CBS series Ghosts, as well into as her fellow cast and team – whom she obviously cherishes. It is a treat to listen to her stories and passion behind the beloved series.

What really blew me away though was her positivity and openness as she discussed health issues, insecurities when being asked to sing, and overcoming both racial and bodily stereotypes. As we spoke Pinnock dove into topics I had not expected that, frankly, leaving me in awe of just how generous, kind-hearted, and determined a person can be, even when facing challenges. She is selflessly fighting the good fight not only for her, but for all those who are along side her and those follow.

The actress has fought long and hard to be in the position she is in now, playing Alberta the murdered Prohibition Era lounge singer on Ghosts. It is an honor she does not take lightly. Not only are viewers lucky enough to be graced us with her often hilarious (and touching) acting, but as Pinnock belts out song after song, she will have you wanting to give a standing ovation to your television.

In our conversation the actress discussed all that goes into making Ghosts so scary good. I HIGHLY recommend you watch the video (above) just so you can share a fraction in the joy and inspiration I had speaking with Danielle. Danielle Pinnock’s ‘mic is finally on’ and it is time to amplify it.


On taking on the challenges head first:

“I had just had lung surgery in the middle of the global pandemic and was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to act again. After going through rehabilitation, I got this audition in my inbox, and I said, ‘Okay, we’re going back to work. Great! Okay.’ I remember reading the break down that she was a 1920s, Prohibition Era ghost. And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve always wanted to play something that’s quirky in this corporate world. I love this kind of comedy.’ I’d watched the UK version and fell in love with it. I know for me, as you know, a plus sized black woman, I normally didn’t get the opportunities to play roles like this. So I just went all in. I said, I’m gonna give it my best shot.’

On the doors that are finally open to her:

“It feels really good to finally have the door open. Sheryl Lee Ralph talks about this a lot, where she’s always been holding a mic, and it feels like her mic is finally on. And that’s really what I feel like, I feel like the door has opened for me, and I’m just running through it. And as many of my friends that have been on this journey with me as an actor and as a creator, I’m bringing them with me.”

Photo: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

On Alberta being the role of her lifetime:

“It has been a role of a lifetime. Playing Alberta has been my greatest joy. Viola Davis says in her Emmy speech in 2015, that the only thing that separates women of color from anything else is opportunity. And I have the greatest opportunity with this role. That is just huge credit to our writers and our show runners – especially during this time of the WGA strike – for them to have written this three dimensional character that has not only brassy and a hot mess with a heart of gold, you know what I mean? She is vulnerable. She’s talented. She is afraid of loving a scout leader who has an arrow and you get to the biggest fight of her life with her bestie Hetty, you know? I’ve gotten such a delicious arc this season with the murder mystery as well. So I feel very lucky and blessed to be a part of this series and to be able to breathe life into Alberta’s afterlife.”

Photo: CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Highest quality screengrab available.

On her sleuthy hopes for Alberta going forward:

“I love all of the ghosts and their different connections with each other too. I know for this season specifically, I’m really excited in exploring what happens between Alberta and Pete because there was the facepalm around the world. I don’t think our girl was quite ready to fall in love yet. Also, I love getting to work with Brandon Scott Jones there was this great mystery of what happened to Crash’s head that we got to explore. I love to being the Watson to a Sherlock Holmes and I would love to solve more mysteries.

We also discuss much, much more including the finale cliffhanger, Alberta’s relationship with Pete and what should be on that bookshelf behind her – all in the video interview up top.

Photo: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Both season one and two of Ghosts are streaming on Paramount+.


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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

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