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On the heels of the second season premiere of her hit WGN show Underground (returning March 8th,) Jurnee Smollett-Bell is serving up some fierce, retro glamour realness on the cover of Ebony magazine’s March issue.

To celebrate the annual Women’s History Month this March, Ebony magazine has selected the beautiful and talented Jurnee Smollett-Bell as its cover girl. Set against a soft pink background recalling the presence of spring, she looks equally strong, feminine and determined on the cover, clad in a blue jumpsuit and a retro, faux Bob hairstyle. In an exclusive, in-depth interview, she opens up about being a former child star, her hit TV series, activism and more in the issue that’s on newsstands now.

There are many gems dropped by Smollett-Bell in the interview, as she shows a refreshingly candid side that fans may not be used to, but here are some of the highlights:

[On being a child star:] “I wouldn’t even call myself a former child star. I was a child actor; there’s a difference,” she explains. “People look at you and they think they know you. They think they can place you in a certain category by what they think they know about you. But there’s so much more to all of us than what we know and what we see at face value.”

[On her series ‘Underground’:] “I think we had seen the occupation so much, we wanted to see the revolution and that is what ‘Underground’ is,” says the actress who plays Rosalee. “It was the story of the uprising. It was the story of those of us who fought back, who attempted to fight for their freedom,” she explains. “That was a side of the story we were hungry to see in order to understand our whole history.”

[On being underestimated in the industry:] “Rosalee was underestimated, and I think that’s one of the [ways] I can relate to her. That’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life—people underestimating me,” the actress explains. “But also there’s a fire inside of her that sometimes she doesn’t even understand. There’s this inner strength that she has and in season 2; it’s almost like a manic strength, another superwoman strength.”

WGN will host an exclusive Chicago premiere screening of its hit original series Underground at the DuSable Museum of African American History on February 16 at 7:00 p.m. Immediately following the screening, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, will join Ebony magazine’s Editor-in-chief Kyra Kyles for a Q&A session about returning to the series as Rosalee for a second season.


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Jurnee Smollett-Bell Serves Retro Glam On The Cover Of ‘Ebony’ Magazine  was originally published on