Being Mary Jane postmortem: Aaron D. Spears on Mark's surprising decision |


Being Mary Jane postmortem: Behind Mark's surprising decision, and what's next

(Guy D'Alema)

SPOILER ALERT: The following contains details from “If the Shoe Fits…,” Tuesday’s episode of Being Mary Jane. Read at your own risk! 

He did it guys, he really did it. It didn’t seem likely – or even really possible, considering the potential obstacles that stood in his way – but Mark (Aaron D. Spears) set off for Nigeria on Tuesday’s episode, bidding an emotional goodbye to Mary Jane and the rest of his SNC co-workers.

Punctuated by Mary Jane’s birthday celebration (or lack thereof), Niecy’s impulsive shopping spree, and Patrick’s drug relapse, it was an intense episode that begs the question: what the heck is going to happen to Mark? Will Being Mary Jane follow his reporting adventures in Nigeria? Or is he officially off the series? Spears hopped on the phone to share details about his farewell from Being Mary Jane.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Mark’s farewell was definitely emotional, but his future on the show seems unclear. Have you left the show? 
AARON D. SPEARS: I personally don’t know if I’m still on the show. I don’t know if Mark is coming back from Africa, or whether we’ll follow him in Africa. That’s where Mara left it, and she doesn’t know either. But maybe the fans can change that. If you love Mark, fight for Mark. 

Did you ever talk to Mara Brock Akil about a different story line for your character, or was it set in stone that Mark’s story line would end by leaving for Nigeria? 
I think she’s had a five-year plan for the show. I’m pretty sure she knows what will happen if there’s season 4, and if there’s a season 5. But you have to understand that while she may know what the plan is, I didn’t even know what was going to happen to Mark until the episode before this one. It just so happens that you’re filling in the shoes of a character, it’s nothing personal. 

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You do have some great scenes this episode, including a dance-off with Gabrielle. Tell me about shooting that.
Man, it was an amazing. I have to say, this season was great. Gabrielle really pushed into her new role as an executive producer, and we huddled, trimmed fat in terms of dialogue and rewrote lines. Some actors don’t like it when you change their lines, but I found it invigorating. That particular scene was one that we changed and tweaked a lot, in a certain way that brought out different performances in both of us.

What was that original dance scene supposed to look like?
At first I think we were going to listen to music and groove in our chairs at the table. And then it turned into this whole dance contest, where the guy who does Gabrielle’s hair, Larry Sims, who used to be a dancer, we kind of egged him to do this move. That’s what inspired it. It was a great moment.

Speaking of filming, what was your favorite scene this season?
Probably when me and Mary Jane went to the club. We shot so much stuff and I got to show off a different side of Mark. I don’t think the producers realized I had that side of me. It was hilarious, once the director yelled cut, we were cracking up so much. We filmed that scene all day, there was a club atmosphere with the music, we were writing lines, changing things — it was a fully immersive experience because so much was thrown at me that particular day. 

As we get closer to the season finale, what are your predictions for Mary Jane?
This is one of the few shows I actually watch as a fan. It’s an interesting question, where I think she’ll go. I think that she probably will be better off shaking off all the old dust from her previous relationship with David and diving into things with James Lee Taylor’s character. And with the SNC situation, I think she should fight for her position. If they’re not willing to have her, because she fought through that, she should use that as a springboard to jump into another prime-time position at another network.