Woody McClain can’t wait for the world to see The Bobby Brown Story, especially the fans—and trolls—on Twitter.
The actor, who portrays the titular R&B bad boy in BET’s new miniseries, is actually looking forward to the prospect of dealing with misbehaving social media users, which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, as he has some experience in this arena.
“Oh no,” McClain says when asked if he’s afraid of dealing with Twitter trolls who lash out when the series premieres.”Before I was acting, I was a Twitter troll, so I get it.”
“I laugh at it now,” he adds. “I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just saying stupid stuff.”
That playfully defiant attitude is part of what makes McClain a perfect fit for The Bobby Brown Story, a dramatization that covers the controversial singer’s life and legacy, warts and all. McClain, who previously played Brown in last year’s New Edition miniseries, tells Metro that viewers will get to see the real story behind Brown’s headline-grabbing controversies.
“People just read what they see in the media and just think that’s what it is,” says McClain. “They’re only reading the end. They don’t see the beginning. They don’t see what happens before those moments.”
“This story, it shows you why certain things you read in the media happened,” he adds. “It’s going to tell you about the love story that he had that nobody knows about. It’s going to show you all those things. That’s what I’m just extremely excited for the world to see and to read comments on Twitter to see how people feel about.”
Woody McClain talks The Bobby Brown Story
According to McClain, the hardest part about playing Brown was figuring out a way to emulate “that Bobby Brown swagger on stage.” Thankfully, McClain had the chance to pick the man’s brain about all his trade secrets, although don’t expect the actor to spill the beans, as he’s “locking all that in the vault.”
“That walk he had, that look he had. His tongue thing he likes to do, all the pelvic thrusts,” says McClain. “I had to really dig in and find those key moments that he brings on stage. I was able to talk to him about those moments and find out his secrets, and find out what gives him that energy on stage because I had to bring it.”
Brown and his family played a “big part” in shaping the actor’s performance in the two-night event, offering him advice on how to pull off every aspect of the artist, both on and off the stage. McClain couldn’t thank them enough for all the insight they provided as he prepared for The Bobby Brown Story.
“I respect Bobby and his family so much,” says McClain. “I’m extremely honored to be doing it.”
McClain reveals that the new series will mostly tackle Brown’s life after his New Edition years, so expect to see much of the focus go to his high-profile relationship with Whitney Houston, as well as Brown’s struggles with addiction. The actor admits that what attracted him to the role was the singer’s ability to deal with so many obstacles and painful moments, such as the death of Houston and their daughter Bobbi Kristina.
“I want to play characters that overcome the impossible,” says McClain. “Who’s better than Bobby Brown? He’s been through the drugs, he’s been through losing his ex-wife, losing his child—and he’s still here. He’s still strong. He’s gotten over the impossible.”
Brown’s legacy is complicated. On one hand, he’s considered to be a musical “legend” by many, including McClain, having “opened doors for a lot o the R&B singers that are out today.” On the other hand, Brown’s story is forever intertwined with instances of substance abuse, domenstic violence and unfortunate tragedies.
Overall, McClain is happy with his work on The Bobby Brown Story, although he hasn’t seen the finished product yet. The actor plans to watch and tweet along with everyone else when it debuts.
“We put so much work and dedication into making a great story,” McClain says. “I’m excited that it’s finally about to come out.”
He adds, “We all going to troll together.”
The Bobby Brown Story airs Sept. 4-5 at 9 p.m. on BET.