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Candiace Dillard Opens Up About Working With Kenya Moore And Brandi Glanville On Netflix’s Family Reunion!

Candiace Dillard recently appeared on Netflix's Family Reunion along with fellow Housewives, Kenya Moore from The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Brandi Glanville. 

Moore returns to the series as the "play cousin" of Cocoa McKellan (Tia Mowry). She plays a version of herself, while the Real Housewives of Potomac star and Glanville take on characters as the trio star in a show within the show, a parody of Housewives called Trophy Wives.

"I love telling this story," Dillard told Entertainment Tonight. "So, I'm an actor. I've been an actor for many years … but I've been waiting, as all actors are, for their big break, for their 'moment.' I would say to whoever would listen, ‘You know what? It's fine, because Netflix is going to call me. When Netflix calls, I'm dropping everything. I'm going to wherever Netflix takes me,’ not really ever thinking that something would come of it."

Dillard plays Sunita Chanel, a snooty reality star with fake, blue contacts and an even faker French accent. Candiace says she pulled inspiration for her catty character from Eartha Kitt and some of her Housewives co-stars -- but she won’t name names. 

"She's ridiculous," Candiace says of her sitcom alter ego. "So honestly, it was easy to pull from any number of Housewives who live in the clouds and are crazy and ridiculous at any moment in time. So, I was able to draw from just the Housewives sphere as a whole."

The episode sees Candiace and Brandi’s Sunita Chanel and Heidi facing off against Kenya. If you recall, Moore and Glanville famously feuded during their time on The Celebrity Apprentice. 

"So, when I realized that it was going to be the three of us, I almost immediately was like, oh dear, what's this going to be like?" Candiace recalls. "But they were both consummate professionals. They were great. We worked well together."

"I don't think I felt any tension, any beef, pork, or chicken," she quips. "You almost couldn't have tension. It was very light and easy. We were so focused on delivering our lines and the showrunner and the crew is reacting to us and laughing at our craziness in the scenes."

While filming the Netflix series, Dillard was dealing with the aftermath of the Season 5 drama with Monique Samuels following their physical altercation. Candiace says that the trio exchanged Housewives tea and Moore offered her some advice as she was anxious to see her fight with Monique play out as the premiere was fast approaching. Note: The ladies filmed Family Reunion in February 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic.)

"It was very much like, ‘You can get through this. It's not going to be like this forever. Fans move on quickly. And when they move on, it will be incumbent upon you to use the clean slate wisely. And focus on things that you have going on,’" Candiace shared. "I have taken that advice, working on music, doing other things in the acting realm. So, it was very, like, big sister-like. Just, 'You can get through it and you will make it to the other side.'"

Dillard noted that she loved playing her character and admitted that it was a pleasure able to act opposite a childhood idol like Tia Mowry.

"So I was excited to be able to play that role," she continues. "And I think for me in moving forward, and even in my therapy sessions about how to get past a wild season, like season 5, I was encouraged and I embraced the idea of, how can I make light of a really heavy situation in a healthy way that's not offensive to anyone and that doesn't stir up too much crazy controversy? And I feel like the best way to do that and to wave at the haters is to prance onto the Paramount lot, and do my thug fizzle at Family Reunion. And that's what I did. And I'm really proud of this episode and the show."

She continued, "I was like, I was clutching my pearls,” Candiace said about working with Mowry. "It was all so much. No, of course I grew up watching Sister, Sister. There were quite a few fun, family Black shows on television in that era… and then they kind of went away, and what I love about this show is that it is contributing to the resurgence of wholesome Black television that you can watch with your family."

"I get chills now just thinking about it," she said of filming the show. "I've never been in a room where the writers' room was an all-Black writers' room. That was a first for me. Everybody in the room, for the most part, was a person of color."

"I actually just saw today, Marsai Martin put out a statement saying that she does not want to make television or art that highlights Black pain, and I felt that," Candiace told Entertainment Tonight. "And I feel like Family Reunion is that show. It shows that Black families, that Black people, as units and as individuals, are not monolithic, that we come in all different shapes and sizes and our families are multi-layered and multicultural, a lot of the time, and that needs to be shown. And that's what I love so much about this show."


Photo Credit: Bravo Media/NBCUniversal (3)