Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Glow After The Emmy Awards Continues To Shine As The Abbott Elementary star is seen on the runway in Rihanna’s new Savage X Fenty Vol. 4 fashion show. The Best Supporting Actress winner takes the spotlight against stars like Cara Delevingne, Damson Idris, Irina Shayk, Lilly Singh, Marsai Martin, Simu Liu, Taraji P. Henson, Taylour Paige, and Winston Duke, among others.
Ralph, 65, took a break on set during her workday on Abbott Elementary to talk to The Hollywood Reporter about her runway ensemble (“It was classy, not ratchet”), whether she’s keeping an eye on Savage X Fenty pieces for the new season (“I sent the link to my husband”), and whether she’s getting phone calls gets from fashion designers after her Emmy win (“If it happens, it will happen.”).
What was the experience like modeling on the show?
First of all, the choreography was just amazing and different. The music was excellent. The sets, the lights. I mean, I thought I was transported somewhere far away from Simi Valley.
Was it a quick shoot?
There was nothing fast about it. Since I had to catch a plane, they made the effort. It was really about four or five o’clock.
What were you wearing?
I was wearing a kind of snake green bustier jumpsuit with a bathrobe. It was quite sexy. I love it because it was classy, no rachet, so that was really lovely. My husband thought it was nice.
Do you know Rihanna? Or did you just get a request to do the show?
It was that simple, [a request]. Everyone was ecstatic who got the call. It just felt so right because earlier in the year she had… [a National Hero Award] from Barbados and I received a [Honorary Order of Jamaica]. Check out how we island girls do it!
What do you think of the Savage X Fenty brand?
I like the brand. I’ve worn it before, but that’s my private life. I’m just so happy she was able to create this line with quality and fashion that is so inclusive. I really remember a time in my career when a design house told me I wasn’t the body they wanted to dress, with its vulgar ins and outs. To this day, I don’t wear that line every time I see their name. I will never wear their line. I’m sure they’ve changed since then, but that’s what they said.
Are you going to spill the tea on which designer?
No, I would never say that. Why bother with negativity? The positive is that we now have body positivity and people are more accepting of different shapes and bodies. I look at it this way – if my body is vulgar, so is Kim Kardashian, so is Beyonce, and so are many others with curves and the ins and the outs.
Are there any Savage X Fenty items on your radar to get for the fall?
Believe me, I sent the link to my husband and I said, “Surprise me.”
Johnny Depp also appears in the Savage X Fenty show. What do you think of his looks and some of the backlash Rihanna received for casting him on the show?
I was told a long time ago that PR is a very interesting thing, and as long as they talk about you, it does its job.
Now that you’re back on set to watch the new season of Abbott Elementarydo you feel a glow after Emmys?
Every time people ask me about this show and the people I work with and how I feel about it, I always get choked up because I’m very aware that I’ve been given a very special gift. We come to work and we laugh and we talk and then we go to work. We love each other and it’s so wonderful, and I just want it to stay that way as long as God allows it. We know we’re in show business heaven.
Are you getting more calls from designers about dressing you after the Emmys?
I didn’t really go into that. I read an article about the fashion prices in New York and [designer Brandon Blackwood] and [stylist Roberto Johnson] They said they couldn’t understand that it was seven days before the Emmys and that there were no designers standing up to get me dressed. They had it in their heads that it must be God who said this was their chance. That’s the way I look at it. Shall I run downstairs and chase people to get dressed? No. If it happens, it will happen. At this point, my daughter has done an incredible job styling me and as long as I keep hitting it, I’m hitting it on the one.