God is rarely referenced on TV let alone included smack-dab in the show title which is why CBS's new series, God Friended Me, stood out like a sore thumb.
Little did I know it was going to be the uplifting show that humanity needs now more than ever.
The wholehearted comedy/drama follows Miles (Brandon Michael Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he gets a Facebook friend request from God.
Though it isn't yet known if the God account is a celestial event or an elaborate catfishing scheme, it nudges new faces looking for guidance in Miles' direction.
One of those new faces is an ardent journalist, Cara, played by Violett Beane.
Beane, best known for her accomplishments as Jesse Quick on The Flash, talked with us about the enigmatic concept of the show, spoilers about upcoming episodes, and how the casts diversity helps spread their message.
First of all, congrats on God Friended Me scoring a full season order! How do you feel?
Yay! It feels so amazing. We were working when we found out the news, and the crew was so ecstatic, and everyone was really happy.
What attracted you to a project like God Friended Me?
Well, when I was auditioning during pilot season last year I was reading a ton of scripts and going in multiple times a day for things, and it was one of the only ones that I read the entire couple of months that really left me feeling uplifted and positive at the end of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a show with like a dark sensibility about it, but I think that the world we’re in right now, we kind of need something like this. And so far, a lot of our feedback has been just that. Like “I’m so happy to have found a show that makes me feel good after I watch it,” and “it makes me feel like I’ve gained a sense of humanity."
What one word would you use to describe the show?
One word? Hmm. I would say connectivity.
I like that. It brings people together.
Yeah, and I think that's exactly what the show does.
Let's talk about God Friended Me Season 1 Episode 4 which is where we were introduced to Eli. What is the deal there? Is he going to ruin any chance of Miles and Cara getting together?
Yeah, you know, I think in the real world old flames come back, and I think it’s going to shake a few things up and kind of make everyone sort of question it.
Up until this point, both of them have said they’re just friends, but the viewers and their friends on the show can tell it’s a little bit more than that. So this is definitely to shake that up and make the both of them kind of come to terms with how they feel.
Previews from God Friended Me Season 1 Episode 5 reveal that the God account might unfriend Miles. Is "God" done with him?
So … the “God account” does not appreciate Miles thinking that he doesn’t have to deal with this. So, this episode, I liked this one a lot when we were filming it because it’s one that really makes Miles question why he’s doing this and what he believes in or doesn’t believe in. I think the audience is really going to connect to it!
Was there a particular moment or scene in the series that stood out to you or has been your favorite so far?
Any scene that Joe Morton (Arthur) is in. And there are a couple of episodes coming up that sort of heavily feature him and his story. They are so powerful, and I cannot wait to see them.
'Cause I’m not there for most of the scenes I’m not in. Sometimes I catch snippets of it, but I just know that he’s done something really wonderful in his performances that I really want to see.
What qualities or traits do you think you personally add to Cara?
We’re both really stubborn, and I think that’s kind of like the forefront of Cara, her career and her relationships. So I think I bring that to her, and I also think, you know, she’s a journalist, so she’s always just interested in a story and talking to people and figuring out what’s going on with people and genuinely caring.
I think that’s what’s pretty special about her is that she really does care about these friend suggestions and about helping them.
You mentioned Cara has been very invested in carrying out the God account’s suggestions, even when Miles has kind of given up and doesn’t want to continue. If God Friended you in real-life, would you accept?
I think you’d have to, right? Curiosity alone would make me accept the friend request. From there, I don’t know if I would do as much as Miles has done. He’s a really good person.
Yeah, but Cara also motivates him too.
Yeah, that’s true, and Rakesh is there using his hacker skills to break that code so yeah, it would be fun. I would definitely accept it!
If you could give Cara one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ohhh. I would say “Girl, stop messing around, you know who you like!” That’s what I would say.
I think the fans would tell her the same thing!
The cast is very diverse not only in race but character beliefs and lifestyles. How does that benefit the series?
Oh my god, I think it’s everything for the series. I think the show is about inclusivity and connectivity and that would be impossible to do if we didn’t try to tell as many stories as possible. What’s really great about this show is that it isn’t just on-screen.
You know, our writer's room is one of the most diverse writers' rooms I’ve ever walked into, both with race, gender, sexual preference, and age. We have every person on the spectrum in there. And also, we’ve had more than 50% female directors. I’ve never worked on a show that has had that happen.
We’ve had three female directors back-to-back, and it’s been fabulous. There’s a different kind of story that you’re able to tell when you’re coming from different perspectives. It’s fabulous that it isn’t just what you’re seeing on screen, and I want everyone to know that we have it all the way down to our writers, our directors, and our crew.
You may not know for sure, but who do you think is behind the God account … or does it even matter at this point?
I’m still running with Rakesh’s theory that it’s someone that knew Miles and is really smart and can do this code or has teamed up with someone. I’m running with that cause it makes the most sense to me personally.
But, you know, we’re helping people along the way, so I think there are benefits to it if you never find out or it’s not who you think it is.
What would you tell people who may have been skeptical about the series because of the title? How would you get them to tune in and give this show a chance?
I think the title is meant to make you question what the show is about and to pique your interest, but I would say that it’s not a religious show, you know, it’s not a preachy show.
And while we talk about faith, it’s more to open the conversation and to explore everyone’s background because each of our characters come from different religions and some no religion at all.
So I think that [the title] can throw people off and make people think, “I’m not Christian, I’m not going to enjoy this show," but really, it’s not even about that, it’s about our connection with each other and helping people.
Well, I really wanna do something period, like something 1600s and super-Victorian. That kind of thing. I’ve always wanted to, but I’m just waiting for the moment. That would be fantastic.
If you want to see Violett on God Friended Me, you can watch episodes right here or on CBS every Sunday.