How Danielle Pinnock's Body Positivity Journey Inspired Her Ghosts Storyline

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Ghosts star Danielle Pinnock shared how her own self-love journey shaped Alberta's season two storyline. Here's what she said.

By Alyssa Ray Oct 07, 2022 1:00 AMTags
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Danielle Pinnock didn't say "Boo!" when Ghosts creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman asked if they could tap into her real-life body positivity journey for season two.

The actress, who plays deceased 1920s jazz singer Alberta on the CBS comedy, revealed that when the two showrunners approached her to see if she was comfortable exploring this storyline in the new season, her response was, "Absolutely."

The Oct. 6 episode follows Alberta as she embraces a tough truth: She ratted out her rival Clara in order to get ahead in her career. While this went against everything she stood for as a flamboyant flapper, Alberta admits that turning on Clara was the only way she, a plus size performer, could've gotten a chance to shine.

Danielle did more than just portray this vulnerable story, however. As Danielle detailed, Alberta's monologue, where she declares that she has to be her own "loudest fan," came from a conversation she had with the showrunners. 

"We talked about that scene a lot," she recalled. "They were like, 'What is the thing that gives Alberta her confidence? And in this moment, we want to see her being vulnerable.' And I told them, 'For me personally, if I'm not ride or die for myself, nobody else can be.'"

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The actress continued, "Somebody in a larger body, you have to cheer louder for yourself because, a lot of times, you won't get that cheer back. And talking to them about my experiences as a performer, they were able to create this beautiful monologue."

Though Alberta's flashback takes place in the 1920s, Danielle noted to E! News that plus size people are still looked over in the 2020s. "I remember growing up in the industry feeling like I was always by myself," she reflected. "And if it wasn't for women like Octavia Spencer—and even now Natasha Rothwell and Da'Vine Joy Randolph—my light wouldn't have been so bright."


And so, Danielle shared that she is honored to portray Alberta on Ghosts. "I just feel so grateful to be able to not only pay homage to all the Black performers that came before me in the 1920s," she said, "but for women of size and men of size to see me and say, 'Oh my gosh, wait I can do this too. I can be on TV.'"

New episodes of Ghosts air Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

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