By: Jessica Nakamoto –
The classic action/comedy movie, Lethal Weapon, was an instant success when it hit the big screen in 1987. Globally, the movie racked up more than $120,000,000 worldwide, and it was clear that actors, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were destined for many sequels to come. However, the so-called 90’s kids sometimes hold ambiguous feelings toward the past. With the exceptions of “Disco Night” and “Throwback Thursdays”, they generally set their sights on the horizon, looking forward, never back. Thus, cue the Hollywood remake market.
This is where Keesha Sharp and the talent-packed cast of the Lethal Weapon T.V. series came in. Bursting onto the scene with their stunning 2016 Season one premier, this talented group successfully brought the Lethal Weapon movies into the 21st century. This was no easy feat as the franchise left some pretty hefty shoes to fill. But as Lethal Weapon’s season finale set to air tonight, it’s obvious that fans have embraced the series with open arms.
Actress, Keesha Sharp, plays the powerful role of Trish Murtaugh and is beloved by fans for her dynamic but extremely personable character. Sharp brings Trish to life with a renewed energy, passion, and drive that, dare I say, surpasses her character in the movies themselves. A nominee for Outstanding Actress in A Comedy Series at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards, this accolade just touches the surface of Sharp’s extensive acting abilities.
With talents like Keesha lighting up the screen, it’s no surprise that fans have embraced this classic and run with it as their own. They may even be so inspired as to look back at the forerunner behind this magical production and appreciate Lethal Weapon, both past and present.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Keesha and learning a little more about her role as Trish, her musical taste, superhero aspirations, and more!
Your character Trish is the breadwinner and emotional rock of the family. What do you think young women can take away from this role?
Keesha:I think they can take away, and men, to be honest! (laughs) that women can do it all. They’re capable of so much and I love the idea of Trish being on television. And you know, I always say this, but she is the Michelle Obama of television and she [Trish] is able to handle it all. And she’s [Trish’s] not perfect, so there’s times where she’s not [like Obama] (laughs)! But, in the grand scheme of things, she is really able to balance a career and family and being a wife. I think it’s important for young men and women to see that you can do it all, you just have to want to and strive for it.
I love that comparison!
Keesha: Yeah, you see Michelle Obama and you’re like yeah! I get it!
Fans really love the comedy in Lethal Weapon. Who do you think is the funniest jokester on set?
Keesha: Oh wow! That’s a toss up, I have to tell you, because Johnathan [Johnathan Fernandez- plays Scorsese on-screen] is hilarious, Kevin [Kevin Rahm- plays Captain Avery] is funny, obviously Damon [Damon Wayans- plays Roger] and Clayne [Clayne Crawford- plays Riggs]. So, you get us all together, especially those four, and oh my goodness! Good luck with getting anything done! It’s very hard because everyone’s cracking jokes. I can’t tell you which one out of the four of them. They’re all so very funny.
So how long does it typically take you for a normal episode?
Keesha: About a day or two, yeah.
What originally inspired you to take on an acting career?
Keesha: Oh wow. I mean, I’ve been doing this since I could speak and it’s just that acting and I’ve been in the arts, so I’ve been playing clarinet, and piano, and cello, and singing. So, it was always a part of what I wanted to do. Although, my parents, especially my Mom, kept trying to push for me to be a lawyer. But you know, now I play one! So, there you go!
Is she [your Mom] especially ecstatic that you play a lawyer in the show?
Keesha: (laughs) Yes! But she’s had many years to get over the fact that I wasn’t going to pursue that. Although, I wanted to at one time. But, yeah, she does think it’s funny that I’m finally playing one.
You’ve played a lot of award-winning and award nominated roles. Out of all the characters, is there one that you identify with the most?
Keesha: Well, the one I identify with and am closest to is Trish. The only difference is that I’m an actor and she’s a lawyer. So, I’m extremely close to the character I’m playing now. Although, I’ve loved everything I’ve done, I’ve loved stepping out of who I am. You know, that’s what we do as actors. But, the closest would be Trish.
I’ve heard that one of your goals is to play a superhero!
Keesha: Oh my goodness, yes!
Do you have any specific characters in mind?
Keesha: Probably Storm. I love that character and she marries Black Panther so that would be totally cool! That’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. But really, to be honest, a superhero would be great. It wouldn’t matter.
Would your son love that? To have a superhero as a Mom?
Keesha: Oh my! For sure! He already feels that, to be clear (laughs) but yes it would be pretty cool to watch his Mom fly or whatever my superhero power would be. I’m sure he would love that.
So, shifting gears a little bit I hear you have an album in the works. Can you tell us just a little about it?
Keesha: I do. I have two actually. One is just doing our second Christmas album and just some of our favorites, my husband and I, Bradford Sharp. And then, I’m working on another one. It’s kind of between…well I love standards, but it’s a twist on those. That’s something we’re working on as we speak.
Do you ever see Trish singing on the show?
Keesha: I don’t see her singing. That’s one thing that’s different [between Trish and I]. I don’t see Trish singing, but it would be interesting to see how they would incorporate that as a secret talent of Trish. But, she just doesn’t seem like she would sing. Or maybe she does (laughs)!
Offscreen, you enjoy activities such as boxing and hiking.
Is there any special food indulgence that you treat yourself to?
Keesha: Dark chocolate! That’s my favorite! I have to have a little piece of dark chocolate a day. I don’t eat a lot. It’s usually very rich so you don’t need a lot. So that’s an indulgence I do every day. Yeah, dark chocolate is my favorite. And it’s good for you!
That’s very true!
You’re originally from New York. What is the best part of living in LA and what do you miss from home?
Keesha: Well, the weather is the best in LA. Hands down. Almost all the time we get sun and I think that it’s actually really important to even see it. It just feels so good. I’m from upstate New York so that’s very cold (laughs)! What do I miss about home? Well, I think it was a great place to grow up because they had this small-town kind of feel, but it’s a little city, so that was great. My family is still there so that’s the best part about home as well.
You and your husband have been together for over 20 years! What is your secret to a happy marriage?
Keisha: Communication. Deep, deep love for each other. There’s this book called “The Five Love Languages”. I think that book was really crucial. We found it maybe our sixth year of marriage, seventh year of marriage, and it just deepened our relationship even more, learning how we each love differently, and then making sure your partner is feeling loved. That was a great book, but I would also say in God. For us, it’s God as well. I think those are the secrets: God, communication, deep love and finding out how your partner loves and loving them in that way.
Are there any projects in the works that you could tell us about?
Keesha: I’m trying to think of what I can say (laughs)! One thing that I’m excited about doing is Johnathan’s…I almost said Scorsese because he plays Scorsese in Lethal Weapon! No, but Johnathan Fernandez. I’m directing him right now, this week, in his short. So, on my directing side there’s things happening, but as an actor, there’s not much I can talk about yet. But exciting stuff, I’ll say, as a producer and as a writer. There’s various stuff happening and I’m excited about it and I can’t wait for the fans to see it! Hopefully they love it as well!
Well, I’m really excited to see everything come to fruition!
Keesha: Thank you!
Just to wrap things up, is it ok if you fill in the sentences?
The music I can’t stop listening to is…
Keesha: Wow, that’s a lot! Right now, I’ll just say Hamilton. I’m obsessed with it and I’ll just listen to it over and over and over again, the soundtrack to Hamilton.
The most exciting thing I’ve done recently is…
Keesha: Oh wow! That one’s hard too! The most exciting thing I’ve done recently is…I don’t know (laughs)! Let’s just say, I was just up at Big Sur. We did a hike up the big mountain there. Although I do that a lot, that was exciting. I just came from there last week.
Last one! My ideal vacation would be…
Keesha: Well, we’ve done this, but, I want to do it again because we were only there for a day and a half, almost two days, is go back to Iceland. We didn’t have time to explore the whole island just because we were passing through. But, we need to go back. We have to go back. I’m a nature freak so I loved it and it wasn’t enough.
Lethal Weapon’s season finale airs tonight (May 8th) at 8pm ET on Fox.