I have loved Debbie Allen ever since I first saw her in Fame. I was in college during the run of the how and while I didn’t have a lot of time to watch TV, Fame was appointment TV for me despite my busy schedule.
Debbie is very much in demand as a director recently. As a matter of fact, she has done so much that I think I’m going to set a record for the number of tags I’m going to have to put on this post!
Debbie sat down and talked with Variety about her busy life
Debbie Allen rose to fame with “Fame,” serving as a director, producer and choreographer. She was also the first black woman to be Emmy-nominated in the dramatic lead actress category. More than three decades later, she has a recurring role on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and is a frequent director — and now exec producer of the show. “It’s a little crazy, but what a great life,” Allen tells Variety. “I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof that somehow landed on all fours.”
What are your new responsibilities on “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12, being a director, actor and exec producer?
I’m very involved in every episode, in terms of production design. I’m selecting the directors this season, looking over everything from makeup and hair to the actors’ concerns. I spend a lot of time with the writers, which I love.
How do you balance acting in an episode that you’re also directing and producing?
It’s actually how I started on “Fame.” I trained in acting, literature and theater, so talking to actors is something I’m really used to doing. That gives me a little bit of an edge sometimes. I know how to speak the actor’s language. On “Fame,” I started as Ms. Lydia Grant and I was the choreographer, but I soon became their favorite director because I knew how to shoot the dance and then I understood the acting. Doing it all at the same time is how I came into it.
Continue reading Debbie Allen on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and directing the ‘Empire’ season finale