Being Mary Jane
Season 1 SABC1 (*191) 20:00 Drama
Fans will recognise Aaron D Spears as Justin Barber on Bold & Beautiful (1987current – see more on p26 & 61) from 2009 until now, but the 45-year-old has made bolder strides on TV as gay journalist Mark Bradley on drama show Being Mary Jane (2014-current).
While studying computer science 1
and maths at Delaware State University in 1994, Aaron’s sporting talents got him noticed by football scouts and he almost made it to the NFL. He missed an assignment and was put in the campus theatre production as “punishment” but ended up loving it. Now he jokes, “Acting is something that I can make as much money doing and I’m not destroying my body.”
Aaron’s other passion is poetry. In 2
1997, he started Henna, a company that focuses on spoken-word poetry and thought-provoking film. He also has a keen interest in composing music, having released a single in 2002 entitled Makin’ A Baby. Plus, Aaron released his spoken-word album Thoughts Of An Untamed Mind in 2000.
He’s been married to Estela Lopez 3
for 16 years. They have daughters Nayali (23), Aiyana (14), Henna (11) and Kaaria (9), as well as son Riaz (7).
Aaron got his Mary Jane role with4
out seeing the script. “They were strict on letting the script out. Once I’d embodied the entire script, I was very proud to be a part of such a groundbreaking show,” he says. He didn’t know that his character was gay until later. Not that it was an issue for him…
Aaron adds that playing a gay 5
character on helped him see life from the perspective of a relative who’d been suicidal because of his homosexual thoughts. “It has allowed me to walk in the shoes of the people I didn’t understand,” he explains.