Danielle Pinnock can thank her mother’s wig for helping her land the role of a lifetime.
The actress plays Alberta, a Prohibition-era lounge singer living her best afterlife on the CBS sitcom “Ghosts,” which returns for its second season on Thursday.
Pinnock, who was familiar with the British version of the series, was immediately drawn to the role of Alberta because she was “such a delightful diva.” She then knew that her audition, held from her kitchen due to the pandemic, had to live up to her character’s bold personality.
“I said ‘This is it; this is the role I’ve been waiting for.’ So I remember I bought my mom’s wig, I had this little red hat from a play called ‘Major Barbara,’ I bought a $20 faux fur shawl, and I had my 30th birthday dress on.”
It worked. Pinnock won the role and has been earning praise for her comedic timing and singing of her own on the series, which was quickly crowned the hottest new sitcom on broadcast television.
The former Northern New Jersey resident knows how tricky auditions can be.
She and her best friend LaNisa Renee Frederick are the co-creators of the viral social media account. reserved hashtag, where his skits lampoon trying to make it as black actors in Hollywood.
“We had just moved to Los Angeles and it felt like the acting Olympics,” Pinnock said of the inspiration for Hashtag Booked. “You could be auditioning with someone who was a regular season on ‘Living Single’ and someone who won a cinnamon challenge on YouTube. There is no rhyme or reason to this industry.”
Pinnock has spent more than 17 years in the business, steadily building her resume from her one-woman show “BodyCourage” to playing teacher Mrs. Ingram on “Young Sheldon.”
With Alberta, he said he “wants to pay tribute to all the black artists who came before me” and has been taking singing and dancing lessons to give his full role.
“It’s over the top, but it also has a vulnerable side as we get further into the season,” Pinnock said.
In addition to “Ghosts,” Pinnock also co-starred in the adult animated series “Unmentionables,” which is being developed for television by “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, and is working on a book.
And even with all her success and recognition, Pinnock said she still doesn’t feel like a celebrity, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“The downside of being recognized for me is that I love being in a house dress, I love pajamas, I look a mess when I’m not in the glam of Alberta,” she laughed. “But now that the show is a hit and we have 8 to 10 million viewers watching every Thursday and on the Paramount+ broadcast, I have to dress up.”