Black actresses don’t usually score major roles on premiere primetime television shows – until now. The beautiful Sonequa Martin-Green was cast back in November 2012 as the mysterious Tamara, the estranged girlfriend of Neal Cassidy/Baelfire (most notably known as Michael Raymond-James, the season one villain on HBO’s ‘True Blood’). With little known about the role initially, the second season of ABC’s hit show ‘Once Upon A Time’ initially promised viewers that Ariel (yes, the Little Mermaid) would be introduced sometime in the near future. Tamara’s #perfecttiming introduction on the show gives hope that we’ll be meeting her sooner than later. The show has been known for its play-on names and departure from traditional stories, so why not give Tamara, which means “goddess of river and streams” in Britain folklore, a much-needed twist by making her a hot and promising African-American big bad?
Martin-Green is recently known for her role as Sasha, a member of Tyreese’s group on ‘The Walking Dead’. Playing a character with questionable motives is a good look for Sonequa, strangely bringing out the best of her strong features as she coyly skirts with evil.
She also had a co-starring role on ‘The Good Wife’, playing sneaky paralegal Courtney Wells. The role was so deliciously evil that it puts ‘Scandal’ alum Kerry Washington’s acting to shame – in only eight episodes. Her work on the CBS show clearly aided in their multiple Primetime Emmy wins in 2010 and 2011.
While Sonequa has starred in a slew of independent films (most notably the DC-Bethesda parallel ‘Toe To Toe’), it’s her slow-burning role on ‘Once Upon A Time’ that has viewers wondering just which fairytale character she will play. It’s indisputable that the flat-ironed Martin-Green is one of the hottest Black women on primetime television, so with a recurring villainous role on ABC’s top rated show, there’s no stopping her now – as long as she turns down every Tyler Perry play offer she gets. Check out Tamara’s first bout of evil in Storybrooke on next week’s upcoming new episode below.