NBC’s Truth Be Told premieres tonight! In celebration, NBC had a special press mixer at Atlanta’s Cucina Asellina last night. We were able to chat with series star and comedian Tone Bell along with Executive Producer Will Packer.
The series tells the story of two rather diverse couples who are best friends and neighbors. Take a look at the trailer below.
When I asked Bell what three words he would use to describe the series, the Atlanta-native responded, “Sexy, Sassy, Sophisticated.”
Quick on his feet! I appreciated the alliteration from the star.
While Bell will be a new face to many on tonight’s premiere, he has a pretty cool story with how he got involved with Truth Be Told. He didn’t actually have to audition for the role of Russell.
“I met with Will and DJ [DJ Nash], the series creator, in January. I was just coming off my last series Bad Judge.” Bell explained. “They had just gotten the pickup like an hour before I met with them. We just sat there and talked, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is an offer, but I’d love to do it, if you guys are doing it.’ And Will goes, ‘Okay, cool. We’ll get back to you.’ 45 minutes later they called me and said I was the guy. I didn’t have to audition. This was my first time not having to audition.”
So how did Packer know so quickly that Bell was the man for the job?
“I say this to everyone who wants to get into the business. There is no such thing as overnight success. Tone is someone that is from Atlanta. He was born in Decatur. That’s a long way from Hollywood. But he got in a program with NBC where they were looking for young and diverse up and coming comics, and he entered this contest, and he didn’t win. And he entered again, and he didn’t win. And he entered again, and he didn’t win. He entered this contest for four years, and he finally won. That’s all that mattered. He won, and now he had this relationship with NBC.” Packer explained, “So when DJ pitched the show to me, I took it to NBC. I had a relationship with Universal because that’s where I made Ride Along, and it’s also where I made Straight Outta Compton. And NBC said, ‘You know what, there’s a great young talent that we know named Tone Bell, you should meet with this guy. And we met, and we sat, and we clicked right away.”
Fun fact for fans, Bell had actually auditioned for Packer to be one of the steppers in Stomp the Yard 10 years ago. It didn’t work out then, but Bell has no regrets.
“Things happen the way they’re supposed to. We’re already talking about the future. Will has been very instrumental.” Bell commented on Packer’s influence on his career.
And in case you’re wondering, we also asked Bell the obvious question. Was he a fan of Saved By The Bell?
“Oh yeah. Here’s the full thing, he [Mark-Paul Gosselaar] and I started talking and hanging out – because I really wanted the chemistry to be real. You want it to look real, not just seem real.” Bell answered, “He told me, you know Saved By The Bell wasn’t a hit. We think it was a hit. But it almost got cancelled every year. No one watched it while it was on. People picked it up after it was cancelled, and then it became a phenomenon.”
The chemistry that Bell mentioned between him and Gosselaar definitely does come across on-screen. Take a look at one of our favorite promos below!
The series premiere happens on NBC tonight at 8:30/7:30c! Be sure to check it out!