Tracee Ellis Ross covers Marie Claire's Summer Issue
Fashion has long been Ross’s preferred language. She credits her mother with introducing her to the transformative power .
At 48, the 'Black-ish' star and Pattern Beauty founder knows just how she wants to live: boldly and with joy.
She’s the living embodiment of the phrase “Go big or go home.” And though she looks nothing like a certain iconic redhead, I’m so struck by her emotiveness and physicality during our conversation that I suggest she should’ve been cast as Lucille Ball in the upcoming Aaron Sorkin biopic. “Do you know how many people would be upset if a Black woman played Lucille Ball?” Ross exclaims. “But I want to so badly. Do you know who else I wanted to play? I wanted to play Miss Hannigan in Annie. Oh my God. It was my dream!”
"What am I going to do, just sit around waiting? Shut up," she says. "I've got so many things to do."
Ross knows she’s at her best when she’s at her busiest, so she’s considering adding even more to her packed roster. Stand-up comedy and a music album could both be on the horizon, she shares. “It gets me all wild and scared, but right now I want to dive into the singing from Tracee,” she says. “That’s uncharted territory. I did it as a character [in The High Note]. Now I’m like, What if I tried that?” What if? “I chewed on ground glass to make it through the discomfort of not knowing how to share myself with the world,” she says. “And so taking a risk to try something new, I know it’s not going to shatter who I am. Now it’s like a hit. It’s like, ‘Ow, that was really uncomfortable. I’m going to take a nap. I’m going to cry for a couple of days, and I will be back.’” She’s clutching her side as if she’s been grazed by a bullet and pretending to limp off to her bedroom. It’s hysterical and classic Ross.
“At this age, a mistake can be processed as a mistake, not ‘I’m a mistake.’ This is the beauty of it. I’m 48 years old, and there’s so much more to try.”