Gabrielle Union Revealed The One Line From "Bring It On" That She Improvised And, Of Course, It's Iconic

    "In this movie, that scene is just an extension of who I am in real life."

    1. You star in the latest remake of Cheaper by the Dozen with Zach Braff. What was your favorite scene to shoot with him?

    Gabrielle Union: "When [Zach's character] Paul was trying to have a romantic night with [my character] Zoey and they had this special Ciroc, which I thought was kind of funny. And then all the kids come in and wacky hijinks ensue, and they are not able to get it cracking. That was a fun day."

    2. Are there any scenes or lines that were improvised that ended up in the movie?

    Gabrielle and Zack leaning over the kitchen table in a scene from the movie

    3. This remake doesn’t shy away from addressing important issues that impact communities of color, like racial profiling and stereotypes about the differences in how Black and white parents may view parenting. Are there any scenes that felt particularly true to life?

    GU: "Familiar, of course. When you have to navigate predominantly white spaces, you are constantly being inundated with...I hate the word microaggressions because they feel like all-out assaults. But it's daily. That's just a daily part of life. I think there's this idea of best and better. [There are common sayings] like, 'These are the best neighborhoods, they're better than everything else.' And you kind of have to ask: better for who, exactly? 

    In Cheaper by the Dozen, we explore that. Zach's character has these very ambitious goals and he wants to move on up. But what comes with that when you have a blended family and you have multi races represented in your family, and you have an LGBTQIA child? Will all of my children be comfortable and safe here? It's all of these moving parts that we explore in an age-appropriate, Disney way."

    Gabrielle standing in a room flanked by two kids in a scene from the film

    4. One of my favorite scenes in the movie happens when DJ, your character's son, expresses himself in a way that surprises almost everyone but Zoey, who is instantly supportive. That kind of radical acceptance is reflected in your own parenting, especially with your trans daughter Zaya. What advice would you give to parents who are struggling to accept their LGBTQ children for who they are?

    GU: "As our children show up, it is our job to believe them when they tell us who they are and not impose our dreams, hopes, fears, and desires on them. It's our job to be loving, compassionate, protective guides for our children, but their lives are their lives and we have to respect that. In this movie, that scene is just an extension of who I am in real life and how our family gets down. We do not believe in any kind of shaming for existing. That is bizarre, cruel, and harmful."

    5. How important is it for you and Dwyane Wade to be a representation of that kind of parenting?

    6. Speaking of Dwyane, you recently described him as "the happiest, most romantic man" post-retirement and compared it to "something out of Bridgerton." In your opinion, what has been the most romantic thing he’s ever done for you?

    7. You and Kaavia, aka Shady Baby, appear to have the best mommy-daughter relationship. What is one piece of advice you hope to instill in her as she gets older?

    8. What's a role people would be surprised to find out you auditioned for but didn't get?

    GU: "Josie and the Pussycats. The character's name was Valerie Brown. Yeah, it went to Rosario Dawson."

    9. Is there a movie or TV show that made you want to become an actor?

    GU: "Probably Claudine with Diahann Carroll. That kind of gave me the [desire to act], but also Dominic Devereaux in Dynasty. There's only one bad bitch and that is Dominic Devereaux, played by the incomparable Diahann Carroll."

    10. Is there a line or scene you improvised or came up with on your own in Bring It On?

    Gabrielle and Kirsten Dunst facing off as rival cheerleaders in Bring It On

    11. Who have you been the most starstruck by?

    GU: "It's always random people. Still, to this day, Smokey Robinson can get it. [Laughs] I know he's perhaps in his late 70s, early 80s but we could find a way to make it work. I love Smokey Robinson in a way that's probably unhealthy for me and him. I think I followed him home from Rite Aid once."

    12. Ha! I love that story. That leads perfectly into my next question. Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

    13. Have you ever taken anything from a TV show or movie after you finished filming?

    GU: "I literally just stole some candles from The Perfect Find set like three days ago. My bad." 

    Editors note: The Perfect Find is an upcoming Netflix rom-com reportedly starring Gabrielle, Gina Torres (Suits9-1-1: Lone Star), and Keith Powers (Straight Outta Compton), among others.

    14. Do you have a group chat with any celebs? If so, who?

    GU: "Yes, many. I have one with Jemele Hill, Kelley Carter, and Cari Champion. That's the one I'm allowed to talk about."

    15. In your career, what accomplishment are you most proud of?

    Gabrielle and Jessica walking side by side in a scene from L.A.'s Finest

    16. Who's an actor on your bucket list to star in a project with?

    Gabrielle posing for a photo with Michael B. Jordan

    17. What is something you've always wanted to learn how to do?

    GU: "Oh, hmm. I've kind of done a lot. Maybe be more proficient in Spanish. I want to be fluent."

    18. What's your favorite thing to cook?

    GU: "A candied ham and collard greens. I'm going to use fat back. Don't ask for no turkey neck, I'm giving you all the pork products."

    19. What is your current iPhone wallpaper?

    GU: "I have an Android. [Laughs]" 

    BF: Listen, no shame! What is your Android wallpaper?

    GU: "It's my daughter Kaavia. It's a photo of her with her braids, coming down the stairs like, 'What?' It's my favorite thing."

    20. This version of Cheaper by the Dozen is a remake of the 2003 movie, which was a remake of the 1950 original. If you could star or executive produce any other iconic film, what would it be and why?

    GU: "I would redo Grease because it's my all-time favorite movie. My favorite character of all time of anything is Cha-Cha DiGregorio, the best dancer at St. Bernadette's with the worst reputation. Maybe I might want to [remake] Grease 2. I don't know. I, too, want a cool rider. [Dwyane] is [always] like, 'Motorcycles are dangerous.' So yeah, somewhere between Grease and Grease 2."

    21. What song always puts you in a good mood?

    GU: "'Ain't No Stopping Us Now' [by McFadden & Whitehead]."

    22. What is your go-to comfort food?

    GU: "Polish kielbasa. [Laughs] Or meatloaf."

    23. If you could be remembered for one role only, what role would you want it to be?

    Gabrielle as Syd posing with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as they all hold guns in a promo photo for Bad Boys

    24. Great choice! What would you say has been your favorite red carpet outfit?

    25. What's the best thing about being a celebrity?

    GU: "Free stuff."

    26. And what's the worst thing?

    GU: "Scrutiny."

    27. Finally, what would your message be for trans kids living in Texas following the state's anti-trans directive?

    GU: "There are people just like you that want you to win in life. And by win, I mean to survive and thrive. And we will find a way. We will not stop working for all of our freedom, our salvation, and our liberation — whether that's in Texas, Florida, Idaho, or all the other states that are basically trying to outlaw your existence, demonize and criminalize your parents for loving you. This will not stand. As long as I have air in my lungs, we will be fighting for you and I will not be alone and you are not alone."

    Thanks for chatting with us, Gabrielle! Cheaper by the Dozen is now available to stream on Disney+.