WATCH: Terrence Howard and Melissa De Sousa On Their Characters’ (Drastic) Evolutions

As Quentin and Shelby, the actors are used to being the resident troublemakers of ‘The Best Man.’ But more is in store in ‘The Final Chapters’ of the story

The Best Man fans are counting down the days for the climactic conclusion of the decades-long story of Harper Stewart and his band of college friends. The Best Man: The Final Chapters, premiering on Peacock on December 22, will take the story from 2014 to 2025 in eight episodes, tracking the midlife transitions of Harper, Robin, Jordan, Lance, Murch, Candace, Shelby, and Quentin, as they move into the next phases of their lives as parents, spouses, senior-level professionals and figure out who they are and what they want out of life and love as their forties come to a close.

Antagonistic eternal bachelor Quentin and catty reality star Shelby have long been the resident trouble-makers of The Best Man‘s ongoing narrative. But in these final chapters, each character must learn to shake their tough exteriors to get to the best life has to offer.

ESSENCE caught up with Terrence Howard and Melissa De Sousa ahead of the highly-anticipated release of the limited series to get their thoughts on their character’s changes in the last iteration of The Best Man narrative.

WATCH: Terrence Howard and Melissa De Sousa On Their Characters’ (Drastic) Evolutions
THE BEST MAN: THE FINAL CHAPTERS — “Brown “Girl Dreaming” Episode 103 — Pictured: Terrence Howard as Quentin — (Photo by: Clifton Prescod/Peacock)

“The evolution of a character is like the evolution of one substance into another,” Howard told ESSENCE of Quentin’s metamorphosis. “Our characters are still going to be the core of those atomic structures, those foundational things that make up our humanity. That’s why I think it’s resonated so well. But they’re going to crystallize under different pressures.”

“As we evolve, so must the characters,” De Sousa tells ESSENCE. “It was important to me, because when this character was introduced – she’s iconic at this point. She’s so memorable for these certain traits. So it was important to me in this third installment to go beyond that and show more colors of this character so that you see all the sides of this woman.”

“[Shelby has] always been demanding and had everything mapped out…but in the end, she has to let all of those walls down in order to get the person that she wants. She has to put all of that aside and be vulnerable and be open. Otherwise, it’s just not a real person.”

WATCH: Terrence Howard and Melissa De Sousa On Their Characters’ (Drastic) Evolutions
THE BEST MAN: THE FINAL CHAPTERS — “The Party” Episode 105 — Pictured: Melissa De Sousa as Shelby — (Photo by: Jocelyn Prescod/Peacock)

“I know the audience likes her as a sh*t starter, but I wanted them to like her as a woman and as a person, and to root for her in a different way,” De Sousa says.

The Best Man: The Final Chapters begins streaming in its entirety on Peacock on December 22.

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