Showtime's Your Honor tells the story of a judge, played by Emmy award winner Bryan Cranston, dedicated to his career — but even more dedicated to his family when he is forced to cover for his son in a hit-and-run accident. Looking even deeper, the limited series draws attention to the American judicial system, where money and privilege often give those accused of crimes another leg to stand on.
Andrene Ward-Hammond, who plays Big Mo on the series, told Cheddar the show is a springboard for jumping into uncomfortable, but necessary, conversations about the court system.
"It's holding a mirror to exactly what's happening right now. It's generating the conversation that we need to have," she said. "People are triggered by it. People are upset by it. It's not just for entertainment but calls into question, 'Why does this happen and why do you feel the way that you do after watching it? Why are you triggered by it?' and I think we don't have enough of that conversation."
Ward-Hammond's character, a strong arm in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, commands attention when she speaks and often makes her presence felt without relying on overbearing tactics, a trait the actress said was easy for her to embody.
"I am Big Mo. Not in the illegal sense, but I'm a mom. I'm a protector of my community. I root for the underdog, and I make sure that those that are not taken care of, that they have a voice," she said. "I'm a huge protector of those that are around me, so it wasn't hard to draw for Big Mo at all."
In the series, New Orleans itself plays a role as the plot is steeped in the city's rich culture. Ward-Hammond explains that The Big Easy is as integral to telling the story as the dialogue between characters.
"The color, the culture, the history in itself is the backdrop of the story. You see what post-[Hurricane] Katrina looks like there. You see the culture from two vantage points, the privileged and the poor, and what that looks like," she said.
Though the limited series has garnered much attention, Showtime currently has no plans to extend the show beyond this season. The finale is slated to air Sunday, February 14.