GHOSTS: Danielle Pinnock on Alberta's Death and That Bonkers Tattoo - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GHOSTS: Danielle Pinnock on Alberta’s Death and That Bonkers Tattoo

December 3, 2021 by  

GHOSTS Danielle Pinnock alberta killed

“Alberta’s Fan” – Alberta is thrilled when a super fan of her music visits the mansion to learn more about her. Also, Thor convinces Hetty to go on a walk with him in hopes that it will spark a special memory, on the CBS Original series GHOSTS, Thursday, Dec. 2 (9:01-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured (L-R) Asher Grodman as Trevor and Danielle Pinnock as Alberta
Photo: Best Possible Screen Grab/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

On the Thursday, December 2 episode of GHOSTS, Alberta’s (Danielle Pinnock) superfan revealed a lot—intentionally and not.

Though Alberta was initially delighted to know a fan had sought out more information on her, she was horrified to learn Todd (Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll) was so obsessed he had a tattoo of her face on his back.

“It was hilarious and Rodrigo just delivers the performance so phenomenally,” Pinnock says. “He’s so weird in the show and so creepy and does such a great job at this character. And when that back tattoo was unleashed, it is unreal. So I definitely got some selfies next to it. I’m so thrilled.”

And, yes, having a tattoo of your face on someone is as surreal as one might expect.

“Never would you ever think that you would see your face on somebody’s back!” Pinnock says with a laugh. “Like, wow, I feel [as if I’m a] rock star. This is the funniest thing in the whole wide world. And shout out to our entire makeup department who did not tell me what was happening. One day, they just came to the trailer and said, ‘Hey, we just need a selfie of you,’ and that was it. And I was like, ‘Okay, cool.'”

“[Then,] I read it in the script, and I was like, ‘Did I read that correctly? A tattoo?!'” she continues. “It wasn’t until the day before when [it hit me]. Rodrigo has other tattoos, and they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re gonna have to conceal them.’ I don’t think it quite hit me until we got on set and he took off his shirt for the first time and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s my face.’ Everybody busted out laughing. And it looks so great on camera and it was so funny…I just could not believe it. Couldn’t believe it.”

Of course, the episode wasn’t entirely a laughing matter: Todd was determined to prove that Alberta was poisoned…and drank the same thing she drank before her death to make his point. (And, yep, he ended up in the hospital.)

With Alberta getting confirmation she was killed, “I’m excited for them to explore in the rest of the season and—fingers and toes crossed if we do get a season 2—who did it?” Pinnock says. “Did she have any rivals? I love how [co-creators] Joe Port and Joe Wiseman have given a lot of these ghost flashbacks, but I also love how special this episode, is because we do not get a flashblack homage to the Harlem Renaissance, and that beautiful 1920s Jazz era for Alberta. I know that they’re saving that good stuff for if we get a season 2. I know for a fact Alberta wants to know exactly who, when, and why [she was killed]. I cannot wait until we get to explore that. It’s gonna be so fun.”

Until that matter is resolved, Alberta did get to achieve a bit of unexpected closure: Todd was interviewed about his discovery, which led to a resurgence of people acknowledging how incredible Alberta was as a performer.

“I think the thing that’s most special about this episode for me is that fame is so important to her,” Pinnock notes. “Not because she’s just this boisterous diva—and yes, there is an aspect of that—but I think she really wanted this for herself to make her family proud. And you can see this moment with her [talking about] her dad, when she talks about him and the struggles that they had to go [through] as African Americans during that time. And just wanting to make her family proud and wanting them to truly just be proud of her and all of her work.”

“The thing that I think is so special as a Black woman playing this character is there are so many forgotten voices of that time period, specifically,” she continues. “We didn’t have the internet back then. So all we know are the Bessie Smiths and Ma Raineys and the Billie Holidays, but there were so many other people that may not have had big albums out. It’s just so great that finally there’s this resurgence of Alberta, and it feels like she gets closure, even in the afterlife. She is living. She’s now able to make her father proud, even though he’s not still around—but she is and through her music, it lives on.”

That element also hit close to home for Pinnock. “I talked a lot about this with Joe Port and Joe Wiseman and Lauren [Bridges], who is the writer of this episode—my father passed when I was 16 years old,” she says. “He’s never seen me on television. He never got the chance to see me perform. So I’ve always had this want to make him proud. And they were able to add that to the episode so beautifully.”

“[The episode] just gives our girl another layer,” she continues. “Another shade. This beautiful blooming onion of Alberta that we know to kind of be this rambunctious jokester, with the best one-liners, we really do get to see the core of this onion and how beautiful she is. I’m honored to play this dynamic character and I just can’t wait to see how the audiences feel [about the episode], too.”

GHOSTS, Thursdays, 9/8c, CBS


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