Tisha Campbell reflects on her memorable ‘Martin’ character

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Tisha Campbell, along with Martin LawrenceTichina Arnold and Carl Anthony Payne II, will reunite to revisit the set of iconic ’90s sitcom Martin for the show’s 30th anniversary. Ahead of the 90-minute special, Martin: The Reunion, on June 16, Campbell talked with ABC Audio about her role as Gina, one of the most memorable characters she’s ever played. 

Unlike some actors who prefer only to be called their real name, Campbell says she’s never offended when fans refer to her as Gina.

“When a 5-year-old walks up to me and says, ‘Hi, Gina,’ it’s just the sweetest thing in the world. It’s amazing.”

Born out of her real-life relationship with Lawrence, the show’s creator and executive producer, Campbell’s role as his girlfriend came naturally. She didn’t have to audition; Lawrence made and offered the role specifically to her. They then went on to create TV magic, as some would say, as one of the most beloved Black couples on primetime.

“I’m just so grateful that I was able to play a character and help him in any way I could,” she said.

Campbell couldn’t quite put into words the legacy the show has left on the Black community and the many different audiences that tuned in for each episode. 

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“We literally were going to work trying to feed our families and we were trying to make each other laugh,” she said. “We didn’t know that it would be this and that people would revere it the way that they do.”

The taping of the reunion special, airing on BET+ on Thursday, was the first time in three decades Campbell had been on the Martin set. Upon entering, she “just screamed” because it was just it was such a beautiful moment for all of us.”

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