Danielle Mone Truitt leads the latest installment of Dick Wolf’s successful Law & Order franchise titled ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’, which airs on NBC. Danielle plays the role of Sergeant Ayanna Bell, alongside veteran actor Christopher Meloni.
The actress began her career in theater and was nominated for the prestigious NAACP Theatre award and an Ovation award for her role in the Katori Hall play ‘The Mountaintop’. Other iconic stage shows where Danielle is seen performing include ‘Dreamgirls’, ‘The Heights’, ‘Hair’, and ‘A Raisin In The Sun‘.
Did you know that the late great director John Singleton handpicked Danielle for the BET series, ‘Rebel’? It’s true! Additionally, Truitt is known for her breakout performance in the title role of Rebecca “Rebel” Knight, a once-promising detective turned vigilante. This role brought her national acclaim.
Additional television roles Danielle is known for include Deputy (FOX), and Snowfall (FX) to name a few. She made history when she joined Disney’s Academy Award-nominated adapted film ‘The Princess and The Frog‘, as the video reference for Princess Tiana. She performed the body movements and facial expressions for the Disney Princess, ultimately giving the character ‘Princess Tiana’ her persona and essence. Danielle is a force to be reckoned with and is a huge inspiration for Black women around the world, who aspire to obtain successful careers in theater, film, and television!
Tammy Reese got an exclusive interview with Danielle for British Thoughts Magazine.
What was it like to work with John Singleton?
Working with John Singleton was one of the most impactful experiences of my career. He was a visionary. He was an extremely genuine person in an industry that has a lot of opportunistic and fake people. Working with John helped me realize that my gifts and what I had to offer the industry were enough. It was also amazing to see how much he loved what he did! Directing was truly his passion. His excitement was contagious. I’m grateful he took a chance on me. A young woman that he didn’t know from anywhere and gave me the opportunity to shine!
How has the journey been for you thus far on NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime alongside Christopher Meloni?
It’s been an incredible experience. One that took me by surprise. No one could’ve told me that one day I would be the second lead of a Law And Order show. I’m really blessed to get to work with Chris Meloni and the rest of our awesome cast and crew. It’s just a beautiful group of humans who feel lucky to be doing what we do. I love our show and I’m really proud of it!
Did you ever anticipate the response the show’s fans have received episode after episode?
No. Absolutely not! L&O fans are so supportive and so LIT! LOL! They make this journey even more fun. They also taught me a lot about the franchise because I wasn’t an avid L&O watcher. I’m really glad they have accepted Bell and accepted me.
What are some memorable moments in your career thus far?
There are many… let’s see. Booking my first TV role as a guest star and not knowing what I was doing on set, but I acted like I did and no one knew the difference. My audition for Rebel, with John Singleton. The way he reacted to who I was and what I did in the audition will always stay with me. Creating and performing my one-woman show 3:Black Girl Blues. My video reference work for the first African American Disney Princess, Princess Tiana. Getting the news that I would be starring in Law And Order: Organized Crime without having to audition. I was literally in shock for most of the first season. Lol. Having my children and other family and friends visit me while filming on various sets and attending my plays. The times I cried privately when I felt like a failure. When I wondered if I wasn’t good enough. Sometimes I cried with friends and family when I was disappointed about not getting an opportunity. I remember their love and encouragement. I remember the moments when God reminded me of who I was and the gifts He’s given me.
What would you like to see more of in the entertainment world for people of color?
I would like to see more people of color in positions of power. Executives, producers. I’d love to see black distribution companies. I’d love to continue to see a wide array of diverse stories being told by people of color and the proper funding so those projects can be successful.
What can we be on the lookout for from Danielle Mone Truitt for the remainder of 2022?
I’ll be performing my one-woman play, 3:Black Girl Blues in Sacramento CA at B Street Theatre. June 2-12
What impact do you want to make in the entertainment industry?
I believe my purpose in the industry is to encourage artists to not just be successful by industry standards, but to thrive as human beings. I also want to tell stories on stage, and in front and behind the camera that celebrates humanity in all its beauty and even in its ugliness. I hope those stories make the industry even more inclusive, give audiences something to think about, change hearts, bring people together, cause healing, entertain them and give them hope to live life at their best!