tichina arnold

By John Kennedy

Now in its fifth hit season, The Neighborhood is the perfect TV destination for kicking back and unwinding with friends. Which one of its lovably quirky residents is most like you?

Are you Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer), the street-smart, tell-it-like-it-is entrepreneurial business leader? Dave (Max Greenfield), the idealistic military-vet-turned-counselor? Tina (Tichina Arnold), the faith-filled, multi-talented entertainer? Gemma (Beth Behrs), the progressively principled principal? Malcolm (Sheaun McKinney), the resilient and understanding baseball coach? Marty (Marcel Spears), the brilliant-but-nerdy engineer? Necie (Chelsea Harris), the tough-yet-sweet boxer? Or Grover (Hank Greenspan), the still-trying-to-figure-it-all-out observer of life?

Tally up your answers to see which neighbor you resemble.

The Neighborhood airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

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1. What’s your favorite TV show?

Marty sits on a couch between Tina and Necie as both watch something intently.

Tichina Arnold as Tina, Marcel Spears as Marty and Chelsea Harris as Necie in the Season 5 episode “Welcome to the Ballgame.“

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) Halo

B) Young Sheldon

C) Anything on The Smithsonian Channel

D) SEAL Team

E) Baseball

F) The Soul Man

G) Kingdom Business

H) The Equalizer

2. What’s your best attribute?

Calvin and Kenny point fingers at each other while standing in front of an orange sports car under a banner of checkered flag pennants.

Cedric The Entertainer as Calvin and Troy Winbush as Kenny in the Season 5 episode “Welcome to the Hot Prospect.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) Your imagination

B) Your open-mindedness

C) Your sense of social justice

D) Your inclination toward empathy

E) Your ability to overcome setbacks

F) Your business savvy

G) Your artistic energy

H) How you defy stereotypes

3. Complete this sentence. The best thing about my neighborhood is its …

Malcolm, Calvin, and Gemma wear Dodgers shirts and sit in the stands intently watching a game.

Sheaun McKinney as Malcolm, Cedric The Entertainer as Calvin and Beth Behrs as Gemma in the Season 5 episode “Welcome to the Ballgame.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) … comic book store.

B) … diversity.

C) … library.

D) … acceptance of new arrivals.

E) … baseball park.

F) … people and local businesses.

G) … outdoor food and concerts.

H) … gym.

4. The best advice I ever received was …

Tina and Beth wear aprons and stare at each other over a table full of baking implements.

Tichina Arnold as Tina and Beth Behrs as Gemma in the Season 5 episode “Welcome to the New Deal.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) … Life is not a video game.

B) … Look both ways before crossing the street.

C) … always keep learning.

D) … try to do more listening than talking.

E) … never ever give up.

F) … believe in yourself.

G) … joyful music heals the soul.

H) … don’t hit someone below the belt.

5. One word people often use to describes me is …

Calvin and Dave smile at each other in front of a truck with an open hood and a box of tools.

Cedric The Entertainer as Calvin and Max Greenfield as Dave in the Season 5 episode “Welcome to the Art of Negotiation.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) … geeky.

B) … curious.

C) … dedicated.

D) … friendly.

E) … resilient.

F) … gruff.

G) … extroverted.

H) … strong.

6. What is your favorite quote?

Dave talks with Gemma by their front steps while Malcolm casts a skeptical glance over his shoulder.

Max Greenfield as Dave Johnson, Beth Behrs as Gemma Johnson and Sheaun McKinney as Malcolm Butler in the Season 4 episode “Welcome Back to the Neighborhood.“

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) “With great power comes great responsibility.” ―Uncle Ben to Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man)

B) “I just needed to get on the shuttle so I could finally escape this ridiculous planet.” ―Sheldon Cooper (Young Sheldon)

C) “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” ―Nelson Mandela

D) “Celebrate diversity, practice acceptance and may we all choose peaceful options to conflict.” —Donzella Michele Malone, Mitigation Specialist

E) “Stumbling is not falling.” ―Malcolm X

F) “Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” —Madam C.J. Walker, African American entrepreneur (reputedly America’s first self-made female millionaire)

G) “We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor.” ― G.K. Chesterton

H) “Focus on being balanced—success is balance.” —Laila Ali

7. Which celebrity from any sphere would you most want to have over for dinner?

Tichina Arnold as Tina Butler, Cedric the Entertainer as Calvin Butler, Marcel Spears as Marty Butler, Sheaun McKinney as Malcolm Butler in the Season 4 episode “Welcome to the Ring”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) Elon Musk, tech innovator

B) Tony Hawk, skateboarding icon

C) Michelle Obama, former First Lady/author/human rights advocate

D) Tom Hanks, renowned actor (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)

E) Willie Mays, baseball legend

F) Michael Jordan, basketball legend/entrepreneur

G) Patti LaBelle, a.k.a. the Godmother of Soul

H) Laila Ali, boxing legend

8. What really floats your boat?

Necie and Marty smile at each other and hold hands on a front porch.

Chelsea Harris as Necie and Marcel Spears as Marty in the Season 5 episode “Welcome to the Ballgame.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) Anything Halo

B) An unplanned day

C) It’s too sexy to say here

D) Making a new friend

E) Hitting the game-winning home run

F) Recognition for what you’ve accomplished

G) Singing before a cheering audience

H) Winning

9. I hate it when people say ...

Gemma sits on a couch facing Grover and listening intently as he attempts to make a point.

Hank Greenspan as Grover and Beth Behrs as Gemma in the Season 5 episode “Welcome to the New Deal.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

B) “When I was your age ...”

C) “It’s possible to know too much.”

D) “There’s no point in talking.”

E) "Three strikes and you’re out.”

F) “It can’t be done.”

G) “Haters gonna hate.”

H) “No pain, no gain.”

10. If a neighborhood intersection was named for me, it would be ...

Cast members of The Neighborhood stand together on the sidewalk on set.

Sheaun McKinney as Malcolm Butler, Hank Greenspan as Grover Johnson, Beth Behrs as Gemma Johnson, Max Greenfield as Dave Johnson, Marcel Spears as Marty Butler and Chelsea Harris as Necie in the Season 5 episode “Welcome Back to the Neighborhood.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A) … Fun and Games

B) … Up and Coming.

C) … Read and Write.

D) … Give and Take.

E) … Ups and Downs.

F) … First and Foremost.

G) … Rhythm and Blues.

H) … Left and Right.


Now, gather up your answers and find out who in The Neighborhood is most like you.

Mostly A: You’re … Marty!

Actor Marcel Spears smiles coyly while wearing a patterned sweater eating a bowl of food.

Marcel Spears as Marty in the Season 4 episode “Welcome to Your Match”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Brilliant but fun loving, you’re the person everyone likes to tease but also enjoys hanging around. In an often-cynical world, your gentle guilelessness is a most attractive asset.

Mostly B: You’re … Grover!

A child sits in a overstuffed chair with a notepad looking attentive.

Hank Greenspan as Grover in the Season 4 episode “Welcome to Your Match”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Your child-like openness and curiosity is something to cherish and hold onto as you explore the world with your trademark bravery and authority-pricking humor. Be careful though. You still have much to learn.

Mostly C: You’re … Gemma!

Actress Beth Behrs looks surprised as she sits on a couch holding a phone.

Beth Behrs as Gemma in the Season 3 episode “Welcome to the Invasion”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’re an idealistic intellectual who wholeheartedly believes in truth, justice, and the American way—and that requires being honest about past failures. Aside from all that earnestness, you have a light-hearted fun side that those who love you admire and value.

Mostly D: You’re … Dave!

Max Greenfield laughs as he reclines a chair in a living room.

Max Greenfield as Dave in the Season 4 episode “Welcome to the Family”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You’re loyal, caring, honest, and fun. It’s hard to imagine anyone having a better friend than you. Perhaps your greatest attribute is your willingness to listen and attempt to understand other people’s stories. Your biggest flaw may be that you try too hard to be good, fair, and kind to those around you. Hey, there are worse flaws you could have.

Mostly E: You’re … Malcolm!

Sheaun McKinney laughs as he sits on a sofa holding a magazine.

Sheaun McKinney as Malcolm in the Season 3 episode “Welcome to the Invasion”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A graduate of the School of Hard Knocks with a master’s degree in Comebacks, you’re skilled in pushing through life’s temporary reversals and obstacles. If there’s a mountain in front of you, you’ll go around it, plow under it, or soar over it. One thing you won’t do? Give up. That makes you an inspiration for anyone who’s swung and missed a few times. As your story demonstrates, the game’s not over till it’s over.

Mostly F: You’re ... Calvin!

Cedric the Entertainer wears coveralls and strikes a pose mid-dance in the living room.

Cedric the Entertainer as Calvin in the Season 4 episode “Welcome to the Quinceañera”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You show your love and support for family, friends, and community through your actions more than your words (which can be rather blunt). When all is said and done, they know that whatever road they choose, you’re right behind them win or lose, like the song says. And for that, they are very grateful.

Mostly G: You’re ... Tina!

Tichina Arnold smiles as she wears a denim outfit and sits on a sofa.

Tichina Arnold as Tina in the Season 4 episode “Welcome to the Ex-Files”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A steadfast believer in God, music, family, friends, and community, you exude a joyful enthusiasm for life that is inclusive of everyone and, as a result, just about everyone wants to be around you. Your creative spirit shines a powerful light wherever you go.

Mostly H: You’re ... Necie!

Necie smils and pats Marty on the chest as they stand next to each other.

Marcel Spears as Marty Butler and Chelsea Harris as Necie in the Season 5 episode “Welcome Back to the Neighborhood.”

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Strong-willed yet easygoing, dependable yet unpredictable, and a practitioner of tough love, you are the epitome of balance. Even in the most tumultuous times, you maintain your footing. You keep calm, carry on, and enjoy the view from the tightrope. Speaking of that, your most impressive feat is that while others look up to you, you never look down on them.

The Neighborhood airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars in Your Honor.

Photo credit: Andreas Laszlo Konrath/Trunk Archive

By Nate Millado

If ever there was a time we needed television, it was the last year and a half—and CBS Studios gave us stories that made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. With Primetime Emmy nominations just weeks away (July 13), we want to show some love to a few shows and artists that delivered award-worthy entertainment—and escapism.

READ MORE: Flip Through the Gorgeous Watch For Your Consideration Issue Now!

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Dress by Gucci. Sandals by Steve Madden. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.


By Lisa Kennedy

When Tichina Arnold hopped on the video call, she was in a parking structure in Century City messing with a boot. No, not a DMV boot, but an orthopedic one. Social media followers of Arnold (and you are legion) know that the star—who gives such verve to Tina Butler on the hit sitcom The Neighborhood —has been recovering from foot surgery. (Her path to healing gets a nod at the start of Season 3.) "Hold on one second, one second—I'm getting the boot," she shouts to someone honking for no good reason. She waves said boot. "I never thought I'd be so excited about a goddamn boot," says Arnold, adding with a laugh, "I'm trying to get my sexy back, or at least half of my sexy back."

Arnold, 51, has spent more than 30 years working in television and film. The Queens, New York native started acting at 11 and hasn't had many lulls since. She did soaps (Ryan's Hope), sang and danced (Little Shop of Horrors), and played pivotal roles in two popular comedies that were part of the surge in Black television programming: first as Pam, Tisha Campbell's bestie on Martin, and a few years later as mom Rochelle on Chris Rock's critically appreciated Everybody Hates Chris.

Now she's bringing no small amount of smarts and sparkle opposite another comedy luminary. Cedric the Entertainer (an executive producer on The Neighborhood) portrays Calvin Butler, who's vexed—and over time kind of charmed—when small-towners Dave and Gemma Johnson (Max Greenfield and Beth Behrs) and their young son settle next door in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

The Neighborhood airs on Mondays at 8/7c on CBS and streams Paramount+.


Tichina Arnold on the cover WATCH Magazine

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

How long have you been in L.A. now?

I've been here since 1991. I moved here right before I did Martin and ended up staying.

To say the least. You've been doing television for nearly 30 years. What's changed for you and what's changed in television?

A lot has changed in the industry, period. Television definitely became more open, more racy, a little more real. If we did Martin now and we were able to say what we wanted to say, it would be a completely different show. Back then we had a censor, this guy named … what was his name? He used to come and count the "damns," count the "hells."

Tichina Arnold in a vibrant vintage dress

Gown, vintage. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

What drew you to The Neighborhood?

What attracted me initially were two things: being able to work with Cedric and, I've been on great shows, but this was a wonderful opportunity to finally be on a major network. CBS didn't have a whole lot of Black folk, so I was happy that CBS was being a lot more open to having more color on the network. That, to me, showed television was definitely changing. It's not just a Black show. You have a lot of inclusivity. So I was like, "Yeah, I want to be part of this."

It's crazy you haven't worked with Cedric before.

It's bananas. We have all the same friends.

The Neighborhood has such sweet cast chemistry. Is it as good as it seems?

Everybody is just really good. Everybody's like their characters. Creator Jim Reynolds had Tina all mapped out. But when I came and read for the role, he saw other things. So I'm appreciative of that, because Black women, we're not just one thing. We have so many facets to us. Every time I open the script, there's always something new about Tina that I learn, which is fun. Jim will ask me, "Tichina, do Black women do this?" And I'll tell him abso-frigging-lutely-not. You see her flaws, and Cedric makes sure of it.

Tichina Arnold in a courtyard wearing a vibrant dress

Robe by Camilla and Marc. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

Where do you overlap with Tina?

You know, most women, we want to keep our youth as much as we can. I knew then, when I played on Everybody Hates Chris, that once you play a mother, you will always be a mother. Goddammit. [Laughs.] OK, this is the first time I'm a mother of grown sons—one got a beard. Omigod. I just have to accept that. But it's television, and I can be whatever I want to be. I'm 51 and a lot of my friends had kids by the time they were 17. So you have a lot of Black mothers who look like they are 25 or 30, but they're 50. Snoop made a post that was hysterical. He posted this little girl, and it said something like, "Yeah, I'm really 42." Like "Black don't crack."

Did Cedric help you figure it out?

He's very hands-on. So he said, "Look I want you to be comfortable, but we're parents … You still smoking." Cedric's really good at being this amazing Black man on camera as well as off. Cedric's always been such a wonderful human being, and the show has that temperature. The show has that texture to it because he is a good leader. He is a good leading man. He's smart. He's respectful. He has a lot of empathy for people. He knows how to communicate. He never raises his voice. This show could not have come at a better time.

Tichina Arnold sitting in a window sill

Robe by Camilla and Marc. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

Could you expand on that? I can think of all kinds of reasons, but as my dad said, "You know what 'assume' spells?"

Well, a lot of negativity has been stirred up—and this negativity is nothing new. This is what we as Black people have been dealing with, and I always speak from the Black perspective because that's what I am. And I think this show created a wonderful platform to start dialogue. This show displays our differences. It happens at the table reads all the time: We'll be sitting at the table, and a Black joke will happen, and Beth and Max will go, "What?!" because everybody Black in the room laughs. But it happened with me, too. In the script someone says, "Hey, I'm going out for a froyo." I was like, "Sorry guys, what's a froyo?" The point is, whether we're White, Black, we have different ways of communicating with each other. So what I love about being on the show is that we continue communication.

The first episode of the third season addressed Black Lives Matter. Some people who love the show have said they'll stop watching. What is that?

Guess what, sometimes when the truth is told, it's uncomfortable. This is part of change. It's a natural human instinct; you don't want to be uncomfortable. But it's what we do with our being uncomfortable. I'm happy that we have a platform. We deal with real topics. This is not fantasy. I think it's wonderful we've tapped into Black Lives Matter. Just add "too" behind it. We matter, too. For me to be on a show that's on CBS, and CBS is able to say Black lives matter, that's change. And it's change for the better.

I'm grateful that I can be a part of a body of work that understands me as a Black woman in America and that actually displays me as a Black woman in America. We have a long way to go in understanding each other, and The Neighborhood really addresses that. And we do it off-camera as well. So Beth and I always talk about that. She's like, "What can I do as a White woman?" And I said the fact that you asked allows me to share my story with you. Now, I need to hear your story. What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want to learn? What do you want to know? Trust me, I ask questions. You learn till the day you die. That's what matters to me.

Tichina Arnold posing on stairs

Dress by Gucci. Sandals by Steve Madden. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

So, where did you get that perspective? Life? Family? You grew up in the church, and that seems to feed your understanding of the world, and you still have a compassionate way of expressing that.

That's a nice way of putting it.

No, really. You and [your sister] Zenay were on Beth's Harmonics with Beth Behrs podcast, and she said she considered herself a "lapsed Catholic." One of you said about church that we go to meet God by ourselves. Such a great insight.

I get it from my parents. Both of my parents are givers. My mother will give the shirt off her back and so will my dad. They've just always been that way, and we came up really staunch Christians. Me being in show business, I was kind of the heathen. [Laughs.]

Did you know at 11 that you were going to want to keep doing this?

I didn't know anything else. I did shows for free. I did it because I loved it. Not until I got to L.A. and I had to start paying rent did that change. I was like, "Omigod, I got to depend upon this?!" Prior to that, I was just doing what I love doing.

Tichina Arnold on a bed wearing a sparkly dress

Dress by Zadig & Voltaire. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

How do you protect that relationship to what you love?

Well, I've been at a point where I didn't have two nickels to rub together, and still I turned down work because I did not believe in what that piece of work was. I didn't want to wake up every day doing that.

Do you have any episodes of The Neighborhood that you loved or that you thought, I nailed that?

Now you're asking me to tap into my menopause problem—let me think. I have moments. I laugh at moments, not episodes. But I don't think I've ever said Oh, I nailed anything. I'm not interested in watching myself. The one time somebody made me watch Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story [2008], we watched it in my agent's office. And I forgot that I was watching myself.

Now that was weird. It freaked me out. I said, "Wow, God gave you exactly what you wanted." I did a film with absolutely no comedy in the character whatsoever. I kept saying, I just want to do a dramatic role. I want to see if I can do it. So here I played a real woman who walked this earth, to be the first woman executed in the state of Georgia. Just reading and watching and hearing about her life. I was like, how can I do this woman justice? So after I watched the movie, I felt grateful that I was able to fool myself. Because I forgot that I was watching myself. I felt like I did it; I reached a goal.

Tichina Arnold in a white pants suit

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

So do you have some rules for yourself about how you engage on social media?

I do. I don't reply to people. You reply to one, you have to reply to all. I make it a point that if I am joking about something, I'm not being insensitive. It's like sending text messages: A lot of stuff could be misread. That's what happens with Twitter all the time. What I do is, I never have a cocktail and tweet. And if I know that it's really, really socially edgy, I'll ask my sister, "Should I?"

Speaking of Zenay, who's also your manager, what were you two like as little kids?

We were opposites but the same. She was a lefty. I'm a righty. But she insists on sitting on the side where our arms knock. Constant fights. I tortured her. She used to think she would go down the drain. We would take baths together, so I'd push her toward it. My parents taught us that all we have is each other. So even to this day, we are very good with separating our business relationship from our sisterhood.

Tichina Arnold in a white top

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

So how do you get 2 million–plus Instagram followers?

That came from me trying not to lose my mind. Because I used to fight with my daughter [Alijah, age 16] every morning. By the time she was 3, we were in the car all the time and she didn't want to be in the seat. Here I am a single mom and I'd start singing. She loves dancing and I wanted her to sing. We started singing in the car. I posted: "For all you parents out there that had a hard time getting your kid up this morning, this is for you. You're not alone."

I had grandmothers hitting me, aunts hitting me, single dads hitting me. We all really do go through the same things, right?Different times, different places, different levels, different households. I never ever mind sharing my pain as long as I've learned from that pain. So now I can tell you what that pain feels like, but I can also tell you what I learned.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Kwaku Alston

STYLED BY: Dana Campbell

HAIR: Robbi Rogers

MAKEUP: @bethcarterbeauty using MAC

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2020.

The Neighborhood airs on Mondays at 8/7c on CBS and streams Paramount+.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

As Tichina Arnold dives into Season 3 of playing Tina Butler—the vivacious wife of Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer), and mom to their two adult sons—she couldn't be prouder of the work she's done on the platform for change that The Neighborhood has become.

So who would have guessed that on top of it all, she could rock a fashion shoot like nobody's business? We had a hunch, and the proof is here, photographed by Kwaku Alston and styled by Dana Campbell for the November-December 2020 issue of Watch.

Scroll to see all the pretty portraits, and don't miss Tichina Arnold's full interview in latest issue of Watch—available now!

SEE MORE: Check Out The Latest Issue Of Watch Magazine—Available Now!

Watch all-new episodes of The Neighborhood on Mondays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Playing It Cool

Tichina Arnold in a vibrant vintage dress

Gown, vintage. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"Once you play a mother you will always be a mother," Tichina tells Watch, referencing her former role on Everybody Hates Chris, but noting this is her first time playing a mother of grown-up sons. Happily, though, "It's television," she says. "And I can be whoever I want to be."

Textural Tapestry

Tichina Arnold sitting on stairs

Dress by Gucci. Sandals by Steve Madden. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

Describing Cedric the Entertainer, aka The Neighborhood's Calvin Butler, as "a wonderful human being" who is both empathic and respectful, Tichina asserts that "the show has that texture to it because he is a good leader."

Platform Perfection

Black and white photo of Tichina Arnold standing on stairs

Dress by Gucci. Sandals by Steve Madden. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"What I love about being on the show is that we continue communication." — Tichina Arnold

Character Driven

Tichina Arnold in a vibrant vintage dress

Gown, vintage. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"Everybody's like their characters [in real life]," Tichina Arnold tells Watch in her November-December 2020 cover story, a nod to The Neighborhood's creator Jim Reynolds' vision. But she also appreciates Reynolds' openness to her own take on Tina's MO. "Jim will ask me, 'Tichina, do Black women do this?' And I'll tell him 'abso-friggin-lutely not.' You see her flaws and Cedric makes sure of it."

Bold Choices

Tichina Arnold in a courtyard wearing a vibrant dress

Robe by Camilla and Marc. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"It's a natural human instinct," Arnold says of the moment earlier this season when some fans were unhappy with the showrunners' choice to address Black Lives Matter. "You don't want to be uncomfortable," she observes. "But it's what we do with our being uncomfortable. I'm happy that we have a platform."

Attitude Of Gratitude

Tichina Arnold on a bed wearing a sparkly dress

Dress by Zadig & Voltaire. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"I'm grateful that I can be a part of a body of work that understands me as a Black woman in America and that actually displays me as a Black woman in America. We have a long way to go in understanding each other, and The Neighborhood really addresses that." — Tichina Arnold

Story Time

Tichina Arnold wearing a sparkly dress

Dress by Zadig & Voltaire. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

Tichina Arnold tells Watch that she and costar Beth Behrs often share their stories with each other off-camera, and the desire to understand each other's perspectives is more than mutual: "Trust me, I ask questions. You learn till the day you die. That's what matters to me."

Spiritual Being

Black and white photo of Tichina Arnold smiling

Gown, vintage. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"We came up really staunch Christians," Arnold says of growing up with her now-manager sister Zenay. "Me being in show business," she laughs, "I was kind of the heathen."

As Good As Gold

Tichina Arnold posing on stairs

Dress by Gucci. Sandals by Steve Madden. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"Cedric's always been such a wonderful human being, and the show has that temperature."— Tichina Arnold

The Natural

Tichina Arnold sitting in a window sill

Robe by Camilla and Marc. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

A natural actor who "did shows for free" in her early life, Arnold tells Watch that didn't change till she moved to L.A. "I was like, 'Omigod, I got to depend upon this?!'" Prior to that moment, she says, "I was just doing what I love doing."

Creative Integrity

Tichina Arnold in a white pants suit

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Shoes by Stewart Weitzman. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"I've been at a point where I didn't have two nickels to rub together, and still I turned down work because I did not believe in what that piece of work was. I didn't want to wake up every day doing that." — Tichina Arnold

Big Moments

Tichina Arnold in a white top

Top by Balenciaga. Pants by Halston. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

"I laugh at moments, not episodes," Arnold says when asked by our writer if she sees herself as having nailed a particular Neighborhood episode. "I don't think I've ever said, Oh, I nailed anything. I'm not interested in watching myself."

Rules Of Engagement

Tichina Arnold in a courtyard wearing a vibrant dress

Robe by Camilla and Marc. Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. Jewelry by Dana Campbell.

Photography by Kwaku Alston. Styled by Dana Campbell.

When it comes to managing her substantial social media presence, Tichina Arnold admits she's careful about being misconstrued, and makes sure her followers know when she's joking. "I never have a cocktail and tweet. And if I know that it's really, really socially edgy, I'll ask my sister, 'Should I?'"

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