Jill Scott Speaks On Ryan Michelle Bathe’s Character Being Killed Off Of ‘First Wives Club’

If you dove head first into season 3 of the BET+ series First Wives Club when it premiered November 17, then you know the show has taken some surprising twists and turns. Within the first few episodes, audiences not only experience an almost-wedding but, unfortunately, a funeral as well.

In episode three, which aired November 24, Hazel (Jill Scott) and Bree (Michelle Buteau) somewhat pettily mourn the loss of their longtime friend and bestie Ari (Ryan Michelle Bathe). Last season, Ari was separated from the group for the majority of the episodes while working in Los Angeles and struggling to balance a long-distance marriage and friendships. The setup somewhat foreshadowed Bathe’s potential departure from the series, but when we asked Scott why there was such a permanent end to Ari’s character, she told us, “Because it happens.”

“I’ve lost a lot of friends — I won’t say a lot, but I have lost some friends and I just did not see that coming,” Scott tells ESSENCE of the way the storyline mimics real life. “I did not see that coming. I thought that they were too young to go, but surprise, surprise. This is life. There’s no guarantees in this thing.”

Jill Scott Speaks On Ryan Michelle Bathe’s Character Being Killed Off Of ‘First Wives Club’

Despite the somber nature of that particular plot, Scott has had a ball working on the series and sharing scenes with Buteau and Michelle Mitchenor who was added to the cast in Season 2. Working with guest stars, like Tasha Smith and Essence Atkins, who’ve been spotted in in Season 3, is the icing on the cake.

“It’s the best part!” Scott says, excitedly. “I don’t know who’s coming. I don’t wanna know. Then when they show up, and I’m just so geeked to play with them. This is really playground work. It really is. It’s such a joy to be with them. They’re so professional and so fun, and so easy to get along with.”

That is with one exception, adds Scott in a manner that’s hard to tell whether she’s being playful or serious.

“We just had one person this season who I don’t ever want to see again,” says Scott. Refusing to name names, she adds coyly, “I said what I said.”

Check out the full interview in the video above as Scott discusses her hilarious character Hazel, her input on wardrobe, and what it’s like when she sees her name trending on Twitter.

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