Gail Bean is a multi-hyphenate actress currently starring in Starz’s gritty drama P-Valley. Bean joined the critically acclaimed series in season two as “Roulette” and as a straight shooter on FX's critically acclaimed drama series Snowfall. Created by the late icon John Singleton, set in south-central Los Angeles, this period piece follows actual events of the United States government ushering crack cocaine into Black communities and fostering the demise of a people. For the past four seasons, Bean has starred as Wanda, an around-the-way girl who journeys through the ebbs and flow of addiction. Having proximity to drugs, she eventually falls prey and grapples with who she was versus who she has become. Bean portrays Wanda's journey with sheer humanity and honesty while offering an authentic viewpoint of battling addiction.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a schoolteacher and professional football coach, Bean was raised to love and appreciate the arts. At just age three, her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and it was there that her parents enrolled Bean in ballet, art and theater classes to cultivate her passion. After enrolling in acting courses for several years, her mentor, Rodney Perry, encouraged Bean to transition to Los Angeles to pursue a serious career in acting.
In 2014, Bean starred in Duffle, a short film by indie filmmaker Eric Rhea that explores the story of a young unemployed father-to-be struggling to follow the right path when faced with fatherhood. In 2015, the St. Louis native starred in Kris Swanberg's Sundance hit, Unexpected opposite Cobie Smulders. Additional roles include Spectrum's Paradise Lost, launched in the summer of 2020, and the Indie favorite Test Pattern, which shares the story of a couple's relationship being tested after a traumatic experience.
Bean stirred headlines in 2015 with Kris Swanberg's Sundance film festival hit Unexpected. She was listed in The Hollywood Reporter as one of the “Top 10 Next Generation Breakout Stars of Sundance.” Since her breakout role, Bean has landed roles in the James Gunn horror thriller The Belko Experiment (2016), which explored the survival of the strongest experiment when employees learn that they are pawns in a deadly game and have to stick together to remain alive. One of Bean's most memorable television roles is the controversial character of “Rasheeda” in Issa Rae's hit HBO series Insecure. Bean's television credits also include NBC's Chicago P.D., the FX Emmy® Award-winning series Atlanta and Comedy Central's Detroiters.
Committed to using her platform to empower and educate, Bean is actively involved in philanthropic programs that provide art resources to support disenfranchised communities for healing and upliftment. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and she continuously champions financial literacy and entrepreneurship. She continues to be a staunch advocate for community service, theater programs and art projects centered on helping children and young adults.