A spin-off of 90s classic "Bad Boys" is set to hit screens worldwide in September with a twist: two female cops lead the way in what Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union, stars and producers of the show, say is a first.
"L.A.'s finest," which launches in September via AXN focuses on the "Bad Boys" drug enforcement agent, Syd Burnett, embodied by Union.
"So it's 2019, first time we've seen two women of color in an action show, starring both in front of and behind the camera, which shows you how slow the wheels of change are turning, but we had to create the change that we wanted to see," Union told Efe on Monday.
Union said in her view Syd has changed dramatically and her character in "Bad Boys" was underdeveloped.
For "L.A.'s finest" there were many blanks that had to be filled in, she continued.
Burnett fights crime alongside Nancy McKenna (Alba), a working mother with a complex past, who combined use humor, action and sex to rope in the viewer but from a female perspective.
Both women star in and are executive producers of the series, and agreed that they enjoyed creating imperfect and flawed characters.
"I liked that the characters are going through a life journey," Alba, who juggles acting alongside running The Honest Company.
"I feel these characters are very human. I've never been able to play someone that reflects a real person in this way," she added, saying that other characters she has played have not been as multifaceted or dynamic.
Alba launched the company that promotes natural products for babies and households in 2012 and has reduced the number of acting jobs she has taken on since then.
"Having a business has allowed me to have a perspective on entertainment and on my role inside of entertainment differently," The "Sin City" actor pondered.
"I don't really feel like I'm more one thing or another thing, I can't not be an actor. It's what I've always been, and I can't undo the fact that I've created something, so I am both. They are both part of me," Alba said of her balancing of running a business and being a performer.
"We fulfilled a lot of the same formula, cracking jokes, kicking ass, sex, and we both came at it in different ways, Gabs character is single, my character is married and you get that similar dynamic with Will Smith's character and Martin Lawrence's character," Alba said of the show.
"The difference is you don't get to see two women in these roles," Alba concluded.
"I don't know which lousy, unhappy man came up with that phrase that 'women can't be funny', it became like a thing whereby this genre 'Buddy Cop' has been solely for dudes and they've been missing out because we're just as funny!" Union said.
The actress concluded that if anything, the female duo bring even more unexpected elements to the show precisely because it has not been done before and by having two women leading a traditionally male genre, the pair hope it will broaden its appeal and reach a wider audience. EFE-EPA