Danielle Pinnock went from Hollywood spoof to starring in one of its hottest comedies


Danielle Pinnock can thank her mother’s wig for helping her land the role of a lifetime.

The actress plays Alberta, a Prohibition-era lounge singer living her best afterlife in the CBS comedy “Ghosts,” which returns for its second season Thursday.

Pinnock, who was familiar with the UK version of the series, was immediately drawn to the role of Alberta because she was “such a delicious diva”. So she knew that her audition, which took place from her kitchen during the pandemic, had to fulfill the character’s bold personality.

“I said, ‘This is it; this is the part I’ve been waiting for.’ I had my 30th birthday dress.”

It worked. Pinnock won the role and has earned success for his comedic and singing stints on the series, which was the most popular comedy on television.

The former northern New Jersey resident knows how difficult auditions can be.

He and his bestie LaNisa Renee Frederick are the creators of the viral social media account Hashtag Booked, where their skits revolve around trying to be black actors in Hollywood.

“We just went to L.A. and it felt like the acting Olympics,” Pinnock said of the inspiration for Hashtag Booked. “You can listen to someone who was a season regular on Living Single and someone who won a cinnamon roll challenge on YouTube. There’s no rhyme or reason to this industry.”

Pinnock has spent more than 17 years in the business, steadily building her resume from her one-woman show “BodyCourage” to playing Professor Ingram on “Young Sheldon.”

With Alberta, she said she wants to “pay homage to all the black artists who came before me” and has been taking singing and dancing lessons to give the role her all.

“He’s on top, but he also has a soft side to him as we get deeper into the season,” Pinnock said.

In addition to “Ghosts,” Pinnock also anchors the adult animated series “Unmentionables,” which “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson is developing for television, and is working on a book.

And despite her success and recognition, Pinnock said she still doesn’t feel like a celebrity, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“The downside to being recognized for me is that I love being in a house dress, I love pajamas, I look like a hot mess when I’m not in glam Alberta,” she laughed. “But now that the show is so successful and we’re seeing 8-10 million viewers every Thursday on Paramount+ streaming, I have to dress it up.”