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Richard Roundtree draws on youth as a preacher kid for ‘Family Reunion’ role

Richard Roundtree and Jordyn Raya James; John P. Fleenor/Netflix(NEW YORK) — Richard Roundtree stars as Jeb, a local Georgia pastor and the patriarch of the McKellan family in the new Netflix comedy, Family Reunion.

The series, which stars Loretta Devine as Roundtree’s wife, M’Dear, follows the Seattle-based McKellan family who, after a family reunion, decide to move to the South for a simpler life.

Roundtree tells ABC Radio that becoming the old-school, God-fearing grandpa on the show was an easy lift for him, considering he came from a strict and religious upbringing.

“I think we can safely say my dad was a preacher. So I’m a P.K.,” Roundtree says, meaning preacher kid. “And..I have to maneuver around that persona, if you will.”

“We went to church, Sunday school at 9 o’clock, and we came home around 2 o’clock after morning service, went home and eat and went back for evening service. I mean, that was very narrow upbringing,” said Roundtree. “You could not deviate from that at all.”

Roundtree says he understands the mindset of the Jeb and M’Dear because, like his family, they too had the best intentions.

“So, I’m trying to instill some of that into the family. M’Dear is strict about it. So, there’s a battle,” he says. “A lot of stuff is brought up for me from my childhood in this show. And the bottom line is the love — that’s what permeates the show.”

Family Reunion, also starring Tia Mowry, Telma Hopkins and Anthony Alabi, is now streaming on Netflix.

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