Gabrielle Union Wanted to Be a Lawyer Before She Became an Actor

Gabrielle Union has starred in some of the most beloved movies of all time, including her breakout role in 2000’s Bring It On. More recently, in addition to her work on-screen, Union has made headlines for her work in drawing attention to the injustices that exist for marginalized communities.

Gabrielle Union’s fight for equality hits home

In 2019, Gabrielle Union led a wave of racial reckoning in the entertainment industry after she was abruptly fired as a judge on America’s Got Talent. Union blew the whistle on the toxic culture behind the scenes at the show that consisted of racist jokes, homophobic and transphobic discrimination, and the misogynoir Union faced specifically, such as reportedly being told her hairstyles were “too Black.”

Over the past year, Union and her husband — basketball superstar Dwyane Wade — have drawn praise (and criticism) for their acceptance of their trans daughter, Zaya. Black trans women are the most susceptible to violence and murder in the US and abroad, so the matter of making Zaya feel loved and supported at home made the issue so much more personal for Union and Wade.

Gabrielle Union has always wanted to be ‘on the right side of history’ and ‘fighting for the underdog’

Union recently sat down with supermodel Naomi Campbell on her web show No Filter with Naomi to talk about all things Hollywood and the Union-Wade family.

“I was told that you wanted to be a lawyer,” Campbell said. “You know what Gabrielle? I could see that!”

“I love being on the right side of history. I love fighting for the underdog,” Union replied. “I’ve always believed that there’s a right and a wrong way to do things and that justice can come in many forms, and I’ve always wanted to be on the right side of history and the right side of justice and fighting the good fight.”

Gabrielle Union was studying to become a lawyer when ‘acting happened’

Union acknowledged that her heart was definitely in the right place to become a lawyer, but admitted that she probably wasn’t cut out for a law career at the time.

“I was studying for the LSATs which I was doing terribly on — these little practice tests,” she remembered. “But then acting happened! … And so I thought, ‘Hmm, maybe I could try this Hollywood thing for a while as I try to get better at taking this test.’”

Campbell asked her if her friends often come to her for advice, and Union nodded her head. “I could see that about you. You’re such a nurturing person,” Campbell told her admiringly.

“I am nurturing, but I’m also about that action,” Union said plainly. “I’m not the greatest of like, ‘Here, come cry on my shoulder.’ When you’re ready to get it cracking and you want that smoke, that’s when you call me.”

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