After the third episode of Greenleaf, you may think you know Mavis McCready pretty well—but you’d be wrong.
Mavis is the black sheep of the Greenleaf flock. Much to the consternation of her sister, Lady Mae Greenleaf, the first lady of Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, Mavis operates a jazz and blues bar on Beale Street, the heart of the music district in Memphis, Tennessee.
So, when the family’s other outsider, Grace “Gigi” Greenleaf, arrives in town, Mavis sees an opportunity to ruffle some feathers. She gives Grace damning evidence that Robert “Mac” McCready, her brother, continues to engage in his heinous predatory behavior, which sets Grace on a quest to take him down.
“Mavis has deep love and affection and parental guidance and support for Grace,” says Oprah, who plays Mavis in addition to being an executive producer of the show.
Show creator and executive producer Craig Wright adds that Mavis’ motivations don’t end at being Grace’s mentor. “Mavis is complicated,” he says. “She is giving Grace the information she needs to get at Mac, but she’s driven, I think, by deeper resentments and deeper griefs about having had to live outside the family.”
If the first few episodes of Greenleaf have left you wanting more Mavis, you’re in luck. “You’re going to come to know a lot about Mavis in the future,” Oprah says. “What you see in Episode 2 is just the beginning of Mavis starting to poke her nose into the family business.”
Although Mavis sends Grace on a journey, she’s also on a journey of her own. “When she gives that folder to Grace, it’s not just to help Grace do the right thing,” Craig says. “I think it’s to start investigating how she might get back into the family that she left behind.”