On OWN’s new mega-church drama, Greenleaf, Oprah plays Mavis McCready, the wise and compassionate aunt of Grace Greenleaf.

In virtually every family, Oprah says, there is a black sheep. “Mavis is that person,” Oprah says, “and Mavis has her own way of being in the world and her own way of doing things. She’s a little eccentric and a little Afrocentric. I say, ‘When you see Mavis, she’s wearing everything she owns at one time.’ So she’s got on bracelets and earrings and a belt and a necklace, you know. She loves her African ornaments and adornments, and has her own nightclub because she loves jazz and blues and poetry.”

Ultimately, Mavis reminds Oprah of one of her mentors. “In my mind, she reminds me of what Maya Angelou would be if Maya Angelou ran a nightclub.”