Things got a little frightening for “Zatima” lovers on Tyler Perry’s Sistas recently. Zac overheard Fatima in a prank recording and thought she really was using him and gassing up his head.
The two fought and even briefly broke up. But thankfully, by the end of last week’s installment, Fatima connected the dots and realized why Zac was lashing out, and she rushed to his side to make things right. Devale Ellis, who plays Zac on the wildly successful BET sudser, says he’s just as relieved as fans.
“‘Zatima’ represents the dream of finding love in the most awkward places,” Ellis earnestly tells TVLine. “Zac was in Chainbreakers at a time when he was just trying to build himself up, and he met a woman who was willing to accept him as he is and help him grow.”
Ellis adds that Zac wasn’t his best when he was with Karen because certain people have a knack for bringing out the best in us while others don’t. Because Fatima challenges Zac to do and be better, he wants to rise to the occasion.
“Zac is trying his hardest to be all he can for this woman, and fans are responding to that,” Ellis shares. “It doesn’t mean Zac is a saint and that he always did right by Karen. It means Zac and Fatima have a different kind of love. People who are out here looking for love can appreciate that, because they also want someone to build with and someone who will love and accept them as they really are. That’s something all of us want.”
With that in mind, Ellis teases that Sistas fans are going to love this Wednesday’s installment (9/8c). “Twitter is going to go crazy,” Ellis reveals. “You’re going to see ‘Zatima’ at their most vulnerable moment. People are going to be like, ‘Wow!'”
On top of that, Zac is a millionaire now, and that development promises to spice things up as well, Ellis says.
“Tyler [Perry] told me he wanted Zac to be a different representation of Black men who have dealt with recidivism on television,” Ellis adds. “Most of the time when we see that, Black men either get caught up in crime again or they struggle. But Tyler wanted Zac to be prosperous and prove that his mind works when he gets an opportunity, and I am so grateful he allowed me to play this role.”
Perry also gives Ellis the space to improvise when and where he can. For instance, when Zac learned he was rich, he looked in his pants to see if, um, certain parts of his anatomy had grown the way his bank account had, but it hadn’t. That line was all Ellis’, he confesses.
“I love when Tyler gives me a little leeway to add comedy and levity to my performance,” Ellis says with a chuckle. “That was definitely a Devale line.”
As for saying “I love you” and other romantic developments, Ellis urges fans to be a little bit more patient.
“This isn’t a fairy tale,” surmises Ellis, who has been happily married for 11 years and is the father of four. “There’s no real relationship in life that goes the way Disney has it planned. So there will be trials and tribulations. But as long as Zac and Fatima keep communicating, being honest and trusting each other, they’re going to make it.”
Are you rooting for ‘Zatima,’ or are you secretly hoping for a Zac and Karen reunion? Drop your thoughts in the comments.