Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross have formed a strong and touching bond.
In July, the two actors received Emmy nominations for their work on the ABC sitcom black-ish, which was also nominated for best comedy. Both Anderson and Ross don’t believe that would’ve been possible without the other.
“Tracee Ellis Ross has pushed me to be a better actor,” Anderson tells EW in the video above as he discusses his Emmy nomination. “She pushes me to work. I can’t just show up and wing it.”
Ross, who plays Anderson’s wife on the show, repays the compliment, saying that Anderson works just as hard as her.
“Anthony and I have a very similar work ethic,” she says. “I think that this role and our connection has brought something different out for both of us — a part of me I didn’t quie know existed and that I love playing.”
In the video, Ross also praises Anderson, who is an executive producer on the show, and the show’s co-creator Kenya Barris for achieving but also filling a gap in the kinds of stories being told on television. For his part, Anderson says he knew he had something special based on people’s reactions from the pilot.
“The majority of people who saw the pilot said, ‘When I see your family up there, I see my family,'” says Anderson. “That’s when I knew we had something special because it was from every walk of life, every economic background, every ethnicity.”
Watch the entire video interview above.
Black-ish returns Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9:30 ET on ABC.