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"You Have to Make It to the End": Shanola Hampton Teases New Show Found's Twist
Shanola Hampton reveals why Found is "socially significant" — and why the ending twist is so worth it.
Actress Shanola Hampton says there’s no better time for NBC’s new missing-persons drama Found than the present. The unique crime drama is based on the chilling statistic that more than 600,000 people are reported missing in the U.S. in any given year, and more than half of those missing are people of color.
Although Black Americans comprise 13 percent of the population, they are 31 percent of missing persons, according to research by American University.
“I wanted to be able to put my stamp on this,” Shanola Hampton, who plays Gabi Mosely on Found, said in an interview conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike. “Not only as an actor but as a producer. I have been waiting to do a story that is socially significant. Now is the time for this show. A lot of people of color go without being found. In this show, we try to close that gap.”
Who is Shanola Hampton's character, Gabi Mosely?
Of the more than half a million people reported missing in the U.S. every year, 90 percent of cases are resolved, American University said. On the show, Gabi Mosely is one of those lucky ones.
“Found is about a woman who was abducted and whose life mission is to help other forgotten ones like her,” Hampton said of her character. “Gabi is fierce. She was a victim and now she is victorious.”
Gabi is the head of a public relations firm, Mosely & Associates, and has people on her team who are also wrestling with their own personal traumas.
“Gabi is the glue that holds this entire thing together,” Hampton said. "And she has taken in this group of people who are not police officers. It’s a PR firm. We are vigilantes. And we go looking for people who are underrepresented.”
Although Gabi is a fictional character, her firm is inspired by similar real-life missing persons firms. Throughout the season, Hampton said each of the character’s histories will be revealed.
“It’s such a beautiful story that we get to tell because we get to put away any sort of stereotype of what trauma looks like,” Hampton explained. “We get to put away any sort of stereotype of what healing looks like because it’s different for everyone. One of the things that I think is so rare, just in life in general, is we get to take away judgement. We get to take away in that bubble of the Mosely & Associates, the fear of being judged.”
The series premiere of Found ends with a shocking surprise, and Hampton is encouraging everyone to watch it all.
“You have to make it to the end,” she said. “It will be really worth it. Trust. There’s a twist.”
Watch Found as it premieres on Tuesday, October 3 at 10/9c on NBC and the next day on Peacock.