*It was previously announced that Syfy picked up a third season of scripted drama series “Z Nation” for premiere in 2016. The zombie series averages 1.5 million views per episode and ranks as Syfy’s most active original series in total social engagements, according to the network. The series takes place three years after a zombie virus wipes out most of humanity, with the exception of a fearless team of strangers who are tasked with transporting the only known survivor of the plague to California, where exists the last functioning viral lab. EUR recently chatted with “Z Nation” star Kellita Smith about her latest performance in Carl Weber’s mystery thriller, “The Man in 3B,” and she spoke briefly about her “Z Nation” role.

“When I got the opportunity to audition for (“Z Nation), I wasn’t sure what it was about initially cause they only gave me so much material, and the material responded to me because of the writing and the heartfelt words that were able to come out of my mouth,” she explained. “That really stimulated me more so cause I didn’t know it was so action packed until I got there. Luckily for me and for them, I would dabble in martial arts and fencing in those downtimes as an actor. I had dabbled in Tae Kwon Do, a little bit of Judo and Cantonese style fighting ever since 1999, and so it kind went hand and hand for this, but the beautiful thing about being able to play this part is I get the drama and I get the action and there is the comedy. It’s like all three in one show.”

Smith’s career in Hollywood spans over two decades in both film and TV. In addition to “Z Nation,” the award-winning actress/comedian also plays First Lady Katherine Johnson in the nationally syndicated television show “The First Family.” She is best known for her breakout role as Wanda Mac on the hit Fox comedy series “The Bernie Mac Show.”

Most surprising about her life is when she was a child, Smith attended a school founded by the Black Panther Party, where she interviewed Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton.

Check out the clip below.

Kellita was delighted when we mentioned our surprise discovery of the clip, “Isn’t that cool,” she remarked, going on to explain how the experience helped shape the woman she is today.

“In the documentary I was 8, by the time I graduated from the Oakland Community Learning Center, I was 11. By the time I graduated, I absolutely understood how profound this institution was for me and all the other children that went there. A majority of the things that went on with Huey P. Newton or Bobby Seale, and Elaine Brown and Ericka Huggins, we were privy to it, because what the wonderful thing about the school’s mission was to breed within us our accountability, our responsibility and our lovability for us as black people.”

She continued:

“Absolutely it was one of the biggest broad strokes in shaping me as a person and as a woman, and as an African American solider because the truth of the matter is, that we all belong and we all shift, and it’s not about being aggressive about my presence. It’s about me loving the fact that my presence belongs and never waver about that. It also ties into where we are in television, having a few networks that are willing to take a chance on African American women leading their show, because it’s time. It’s enough to know that you belong and allow your presence to reign. Because man means for one thing and God means for another and we all are God’s children, no matter what color you are.”