Earlier this week, she sat down with the website while on the set of her upcoming BET show, “Being Mary Jane” and she revealed details of how awesome the audition process was for one of the most talked about drama series on television.
She also touched on why her age hasn’t really affected her career just yet, and revealed that she was presented with the opportunity of her new show, the same day that Whitney Houston passed away which gave her a different perspective on things.
Check out excerpts from the interview below.
On her age not having much of an affect on her career
It’s an issue for us as we sit in this hair and make-up chair! I’m like, ‘give me some tweezers and pluck this gray. It keeps cropping up!’ It’s like, ‘This b-tch is 40. She might not have wrinkles, but look at me! Try to pluck those quick!’ No, I don’t know if it’s because I did teen movies for so long and I was associated with young projects for so long that people just refuse to believe that I’m 40. It’s been more like, ‘You’re 40?!?!’ They put my age with everything nowadays. You can’t escape it.
On the her upcoming television show ‘Being Mary Jane’
It’s exciting! I mean, there’s the whole group of us who auditioned for “Scandal” that, not just fell in love with that project and Shonda (Rhimes), but the process, the level of respect that we were given even in the audition process and the world that Shonda created even for us trying. It was like, is there ever gonna be another situation for you like that? And then here come Mara and Salim (Akil) and I literally met with them at the Four Seasons on the day that Whitney died. And they were obviously very emotional. They still had “Sparkle” coming out with her and they were just in the middle of editing and trying to wrap their brains around losing such an icon and a legend that they worked with, and I had a lot of awesome experiences with her. You don’t really always think about your legacy and you want your lasting footprint to be, and we happened to have this meeting at that exact time where you literally see … a bunch of industry people at the Four Seasons. You see all these people all of a sudden just on their phones and just devastated and crying and shrieking and running out and you’re sort of like, “damn, what do I want to leave with the world?” And what they were presenting me with on that day it was like, “Man, here is this opportunity and here is the respect and here are these dope words and here is working with a black woman in charge, running things.” And here is her husband, so it’s kind of dope to see highly functioning black love creating things and that’s what you get with them. So you get to be a voyeur on their love story. But to be a part of that love and what that love has created, it was … a blessing. It feels like it was destiny the way that it came about and the emotion that went into all of our making of this decision and what we wanted to get out of it. So from February of 2012 we have been committed and passionate and excited.
On black actresses landing lead roles
Luckily they’re my friends so thank God if I ever needed a loan I’d be like, “Well, I saw you last night on “Deception,” Megan, and I know you have money!” “Person of Interest” is one of the top rated shows internationally, so my girl Taraji (P. Henson) is doing so well. And then all of the films that have come from the great work that she’s done, and Kerry (Washington) with “Scandal” and “Django” and the whole world is like, Gladiator! And Thandie (Newton)’s show. I’ve big shoes to fill, but it’s dope.
I think what we’ve all sort of realized in the last couple years is that we were all holding out on that one movie role that was going to do whatever your publicist tells you is supposed to happen, and even when you get that role you’re like, “Alright, so…nothing’s happening! I don’t think everyone else got the fax that something was supposed to happen!” But if you humble yourself and you open yourself up to every possibility that’s out there, there’s TV. There are so many amazing writers that weren’t getting put on with film that have all these amazing stories to tell and they’re being able to tell them in a different medium.
If you just humble yourself and be open, amazing things can come your way and that’s what we’ve seen. You can wait for a train that may never stop for you, or you can take advantage of every opportunity and I think that’s what you have seen us do in droves. Now you hope that the time of the black man is coming. You want them to have their “Scandal” and their “Deception” and their “Being Mary Jane” and you can see black love and black dysfunction.