I read that you were the youngest member to be a part of the Hook Players Theatre Ensemble and you also had a residence at the Richard Pryor Theatre. In this day an age when most actors and actresses don’t rely as much on the stage to really hone their skill. How do you think your time doing stage performance has helped you to excel in your acting career on screen?
Oh, yes the Hook Players. That’s a theatre group that was started by my sister and one of my managers. I got started into the whole acting thing when I was like 9 yrs old. It was a great thing for me to be involved in. we got to perform at the Richard Pryor Theatre during the week. It really helped me build a strong foundation for my career. Coming from stage acting you can do anything so I’m definitely glad that the opportunity was available for me to be a part of those things.
Now, I have looked at your history and you have been in a lot of films so far. Which role were you the most surprised that you got after auditioning?
Aww man…Definitely my role in White Chicks. That was amazing. I had auditioned for another role. But they felt I was so funny they wrote a part in for me. I was so humbled; I mean I grew up watching the Wayans brothers on In Living Color when I was younger, so to have the Wayans brothers find me funny was just unbelievable. I think those guys are the funniest guys! So to have them cater a part specifically to me was a great honor.
If I can say another one it would probably be my role in Wild Hogs with Martin Lawrence. Again, one of the funniest guys ever. And I feel I really got to connect with him on a more personal level so that was really great for me. Plus I was cast to play his daughter (a 15yr old) and at the time I was 19, so that was surprising as well.
Do you consider yourself to be funny?
No not at all! I really don’t even think I’m funny. I think I’m more accidentally funny if anything. Haha, sometimes I don’t know if people are laughing at me or with me you know? I just enjoy having fun with it, but I would never go and try to do stand-up or anything.
In your bio it describes you as a singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and community leader. What are some of the things that you do to give back to your hometown of Chicago and what do you enjoy most about the work you do in the community?
Well, for one, I work with an organization as their ambassador for the disease Sickle Cell Anemia. When I was 8 my father was working with a Sickle Cell summer camp for children and I ended up helping out with a lot of the kids there. I used to come back every summer and help out and I got so close to them. We’ve unfortunately had some pass on but I made it a point that with in my career, whatever I could to help I would and that’s why I am really adamant about bringing awareness to this ailment.
I was also the spokesperson for Liz Claiborne’s campaign against teenage dating abuse. It’s a really great caus