MTV’s “Worst Prom Ever” premiered last night and we suggest you continue to tune in to see the familiar and stunningly beautiful face of GlobalGrind favorite Vanessa Simmons. Vanessa has been on her grind for some time now as a successful model and businesswoman, most notably with her Pastry fashion line, but she is relatively new to the acting game.
Her comedic role in “Worst Prom Ever” promises to be entertaining and we’re extremely happy for her. GlobalGrind sat down with Vanessa and got the scoop on her dream acting role, people pitting her brothers against each other and more. Check out our exclusive interview below!
Global Grind: Tell us about this movie you are in.
Vanessa Simmons: It’s called “Worst Prom Ever” and premieres on MTV. It is a hysterical comedy about a prom that is the worst prom that you can ever imagine in your life. Seriously, when I went in to read for it, I read the script, I was laughing in my bed non-stop. Anything bad that can happen, happens to these kids. It is really funny. I play a college student at my brother’s party so I’m more of a voice of reason with all the madness. The movie is hysterical.
While you were filming the movie, was it hard for you to keep your composure and not laugh at the script?
When doing comedies I feel like it’s comedic, so it’s okay to laugh at yourself while you are doing it. My parts were not as crazy as all of the others so I actually got to stand on the sidelines and laugh while the other amazing, hilarious parts were going on during the movie. It is actually quite easy. I just love doing what I do. Of course there are going to be takes upon takes sometimes if you can’t keep a straight face. I think I did pretty well at not cracking.
Did you get to go to your prom? If so, can you describe your prom?
My prom was the worst prom ever (Laughs). I did go to my senior prom and I did not get to go with my boyfriend at the time because he got kicked out of the school right before. I had to actually go with his best friend. It was fun and I got to dress up and all of that stuff was cool. I felt like I spent way too much money, got into arguments with friends over limo prices and I did not get to take my actual boyfriend who I ended up breaking up with right after prom, actually.
That probably was a good thing?!
It was an amazing thing. I think it was just one of those things where the universe just leads you in the direction you are supposed to be going and it was away from him. Prom was not amazing for me. The most amazing part about prom was going to Six Flags the next day. We rented a huge party bus and I went with my closest friends from school, like 30 of us. We went to Six Flags straight off of no sleep, off of prom and after prom. That was the best part of it.
Everybody in Jersey goes to Six Flags after the prom! That’s what we did.
Yeah. The big party bus and we had tons of snacks and all of my friends were there. Even the ones I did not see at the prom the night before. It was awesome. That was the best part for sure. It was like our last hoorah before graduation.
Are there any roles or genres that you would like to play or be a part of? You did “Speed Dating,” right?
Yeah. That was my first, so be easy on me (Laughs). I would love to do a biopic of a famous singer or someone who had influence on the music industry, just because of where I come from and how music runs through my veins. No matter how I try to get away from it, it is just always right there. I would love to do a biopic of an amazing singer or anything that seriously takes me outside of my comfort zone and outside of the box of who the world knows Vanessa Simmons to be. Anything that would be like wow, is that Vanessa? Anything like that, things that people would not expect. Things that I would not expect. I like surprising myself when I am acting.
Do you have any ideas of who the singer would be?
I was obsessed with Aaliyah and I know that was going around for a while. Whitney Houston, I looked up to her immensely growing up. I remember “The Bodyguard” like the back of my hand. I love Rachel. Cool stuff like that and really influential people in the music field that are here, or might not still be here, but still with us in spirit.
You are a big inspiration to women everywhere. You are a successful model, actress and a business woman as well. Which do you prefer?
I love integrating my life. All of the different components I love integrating. I am obsessed with fashion obviously because it’s Pastry. It has really taken me to places that I never expected so that is awesome. Acting is something that I have been pursuing since I was young and it is something you have to constantly work on to get better at perfecting your craft. I don’t know if there is one thing over the other that I would prefer, but I just like to equally balance everything together. I don’t think I would give up anything in my life. The chaotic schedule, the crazy nights; sometimes I do not go to sleep. Just having to go straight from working long hours on a set and then having to get on business conference calls in Asia or here to go over things for the line. I would not trade it in for anything in the world. I love them all. It is so hard to choose because they are all a part of me.
You and your sister are tied together a lot. Is that on purpose or do you look forward to separating?
I think that Angela and I are tied together a lot because of “Run’s House” and we were always together. We are sisters so we hang out. You will begin to see some separation. I am sure you guys have already started to see us kind of disappear. I’ve been doing things behind the scenes and trying to get towards my goals. Angela has been having fun and being 23 and out there and pursuing things in fashion that she wants to. You will definitely start to see some separation, but at the end of the day we are sisters and we are business partners and Pastry is doing quite well so there will always be that connection right there. We don’t mind it. Everyone always makes it seem like it is such not a good thing. I don’t mind it at all. We work together, we are sisters. Fine, as long as people learn to separate that we are not the same person, because it is kind of annoying when people are like, ‘Angela’ and I’m like, ‘no, I’m Vanessa.’ They are like, ‘same thing.’ I’m like, ‘really?!’ What if I called you your brothers’ name? That is annoying, but then again I see it happen to my dad and my uncle all the time because they look similar. People are like, ‘Rev,’ ‘Russ?’ I don’t particularly mind it.
That is crazy because people ask us all the time. Oh, how are Russell’s daughters? We tell them, ‘no, they are not Russell’s daughters.’
People have called us the weirdest things. They’ll be like, ‘The Russells’ or you all are Russell Simmons’ daughters? We’re like, ‘No, that is my uncle and my dad is Run.’ People always confuse my family like that, but we are who we are.
Speaking of people on the outside, they always put competition on your brothers Diggy and Jojo. They handle it pretty well, but do you give them any advice on how to deal with that?
Of course, because people always try to put me and Angela against each other in silly ways too, but I don’t know why people do that because we are all separate and we all have our different strengths and talents. We don’t compete with one another. We just live and we help each other out where we can and it does make me kind of upset when I see them comparing Diggy and Jojo because they are two different types of artists. Everyone has their own process and I feel like it is important that people understand that and think about their own life when they do stuff like that.
Think about the point you are in your life. How hard it is to actually have to work to build to get somewhere. People don’t understand that even though we come from this family it does not mean that we do not have to put in the work. We may be able to get a meeting, but if we go in the meeting and we are not prepared, we are not going to get the job or we are not going to do what it is we went in the meeting about. It is all really about hard work and each individual’s process and correct timing. I just really wish that people would understand that and seriously think about their own lives when they try to put me up against my sister or put my brothers up against each other. It’s really horrible, but you know, we just tend to kind of ignore it. It has been there, basically our entire lives and it is just something that we ignore and we don’t really let affect us.
Speaking of music, who are some people that you listen to and really enjoy?
When it comes to music, I listen to so many different types of genres of music. Music has really been important to me growing up. Sometimes it is an escape from all the noise and racket going around. I was affected by Mariah Carey growing up because she just had a lot of songs in particular that spoke to me and saved me from not caring when people would talk bad about me or make fun of me because of where I come from or the way I talk, or they saw that I was strutting too hard when I walked, don’t ask (Laughs).
I went to Coachella two weekends ago and I got to see Arcade Fire. I thought they were friggin’ awesome. Love Frank Ocean and Odd Future. All of these up-and-coming artists are amazing and there are the classic people that I enjoy. Of course Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce, major influence to me. The list goes on and on and it definitely varies and it is definitely different. So weird you mentioned Frank Ocean because I was just listening to his music (laughs).
Speaking of Kanye, how do you think his comment helped or hurt your career: “I need one of Russell’s nieces.”?
A lot of rappers tend to reference me and my sister in songs. When Kanye said that, it was pretty cool. I was like, “wow.” When the Jesus piece can’t bring you peace you just need me and Angela? That’s cool (Laughs). I just think it was pretty cool that these influential rap figures would even think to put us in their raps or in a verse at all. It is pretty flattering and it does not hurt us at all. It’s all good. I love Kanye and Jay-Z. We just love music. It all fits together.