Okay ladies, I know you all loooove this topic.
Whether I’m on set or on the street, women from around the world frequently ask me the same questions:
What was it like to work with Denzel?
Is Shemar as nice as he seems in the movies?
Well I’m happy to say that every actor, every single one, has been a DREAM to work with. But, I thought I’d share details about working with just some of my favorite male co-stars. Each of these actors were blessing to work with, and they continue to impress me, not only with their talent but with their beautiful spirits and good hearts. It’s no surprise to me that they’ve all had such massive career success. Here we go!
Denzel should really be listed here like 3 times, since that’s how many times we worked together! He is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living actors. The brilliance you all see on screen is only a glimpse of the magic that emanates from his soul.
Professional, astute, and devoted to his craft, Denzel’s performances take my breath away. Each time I have had the opportunity to work with him, I’ve felt blessed. I take my work very, very seriously too, so every time we share the screen, it feels like I’m getting to play ball with the greatest athlete in the world!
Here is a fun secret: Shemar would never let me forget that he wasn’t my first choice for “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” (what was I thinking?) At first, I didn’t think people would believe us as Helen and Orlando. Boy was I wrong!
Diary of a Mad Black Woman was a special movie for me because it was the first time I played a character that allowed me to utilize all my emotions in one storyline. I was a bit nervous about the romantic storyline because I had not really done one before, and Shemar (coming from Days of Our Lives) was pro at it. Lucky for me, he was a perfect gentleman and an excellent actor. He turned in a performance that made every woman in the audience want to shake some sense into Helen for not saying “yes” the first time Orlando asked her to marry him.
Shemar was so committed to his work that he took up smoking and put on a few pounds to help shed his modelesque persona! He wanted to become more of an everyday Joe. It’s not easy job to take a sensitive male character, and portray him with a perfect combination of strength, masculinity and warmth. Shemar did an amazing job in his portrayal, and I cannot imagine making Diary with anyone but him.
I always tell Michael we must be from the same planet. He is, truly my artistic soulmate. Normally I’m quite a hermit when I work. I keep to myself, remaining very focused and in an inner world I only share with my character.
But when I signed on to do “For Colored Girls” and Michael and I sat down together for the first time, we both agreed, promised in fact, that playing these wounded characters would take us on a dark and dangerous artistic journey we would absolutely have to take on together, as a team. And that we did.
For weeks we would talk for hours about our characters. In the between time, we would go the set (designed as our home) and spend time there in the space – sitting in it, walking in it, being Crystal and Bo in it. By the time it came to THAT scene (those of you who have seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about-yikes!) we both felt our characters through and through, and as actors had infinite trust. I’m very proud of the work Michael and I did. Michael is an actor’s actor: fully committed, present, and a team player.
Over the past two years, Rick and I have worked on a few projects together including Hit The Floor, Back to School Mom, and the feature film Dope. We’ve played friends, enemies, lovers, and colleagues. And I have to tell you, it’s been a fantastic experience every time.
Here’s why, filmmaking is more than anything a collaborative endeavor. A great project really isn’t made by just one person. There is a whole team, cast and crew, that must work together to make something special: art. And that’s one of the main things that makes Rick such a fantastic actor to work with. A former professional athlete, Rick is the ultimate team player. He holds his own with focus and commitment, but he is equally present for his fellow actors 100 percent.
I appreciate an actor who remains present and involved in a scene even if the camera isn’t on him; treats everyone, from extras to principals, with respect and kindness; and who gives all that he can to help his costar’s performance be the best it can be. All that sums up Rick! So in addition to being talented, hardworking, fun, committed, and focused, Rick always brings great positive light and talent and is always there for the team.
Do you remember the show “Cheers”? In the show, whenever the character Norm would walk into the bar, everyone would shout out, “Norm!” because they were so glad to see him. On my show “Hit the Floor,” Dean is our Norm – we all love Dean!
Here is a man who has worldwide fame, but has never let that go to his head. It doesn’t matter where you are on the chain of command on set, Dean treats everyone with the upmost respect and kindness. For me personally, I am always delighted when I see that I have a bunch of scenes with Dean in a new script. I know that not only am I going to have an INCREDIBLY smart actor to work with, but I’m also going to have a ton of fun all day long. Dean and I just are down right silly. We laugh and laugh. And yes, ladies that marathon love scene between Pete and Sloane was allll that.
Dear sweet Gregory…I was blessed to get to play Gregory’s wife in his life long dream project “Bojangles,” a film about the legendary tap dancer and actor Bill Bojangles Robinson. Without a doubt Gregory was one the kindest, sweetest spirits I’ve ever known. He really enjoyed making life a wonderful adventure for everyone around him.
I think it was his personal goal to make me laugh and laugh everyday on set till tears spilled from my eyes. He was open and caring and we had endless fun every day we worked together. It’s always wonderful to be near a person who has had his dream come true, and who not only appreciates it, but thoroughly enjoys every second of it. Dang, I miss that guy.
Love and Light,
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