Archive for April, 2015

Loni Love Exclusive: “I couldn’t be where I am today if I had children.” [Interview with Raqiyah Mays]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 23, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

New York premiere of 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' - Arrivals Featuring: Loni Love Where: New York, United States When: 12 Apr 2015 Credit: TNYF/

Children prevent success or they slow down the momentum toward achieving it. This isn’t a fact. There are power ladies with multiple children, a husband, and stay fly all the time wardrobe that do “have it all.” But when women in power publicly agree with the sentiment that marriage and kids are a detriment to professional success? Mothers, single ladies, and power girls who put off kids to win – listen.

Last year, Oprah expressed it in an interview with Barbara Walters, “I could not have had the life or the career in the way that I had it if I’d chosen to have children.” This month, Wendy Williams admitted, “I also feel like marriage and babies stunt a woman’s growth career wise…” The latest to cosign is comedian and actress Loni Love. As one of the stars of Kevin James’ hit sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Love is a multitasker in nabbing successful gigs. As a cohost on The Real, she sits alongside Tamar Braxton, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai, and Tamera Mowry-Housley.

And when she’s not on set, or on a comedy stage, or discussing her 2013 Simon & Schuster book “Love Him Or Leave Him But Don’t Get Stuck With The Tab;” Love is recording her syndicated radio show “Café Mocha” with co-hosts MC Lyte and Angelique. Clear on a conscious path to fulfill dreams, Love believes children would have been an anchor. “I couldn’t be where I am today if I had children. My focus would be on my children and home. And you can do it later in life,” says the 43-year old.  “I made the conscious decision to not have kids and I didn’t want to be married. I have relationships. I date.  But it takes a lot to say I’m going to be married and have children.”

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Michael Ealy Goes from Pretty Boy to Crazy [INTERVIEW with Raqiyah Mays]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 14, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

Michael Ealy for blog

One of the most despicable characters on TV right now is played by actor Michael Ealy. He drugged his kids, leaving them stiff on the bed for dead. He tied up his wife, leaving her weeping for understanding. “Why are you doing this?” she asks, crying in one scene. Ealy blinks his trademark blue eyes before giving an understanding grin and answering, “Because they found me. And I can’t play house with you anymore.”

The irony comes in seeing this role performed by an actor many have never known to play deranged. Typically, eternally cast as the love interest, we’ve found Ealy gently kissing and caressing everyone from Halle Berry in Their Eyes Were Watching God to Joy Bryant in About Last Night. But television has allowed us to witness a glimpse of Ealy’s range.

Appearing in reoccurring roles on The Good Wife, Californication and Common Law, Michael Ealy’s memorable TV characters have been the most unlikely. As a terrorist on Showtime’s Sleeper Cell, his portrayal of Muslim Darwyn al-Sayeed gained critical acclaim. And as the robot Dorian on Fox’s short-lived sci-fi show Almost Human, Ealy showed that contrary to current statistics, Black men do exist in the far away future.

“I tend to look for roles that have impact. I’ve paid my dues early on, where I was just happy to be in the movie. And at this point in my career, I need to have impact in my story,” says Ealy, whose upcoming film The Perfect Guy has him playing an obsessed lover opposite Sanaa Lathan. “I need to be focused, because that’s the only way I can impact film. So to be able to come into this show and be the new big bad villain, that was impactful.”


Raqiyah Mays Talks To Alfre Woodard Who Brings Abuse & Mental Illness to ‘Knucklehead’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 1, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

knucklehead pic 2

Fist in air, menacing look on face, actress Alfre Woodard stands ready to punch. The object of her anger is actor Gbenga Akinnagbe. Withering in fear, trying to escape her grip, she repeatedly smashes a fist into his sweaty face as thick blood drips from a red, oozing knot raised in his forehead.

Of course both are in character. Woodard plays Sheila, the abusive alcoholic mother to Akinnagbe’s mentally challenged role as Langston—a grown man with the mentality of child, searching for healing and understanding on the unapologetic streets of Brooklyn. Full of heavy emotion, ripe with a timely take on mental illness in the black community, the film Knucklehead resonates with many.

“I saw the face of abuse in my own family by the time I was 6 years old in my own neighborhood. And I also recognize it in the face of people,” says Woodard, attending the Act Now Foundation’s New Voices in Black Cinema Festival in Brooklyn. “We all have it. Maybe we keep it in check. I know how cruelty and power lessens and forces us into cruelty.”

Winner of multiple Emmys, a Golden Globe, SAG Award, Oscar and Grammy nominations, Woodard is a phenomenon when it comes to the big and small screen.  She’s well known for popping up in independent films from time to time, working for free, and taking roles for the love of art. Woodard’s four-decade career spans from stage to TV and film, going back to the 1970s as a girl from Tulsa, Oklahoma, ballsy enough to move to L.A. and pursue her dream of bringing truth and words to life.

“As an artist and someone who responds to the word, I don’t come onto anything that doesn’t take me. I’m married to a writer. I go all the way with the word. You can’t walk away from the writer’s riot,” she says of her character choices and involvement with Knucklehead. “I trusted that I would translate what needed to be translated, and I knew Gbenga would. I came on because Gbenga called me up. He is one of the really fine actors working today.”

As both star and executive producer, Gbenga Akinnagbe was the great connector between Woodard’s involvement and Knucklehead being made. Reading the script years ago, he chased down the film’s co-writer and director Ben Bowman to do what needed to be done to breathe life into a project difficult to finance. Like a throbbing migraine that wouldn’t go away, Gbenga couldn’t get the pain of Knucklehead out of his head.

“I grew up around this. In and out of the system. Hospitals. This was close to home. And I think this is why I wanted to make it,” says the Washington, DC native (currently on TV every week as a FBI agent on Fox’s creepy hit The Following). “I’ve made other films. [Knucklehead] felt like another movie that would never happen. But it didn’t die. I had to make it.”


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