Written by | Ray Cornelius
Tonight is the season premiere of TV One’s newest docu-series, Hollywood Divas and all I can say is drama, drama and more drama!
The one-hour show is a spin-off of the hugely popular R&B Divas franchise and follows the lives of actresses Paula Jai Parker, Lisa Wu, Countess Vaughn, Elise Neal and Golden Brooks as they attempt to navigate in the Hollywood landscape and balance real life with the challenges of the industry. The project is the brainchild of Bravo producer, Todd Tucker and RHOA producer, Carlos King and is sure to be another one of my weekly guilty pleasures.
I recently chatted with one of the divas, Golden Brooks, about her return to prime time and why she chose the reality route. We also talked about her stance on traditional actors versus reality stars turned actors, the current shift in Hollywood’s attitude toward Black actresses, whether we could see a Girlfriends reunion and more.
Check it out below:
On social media’s influence on the acting business…
When I started out in the acting business, there was no such thing as “who’s trending or how many likes do you have on Twitter.” Social media has completely changed the culture of the acting business and the types of roles that people get. The reality show world has created this type of platform and new form of positioning power. Basically, Kim Kardashian has changed the face of how Hollywood determines who’s marketable. If you were to take an acting course on a college campus today this is what they’d be talking about. It’s all about the money.
On the current shift in Hollywood’s acceptance of Black actresses…
I’m never going to act like I’m the curator or mascot for the representation of African-American women in Hollywood. Do I feel there is a change? Absolutely. Do I think having First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House has something to do with it? Absolutely. Do I think Shonda Rhimes has a huge component in putting Black women in the forefront? Absolutely. However, let’s not forget The New York Times article that recently came out about Viola Davis being seen as “less classically beautiful” than her peers of Kerry Washington or Halle Berry. Now, I’m not here playing the negative. I am so proud of any work black women get in this business and being in the forefront of major television projects. However, we still have to deal with that. The statement that we are just “one snap and a head roll away from being the angry black woman” is the thought pattern of those in power. I am hoping to use this show as a platform to show audiences that there are so many facets to women of color, especially Black women.
On why she chose reality-television…
There is something to be said about using the reality show platform to showcase your belief system and that we have more colors to us as Black women than what has been portrayed. I think every chance we get to show that as Black women the better we are as people. I also want fans to know that I’m the everyday girl. I may be on TV and may have my hair all cute with my make-up on but at the end of the day, I’m an everyday chick. I go through the same stuff as my fans. Just as my Girlfriends‘ character, Maya was that everyday girl and so many people were able to respond to her, I hope people can see that in me and in this show.
On a Girlfriends Reunion…
Here’s the deal! Mara Brock Akil met with the entire cast last year including myself, Tracee, Persia, Jill, and Reggie (the 5th Girlfriend). We all met with talks of it and it’s been out there but it is really a Mara, Kelsey Grammar and Paramount decision. Mara seems very interested and knows that fans are feeling that the show was left open ended. I personally think it would be great and a huge hit. There seems to be a resurgence of making old things new like Best Man Holiday. So, I think it would benefit a lot of people and audiences would support it.
Golden Brooks is currently in production on a new movie, My B.F.F and is in talks to do a project on the life of Grammy-winning artist, Lauryn Hill.
Hollywood Divas debuts tonight on TV One at 10 p.m. EST.
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Photo Credit: JoJoCrews.com