Thursday, May 13, 2021

LisaRaye McCoy Talks New Engagement, Career Longevity and Her ‘All-American’ Jeans Collection [EUR Exclusive]

*In a move that surprised everyone from fans to colleagues alike, actress LisaRaye McCoy appeared on ABC’s “The Proposal” Monday night and got engaged to sales representative Anthony Bryant.

McCoy and her new man have a lot in common. They both attended Eastern Illinois University, and Bryant lives near her mother on the South Side of Chicago.

But the couple didn’t bond over their similarities until after Anthony proposed to LisaRaye the day they met face-to-face on the dating series. Bryant was one of 10 suitors who competed to be LisaRaye’s fiance — even as her identity was concealed for most of the episode.

Billed as “a love story in an hour,” according to the synopsis, “The Proposal” is a dating series that “sees contestants vying for the affections of a bachelor or bachelorette whose identity is concealed from them. It follows 10 eligible daters competing in four pageant-style rounds as they endeavor to woo the mystery person over four rounds, starting with first impressions and finishing by meeting one of his or her family members. Hopefuls are whittled down following each round until the dramatic reveal when the two remaining daters meet the mystery person and present a romantic proposal.”

Shortly before her episode aired, McCoy posted the requirements for her ideal man to social media.

“Dear @Abcnetwork, I want to find love with a side of adventure a dash of laughter and a tall glass of good God almighty he is fine. Don’t forget to sprinkle on some intelligence and garnish with faith-driven, powerful success,” she wrote on Instagram.

McCoy was very serious about what she wanted and it paid off!

EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with LisaRaye the day after her televised engagement to find out when fans can expect the lavish wedding. She also dished about her upcoming jeans collection (launching at New York Fashion Week) as well as her “exciting” new role in a Netflix project produced by Kevin Hart.

Get the scoop below.

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You have so many exciting things happening right now, with the most thrilling being the surprising news of your engagement. So of course, fans are now wondering if a lavish televised wedding is on the horizon?

LR: We won’t tell you guys that until after we figure out how we want to do things and how we want to unfold things in our life. We gotta keep you on edge for something.

You teamed with ABC to help you find love in an unconventional way. What did you find appealing about this unique approach to dating?

LR: Because I am a fan of love and because I have tried other options in dating, whether it was Happy Hour, meeting a friend or them thinking they could play cupid or me even going online, it just wasn’t working. And so when my girlfriend came to me and said “Hey, this is a new show and you might want to be a part of it,” I was like… “I don’t know.” Then she told me how the show was going to be formatted and I was like, “It just sounds crazy. But it might be crazy enough to work.”

I’ve always been a fan of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” and the executive producers of that show have this show. So I went in and I met with the executive producers and they were thrilled that I was going to commit to the show, and I was too! I tried it and I’m glad I did.

As a twice-divorced woman who has experienced frustrations with the dating scene, are you experiencing any dating anxiety as you and Anthony are getting to know each other?

LR: I think we’re both mature people. We’re not in our 20’s. We’re not in our 30’s and we’re both divorcees so we’ve been around the block. We were both eager because we both signed up for the show. So we both knew what we were getting into. And we knew that once we met each other, it was going to take time to have the relationship unfold so we could get to know each other and know the ups and downs and ins and outs of what it takes to build a relationship.

On your Instagram, you wrote to ABC asking them to help you “find love, with a side of adventure a dash of laughter.” Do you believe you’ve found all that in Mr. Bryant? 

LR: I do. We connected because he is from Chicago, which is my hometown. He’s an outdoor nature person. He’s athletic He loves to be cultured; meaning he loves museums, and the airshow at home and he knows about house music. Those are things I grew up knowing and I love good food and I love to travel. He’s used to traveling, so I needed to have someone that knows how to live life and wanted to take it by the wayside and say, “Hey, let’s go and have some fun while we’re getting to know each other.” So we’re both committed to doing that.

I’m from Chicago too! So I gotta ask, deep dish or thin crust pizza?

LR: Deep dish all the way. Unless I’m getting that Italian Fiesta pizza.

Speaking of Chicago, that’s where Anthony is currently residing while you’re in L.A. So when can we expect your first public outing as a couple? During your fashion week launch, perhaps?

LR: It depends on where he is in the world and when my date is ‘cause I know I’m going to launch the new jean line, PZI Jeans By LisaRaye in September, but I don’t know exactly what date. We’re in a long-distance relationship but that doesn’t stop us. We’re working on our schedule even now because he knows I’m not a phone person so my phones always stay dead. We’re trying to get through that first and then our schedule will collide and make sure we put some time aside and commit to being able to see each other and support each other in what we’re doing in our endeavors.

Who or what inspired your new jean collection?

LR: This is a company that I used to be a spokesperson for about 7 years ago when I had my reality show “LisaRaye: The Real McCoy.” I did a white collection with and their jeans fit me to-the-T. I loved the fabric and the blend of it and the cut. So years later, the previous owners called and said they wanted to retire, “But we know you have a passion for this. We want to sell this company to you.” So now the company I used to work for, I own now, and that’s very exciting for me.

I am the grandmother of an 18-month baby girl and she made me really look at life a little differently now because I said, “What is my legacy going to be? What am I going to be able to leave back for my family?”

This is going to be residual money for me. So this is not just only a money maker for me. It’s going to be connected to a foundation for a Boys and Girls Club so I can be able to use my platform to give back, especially to my hometown, especially to people that’s not as privileged.

I’m going to have mommy-and-me designs called ‘She and I’ or ‘Her and Me,’ for the grandmammas, cousins, and aunties that want to dress like their little babies. I’m going to have a plus-size as well. My daughter is a plus-size model. So this is going to be a family affair and an extended family affair with my fans and friends. This is an All-American company.

What can you tell our readers about the forthcoming Netflix show your starring in, produced by Kevin Hart?

LR: It’s about a comedian in France who’s really huge. He’s like the Kevin Hart of France, and he’s coming to America to see if can make it big over here and have the All-American dream. I’m playing a doctor, finally in my career — which is exciting because it’s different for me. I’ve always played something that’s trendy or hip or sexy. This time I have on scrubs! I’m also the mom on HBO’s “Ballers.” So I’m still doing acting while I’m committed to being an entrepreneur.

Lastly, what do you attribute to your longevity and scandal-free Hollywood career?

LR: Being transparent and being real. A lot of people that have met me over the years, and they meet me again, I always check myself and say “How was I when I first met you?” And they always say, “You were so down to earth.” So for me, that’s pleasantly surprising for me; to be able to give off that type of spirit to someone because that is who I am. Because to really like me is to really know me.

We only have a small time frame to give people to know who we are per interviews but when you get an opportunity to sit down with somebody and talk and let them see your heart and let them feel your energy, they can walk away with something nice to say about you. So I’ve been collecting fans for a long time and allowing them to know that I’m human, just like them, and I hurt and I’m just a girl that wants to be in love and wants to prosper just like everyone else. It makes me relatable. It’s just the rawness of the Chicago in me.

In the clip below, ”The Proposal’s” LisaRaye and Anthony sit with Access and play the newlywed game! Plus, they talk about what’s next for them and whether they are already thinking about wedding planning.


Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



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