*Vivica A. Fox has a career in Hollywood that has spanned 3 decades. That’s quite an achievement in any industry, but when you are looking at Hollywood careers – especially for a Black actress – it’s a lifetime.
Vivica’s hands are all over the entertainment industry right now as not only an actress, but producer, host and author. The series finale of the Fox hit “Empire” aired last week, her new podcast, “Hustling with Vivica A. Fox” has just launched, and a new Lionsgate film, ARKANSAS is on the way in May.
EUR’s Jill Munroe spoke with Vivica about her new film and podcast, what her dream role would be, and of course – how she’s been dealing with social distancing.
Jill: How are you self caring? I mean, it’s been a busy week for you. So how are you taking those moments for yourself even though, you know, we’re by ourselves.
Vivica Fox: Well, what’s been good for me is that I’ve still doing interviews for my podcast, my new podcast “Hustling with Vivica A. Fox.” And this week I kind of felt like I was getting back to normal, because it was the season finale of Empire. I’ve got Arkansas that’s going to be coming out, my podcast doing still doing interviews like that. So it was good to kind of like, oh, okay, I feel like I’m coming back. But I’ve been chillin. I mean, I’m glad that I’ve got a nice house, that I’ve spent more time in the last five weeks than I probably have in the last five years.
Vivica Fox: Yeah. And kind of binge-watching the Game Show Network. I’m watching all things that are happy and bright and funny. I haven’t binge-watched any, like, Game of Thrones or anything like that. I’ve just been watching things that just keep my spirit happy and trivia and things that make me laugh.
Jill: Okay. Sounds like a plan. So your podcast launched last week, and it is about the hustle. Tell me a little bit about that and how that ties into you as this artist, producer, actress, just taking all of these areas and tying them together?
Vivica Fox: Yeah, I was really blessed that I got the podcast. As you said we launched last Thursday, “Hustling with Vivica A. Fox,” produced by Stage 29 Production Podcast and myself. I got the show because I did a talk show last year called “Face the Truth,” executive produced by Dr Phil and his son Jay McGraw and Stage 29 Productions. So when that was unfortunately canceled, they said that we still want to do something with you, we’re going to figure it out. So that came back around and in the process, I still went and finished up Empire. I produced other movies for Lifetime, So Wrong It’s Right.
So I was able to keep myself busy, and it’s just all worked out for me, this wonderful new chapter for me of producing, hosting. I had a book that came out, “Hustling with Vivica A. Fox.” All of this new chapter for me is wonderfully happening because I have a wonderful team that finds wonderful new opportunities for me and keeps me busy.
Jill: I want to talk to you a little bit about that, because longevity as far as in Hollywood, especially for black women, is not something that we always see, and you’ve navigated the space beautifully. What do you look for in a project at this stage in your career that makes you want to get involved?
Vivica Fox: Well, thank you for that wonderful compliment. Like you said, I have a great team. And I share that in a book that I wrote called “Everyday I’m Hustling,” where I tell people to build a great team for yourself, people that get you, people that see opportunities for yourself that you didn’t even see. So I got the book because of my publicist, B J Coleman, who says, it’s time for you to share your secrets of success. Because I was like, I’m not ready to kiss and tell and do that kind of thing, because that’s not kind of person I am. He’s like, no, share your secrets that, as a woman in her fifties that you now are having an amazing resurgence in your career. You’re in movies, you’ve got a talk show, share those secrets, because most of the time when women get to 50 they’re put out to pasture. Like okay, you’ve done it, you have nothing else to offer.
Arkansas then happened because I worked with Liam Hemsworth on Independence Day Resurgence. My agent gave me a call, they did make me audition for the film. They just said, hey, we want you to be in this film with Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn. I was like, er, yeah. And they were like, you’re going to play this eclectic character named Her, and I was like, this all sounds great.
We filmed in Alabama and so everything it just kept coming together for me for Arkansas. Different kind of character, the fact that it was an interracial relationship, the fact that it was a dark comedy and come to find out the character Her that I played was kind of like behind the scenes kind of running things for Frog. It was like all of these wonderful… Then I heard John Malkovich was going to be in the film, I was like, this just keeps getting better. And then we were supposed to open up at South by Southwest, which was going to be my first time there premiering a film and then Corona happened. Now we will be coming out May 5th on demand. And people so far are just loving it. So I’m glad that I’m a part of it. I wish that we could do a premiere and people could see all of the wonderful work that’s being done by these actors.
Jill: It’s an incredible cast. Just the scenes that I saw. It’s something you definitely want to be in your seats for. And you as an actress that has been in physical roles training, just at this stage, are you looking to maybe do another really physical role? Or are you more comfortable with behind the scenes roles that take you a different place as an actress? Like what would be your ultimate next role?
Vivica Fox: Combination of both. My ultimate next role, I’d love to do an action film. I’d love for Quentin Tarantino to do a kind of like Jackie Brown for me, co-starring Samuel L Jackson. Yeah, that would be the bomb dot com.
Jill: That would be fabulous, yes.
Vivica Fox: Wouldn’t that be fabulous, girl. We would have us a good old time with that one. So I keep putting it out there. I keep putting it out there for Quentin to like, hey Quentin listen, that’s a great movie, that’s going to be it. Hey, perhaps I’ll do it myself in time. Samuel Jackson has always been on my wish list to co-star with. I just find him to be amazing, funny, how he just dives into characters, and it’s always new and refreshing to see. I wish we could do “Kill Bill Three.” I mean, everyone hits me every audition with — are you guys going to do it? And I’m like, I think they’re waiting on my kid to grow up, but it’s in discussions. So yeah, I’d love to do something physical again.
Jill: Okay, wrapping this up around the podcast. What type of guests can we expect on there, and what type of stories are you sharing with people.
Vivica Fox: On my podcast, my first guest was my business partner and BFF, Lita Richardson, where we shared the secrets of my success of becoming Vivica Fox. My next guest coming up is the very funny and fabulous Kym Whitley — I’ve been listening to it this morning because it comes out tomorrow — who is just so awesome.
What you’re going to get from the podcast is an uncensored and unfiltered version of Vivica, where you also are going to get to hear from some of my famous friends who I’ve had the pleasure of working with, some behind the scene secrets of how we worked together, how we did certain scenes. Upcoming guests are like I said this Thursday, Kym Whitley. Then I’ve got Luenell, I’ve got Johnny Gill, who was amazing. I just got to interview the legendary Mary Wilson. I also have Tommy Davidson, Dondre Whitfield, Claudia Jordan, and Kellita Smith. So I’ve been doing working hard at home.
Lionsgate will release ARKANSAS on Apple, Amazon and On-Demand platforms and on Blu-ray and DVD on May 5, 2020.
Tyrese Says He and Dwayne Johnson Haved Squashed 3-year Feud [VIDEO]
*Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Tyrese have reportedly ended their 3-year feud.
The two actors’ public beef first began in 2017 when Tyrese publicly criticized The Rock for signing on to do a spinoff of the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
At the time, Tyrese called Dwayne “selfish” for agreeing to do the “Hobbs & Shaw,” spinoff. The two starred in four “Fast & Furious” films together and Tyrese also said Johnson wouldn’t respond to his text messages despite the two having been friends.
Dwayne previously said it was “pretty disappointing” that Tyrese made their disagreement so public.
“I always feel like a beef requires two people to actually jump in it, and it was really one-sided, and he had voiced his opinion a lot on social media,” Dwayne said. “Apparently, he was going through some stuff too in his personal life. We haven’t talked and I don’t see where we would, and to me, there’s no need to have a conversation.”
Now, it seems things have apparently cooled between the two men.
“We talked,” Tyrese told Comedy Central’s Stir Crazy with Josh Horowitz this week. “We talked for at least four hours. It was great.”
“What’s interesting about ‘The Fast and The Furious’ is it’s not about any of us individually,” he continued, speaking specifically about the franchise’s spinoffs. “We’re like the UN at this point. Everyone gets to go to the theater and say, ‘He and she looks like me.’ If I did it with [Ludacris’ Tej], then who are we going to play off of? I could not just make it about me. I just could not.”
What do you think of Tyrese’s take on the “Fast and Furious” franchise? Let us know in the comments.
Regina King On Her Directorial Debut, Motherhood and John Singelton’s Influence
*Regina King is set to make her feature directorial debut with “One Night in Miami” for Amazon Studios.
Following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, the film has achieved critical raves — quickly garnering awards buzz in this year’s Oscar race. Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”… has been praised for its timely and effective performances.
Based on Olivier-nominated Kemp Powers’ 2013 stage play, “One Night In Miami” is a fictional account inspired by the historic night these four formidable figures spent together. It looks at the struggles these men faced and the vital role they each played in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 1960s. More than 40 years later, their conversations on racial injustice, religion, and personal responsibility still resonate — via press release.
In the wide-ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal, King speaks candidly about her brush with Covid and finishing her movie during the Black Lives Matter protests.
Check out excerpts below.
King on finishing her movie during BLM protests & Covid:
“The work has truly been a welcome distraction. I find that…on set or editing, working on the music for the film [or] on the color, it forces you to focus on something else. Because everything around us has to do with the pandemic, who’s been in office, this election,” she says, two weeks before Election Day. “But as a Black American, that’s been the story before we were even born—of being marginalized people. That’s all the time happening, and the work kind of allows for me to escape it and not feel like I’m irresponsibly escaping it.”
King on winning an Emmy while wearing a Breonna Taylor T-shirt:
Like many Black Americans, King felt the fatigue of maintaining a professional visage amid violence. “The faces that we put on to smile and to succeed,” she says. “That shit is exhausting.”
King on having her son in mind when telling the story of One Night In Miami:
King describes the story as a personalized portrait of revered figures. “We meet them in places where they’re each getting punched in the gut and getting reminded of their blackness or inequities in some way,” she says. “I wanted the world to see Black men the way I see them, as complex, as vulnerable, as strong…as human beings that feel—who are not void of being hurt.”
King on keeping a focus on her Black audience without feeling she needed to please everyone:
She points to a pool scene of Cassius Clay that’s soundtracked to Donny Hathaway’s timeless cover of Ray Charles’s “I Believe to My Soul.” “I was like, ‘That’s for Black people! I’m letting y’all know now: I’m not changing that!’” she says, laughing. “There’s some things that are inside jokes that, because you’re not Black, you’re going to miss that joke. And in those moments, do you think, OK, does it matter to me if the joke is missed or that beat is missed? No, sometimes it doesn’t matter.”
King on her own brush with Covid:
With a preliminary acceptance to the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival and two more scenes to shoot, she found herself in a time crunch when several test results, including her own, came back inconclusive, and they were forced to retest the sample. “I’m pulling up to the testing site [to do a second test], and they called and said, ‘The test came in and you’re negative.’ I literally started crying,” says King, who rushed home and immediately prepared to return to set.
King on the late director John Singleton’s influence on her career (her first films were Singleton – directed projects—Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice and Higher Learning):
Singleton, who died in 2019, opened her eyes to the world of directing before she knew what it was. He was the first director who she felt spoke her language. “We weren’t that far away in age, and prior to that, probably every director I’d ever worked with was my parents’ age or older,” she says. “I was able to see directing from a whole different lens, and he was also allowing me to be part of his process.”
King on her Broadway aspirations:
King eventually wants to act in a stage play. When she received offers before to star in productions, Ian was still in school, and she wasn’t ready. She is now. She figures she’ll enjoy both the rush and terror of theater, and so she consulted one of her favorite actors, Laura Linney, a four-time Tony Award nominee.
“What do you have to give of yourself?” King asked her. “Because that’s the thing,” she says now, from the shadows of Zoom. “It sucks the life out of you. It takes up so much of your time. But it’s the most rewarding thing.”
Ice Cube Explains Social Media Absence Following Trump Controversy [VIDEO]
*Ice Cube has responded to inquiries about why he’s been silent since Joe Biden allegedly won the 2020 presidential election.
Cube previously caught heat for celebrating Trump’s “adjustments” to his administration’s Platinum Plan for Blacks to favor the rapper’s own “Contract with Black America.”
Ice Cube reassured his fans that he hasn’t abandoned his political agenda for the Black community.
“I know a lot people been wondering where I’ve been. I was real active before the election, talking about what’s needed, you know, specifically for the Black community,” he explained in an Instagram video Monday night. “About 10 days or two weeks before the election, I pushed back all the way pretty much until now because I just felt there was a lot of noise, a lot of poison, a lot of people with they own agendas—personal agendas or party agendas—and they really wanted to attack me for what I was doing because it was outside of the line of what they was doing, or what they believed need to be done.”
Where the hell has Ice Cube been? pic.twitter.com/9lORsyC1KG
— Ice Cube (@icecube) December 1, 2020
Cube went on to note the importance of holding leaders (Democrat or Republican) accountable when it comes to delivering tangibles to Black folks.
“So that’s the agenda: to push whatever candidate that’s in power—Republican or Democrat—to do what needs to be done,” he said. “I think we’ve focused on one party way too long … I just believe that when you really look at the problems we’re going through, it’s bipartisan. You’re really trippin’ if you don’t look at both sides of the aisle and push both sides of the aisle to fix the problem. What’s wrong with that? I think we gotta try that, because our problems are not being solved.”
Cube also addressed those who criticized his decision to meet with the Trump campaign.
“All the people who dissed what I was doing, you know, I’ma just watch to see what you get out of the whole deal,” he said. “You talkin’ about I was worried about getting some taxes or some shit. Yeah right. Anybody that would go through all this for some fucking taxes is an idiot … I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing—behind the scenes, in front of the scenes … That’s it.”
Both the Trump and Biden camps had contacted Cube about his CWBA. He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that while Biden’s team didn’t want to discuss the plan until after the election, Trump’s reps offered to meet with him immediately.
“I didn’t run to go work with any campaign. Both campaigns contacted me,” Cube explained. “Both campaigns wanted to talk to me about the Contract with Black America. One campaign said, ‘We love what you have, but let’s really dig into after the election.’ And one campaign said ‘We love what you have, do you mind talking to us about it?’ And that’s what I did, so I didn’t run to nobody.”
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