Saturday, July 31, 2021

Vivica A. Fox Talks New Film (‘ARKANSAS’), Podcast and Dream Role

*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.

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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.

Jill:  Wow.

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.

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Vivica A Fox - everyday i'm hustling (cover)

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.

Vivica A Fox - gettyimages
Vivica A Fox – Getty

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.

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