“Reinvention” is the absolute best way to describe Vivica A. Fox. Whether she is scorching the dance floor on Dancing With The Stars or portraying everything from a mom to a cheerleading coach on the addictive series of Wrong movies for LMN (which she also serves as Executive Producer on), Fox keeps that hustle going. As she kicks of 2021 with a new series of Wrong movies that have premiered in January and more to come in February, I sat down with Fox to talk about everything from her love for the LGBT community, her thoughts on reality television, to her ability to constantly reinvent herself in Hollywood.
Michael Cook: The Wrong series of movies are a unique and different type of film and genre than we are typically getting to see nowadays, and they are a welcome reprieve. What was the biggest draw for you to them?
Vivica A. Fox: That I got to become a filmmaker. I am so grateful to Lifetime and my partners Hybrid Films and my director David DeCoteau for these thrillers that we make. Like back in the day, they had the Harlequin books where people would just escape and head to their rooms with the books; we have done that with the Wrong movie franchise; I recently finished up my twenty-sixth film.
MC: You have played so many roles during your career, from Vernita Yvonne Green in Kill Bill to Maxine in Soul Food. Do you think that has helped you inhabit new roles in the Wrong films?
VF: Absolutely, that would definitely be an accurate statement for me. With the Wrong films, it’s simply the right franchise, I get to play roles that I would not normally be cast for or would not even be considered for. From being a detective to a mom to a cheerleader to a coach to a chef, I get to play all kinds of wonderful things. I get to produce them all also, so for every film I am getting to wear two hats.
MC: You mentioned that for the roles you are playing in the Wrong films, you don’t think you would normally be seen or cast for those roles. Now that things in the country are starting to shift, do you think you might start to be considered for these roles? Why do you think such talented women in Hollywood are consistently not considered for certain roles?
VF: It is the way that you navigate your career to be honest, in my opinion. I have found out that versatility has equalled the key to my longevity; to not play the same role over and over again, to expand your horizons, to get in front of the camera as well as behind the camera. When you are in a business called show “business” and you get to know more about the business behind the show, the longer of a career you will have.
MC: You have fanned out into so many different side projects, making you a modern day renaissance woman. From the Vivica A. Fox Hair Collection to your book Every Day I’m Hustlin’ to acting to producing, there is absolutely nothing you won’t seem to take on as a new challenge.
VF: Yes! I also directed a small video for someone I was working with, so directing is definitely going to be next. I have hosted, I have the Vivica A. Fox Hair Collection, and we are celebrating a decade. I am an author, I have a podcast, Hustling with Vivica A Fox. There are so many wonderful opportunities, and I am just lucky that I have a dream team. We keep finding opportunities that I never dreamed of.
MC: You have always seemed to be perfectly primed for a View style television show where you could weigh in and really showcase your perspectives on everything.
VF: Exactly! That is what I get to do every Monday on Cocktails With Queens. It’s Lisa Raye, Claudia Jordan, Syleena Johnson and myself. We are always throwing shade or doing something honey! People join us for a little cocktail (laughs)!
MC: You are the type of performer who can hang out with her girls, but just as quickly, turn around and hang out with her boys. The LGBTQ community has always been a massive fan base for you; why do you think that is?
VF! Absolutely, and I love them right back, I truly do. They have always been so supportive of my career and my Lifetime movies, and whatever I do. I am heavily involved in the community, and attend as many events as I can for them. I believe in life that we are all entitled to love who we love.
MC: So many actresses encounter challenges in their career and move onto reality television. While reality television is an admirable genre, you have chosen to continue the grind of acting being your primary passion. What has kept you, for the most part, from staying out of the reality television series game? You have chosen to reinvent yourself rather than be part of a cast or a series that could possibly reinvent you.
VF: Agreed, and no shade to the girls that are on the Real Housewives, because that franchise has given women opportunities that they probably never saw happening for them, no shade to them- I just had no desire to be on a show that was like, the catfights and stabbing someone in the back. Now I can play a fabulous bitch, don’t get me wrong, she will be a gold digger and stab you in the back, I just don’t want that reality that then carries over into your real life. For me, it’s hard to play that you are just hamming it up for the camera, but then you have to be together; as an actor you know know you’re playing a role. It’s not just something that I want to be a part of.
MC: Now cmon, your time on the The Celebrity Apprentice battling with Real Housewife of Atlanta Kenya Moore truly looked like something you enjoyed (laughs).
VF: (Laughs)! No…thats five weeks of my life that I will never get back. When I do reality shows, I always try to do competition-type of reality shows. Dancing With The Stars and The Celebrity Apprentice are shows where people see you in a whole different light.
MC: Not only do shows like Dancing With The Stars show you in a different light, but the training must also be super intense, right?
VF: I will say this; Kill Bill and Dancing With The Stars were the two hardest jobs that I ever did. Kill Bill was six months of training, honey!
MC: It has been a very hard time for so many of us to stay inspired and creatively fueled. How have you managed to find your inspiration?
VF: For me, it was because we were able to do five more Wrong films. We had to find out how to have a safe set and still produce films. We still wanted people to be entertained because they were stuck at home. That was the main goal; deliver quality products during the quarantine for ur fans to love and continuing growing with the Wrong franchise. The thrillers that you could escape to that always have an informative message for the audience to really take away from them.
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