Tuesday, May 23, 2017

‘We have to keep moving forward’

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS | VIVICA A. FOX

The “Independence Day: Resurgence” star talks leading men, her steamy Las Vegas show, and what she learned about Donald Trump on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Vivica A. Fox has been delighting audiences for more than two decades, with her incomparably relatable style in movies and television shows that range from “Independence Day” and “Set it Off” to “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and “Empire.” And not all of her success is onscreen. She is also the force behind a hair collection and clothing line — and recently brought Vivica’s Black Magic Show, a male exotic dancer revue, to Las Vegas’ Plaza Hotel & Casino. Las Vegas Black Image Magazine recently sat down with Fox to learn more about her successful journey.

Tell me about your recent Las Vegas show, Vivica’s Black Magic.

We selected guys from all over the United States, and eight male exotic dancers joined the production. The main goal with Vivica’s Black Magic was to secure a residency in Las Vegas — because when I have visited before, and seen the Chippendales show, I saw no diversity. There was maybe one brother over there somewhere on the stage in the back. I really felt like something was missing, and while working on another film called “Chocolate City,” which highlighted African-American male exotic dancers, I realized that there is a market out there. The film was really successful and that’s when I said to myself, “Our girls want to see their own on stage.” Black women have girls’ night out and bachelorette parties. My goal was to create the ultimate ladies’ night out.

How was Vivica’s Black Magic received by the Las Vegas audience?

It was wonderful. The showroom was full, and there was a line around the front of the Plaza Hotel. It was a great marriage for me to host the show, because I have an established name and we gave the dancers an opportunity of a lifetime. I think that Generation X just wants to get to dancing and be entertained. Vegas completely embraced the show. Audience members were asking, “Is this show just for one night?” I said, “Yes — for now.” We will be back.

How was it working on the sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence”?

Fans of the first “Independence Day” have been requesting a sequel for over 15 years. I heard that it was going to happen for the last five years. So when I finally received that call from my agent, I felt butterflies similar to that excited feeling I felt over 20 years ago, when I was cast in the first “Independence Day.”

Why did Will Smith decide not to participate in the new movie?

Will gave us his blessing, but he wanted to do the “Suicide Squad” movie. He just wanted to take his career in a different direction. He just didn’t want to do it. We tried to convince him, but he declined, gave us his blessings and wished us well.

What is your opinion of the political atmosphere right now?

Donald Trump has definitely brought reality show to politics. When the dust settles, and we see that he can’t do what he says he can do, the truth will be shown. He tapped into the fear in people who feel some kind of way … about President Obama. But … more importantly, he tapped into the ugliness of the Republican Party. They discriminate and only think of themselves. Trump has shown his prejudice against Muslims, Mexicans, and women. I have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to campaign for the first African-American president. I was honored, and I also want to campaign for the first female president of the United States. We have to keep moving forward as a country — not backward. I believe when Donald Trump says, “Make America Great Again,” he really means, “Make America White Again.” We’re not doing that.

Did you appear on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show?

It is funny, a lot of people have asked me that — and when I was on his show, he was such a gentleman. I had a huge amount of respect for him, and how he came back from two bankruptcies. But it is amazing how he thinks he can buy the White House. No sir! He doesn’t realize that all of his rhetoric and hate that he is spilling out is turning off a lot of people.

What has been your most memorable moment in Hollywood?

Wow! The most memorable moment for me was stepping out of a limousine on the night of the “Two Can Play That Game” premiere in Los Angeles. I looked up at the marquee and it read: “Starring Vivica A. Fox.” That was really wonderful to see. I said, “Wow, I am really doing this.”

Tell me about your hair care line.

The Vivica Fox Hair Collection has been extended for another three seasons. I can’t believe how fast it has grown. Originally, I took over as the face/spokesmodel of the brand when supermodel Beverly Johnson retired eight years ago. It just keeps growing and growing. I am very grateful for all the support from the girls who like the hair line.

This is an industry that has been monopolized by others for years, and they have made a ton of money. The business is growing because women trust me. They’re proud to say, “Girl, I have on my Vivica Fox hair.”

I am also so proud to give back to the community and offer hair options to those ladies going through chemotherapy. We have recently introduced our cornrow cap for those ladies who have lost their hair. This cap allows ladies to wear natural hair instead of a bird nest wig.

How do you enjoy acting on “Empire”?

I play Cookie’s older bougie sister, Candace. Yes, Ms. Candace gives them a run for their money. This happened because Lee Daniels saw me on “Celebrity Apprentice” and called me. He said, “Baby, I have to figure out a way to get you on my show.”

Who’s been your favorite leading man?

Wow! It’s a toss-up between Morris Chestnut and Will Smith. I won the best kiss honor at the MTV Awards because of my kiss with Will Smith in the first “Independence Day.” But Morris Chestnut was just so yummy to work with also. He was just my chocolate yummy drop — always.

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