All Articles Tagged "Nia Long"

Why I’m Thrilled To See More Complex Black Female Characters On TV, No Matter How Messy Some May Be

July 29th, 2014 - By La Truly
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“It’s not positive images of Black people that we need, but complex ones.”Teyonah Parris

The tense debate about the representation of Black women in entertainment is not new. It has been a hot-button issue since the beginning of modern film and television. From the controversy over The Color Purple and the outrage over acclaimed actress Viola Davis being nominated for an Oscar for playing a maid, to the hype surrounding Olivia Pope “handling” primetime television and Gabrielle Union bringing the lovestruck crazy as Mary Jane Paul, we have been at a war of sorts over our image. We’ve been at said war with one another, with the writers, with the actresses themselves and with those who hand out the Oscars and the Emmys. We get extreme images that either display the really good or the really downtrodden (and I’m not bringing up reality TV because there are so few positive images): Clair Huxtable or Precious. Vivian Banks or Kizzy. We’ve not seen or embraced anything remotely close to complex characters on a consistent basis until recently, and I, for one, am thrilled about this new interest in and push for complexity.

It’s a welcomed change. It’s high time we acknowledge the multi-faceted Black woman. She is loving, angry, confused, ambitious, intelligent, greedy, giving, depressed, faithful, needy, searching, joyful, fly, pleasant, messy, neurotic and becoming. It’s reaffirming for me to see this type of woman portrayed because I have been and can be all of these things. This Black woman is relatable for me and I know it will be for my future daughters. In this time, the Digital Age where so much of our lifestyle, social interaction, and ideals are informed more by entertainment than ever, more true-to-life representation is necessary to balance the skewed view that many young Black girls are growing up with. Sure, I’ll teach my daughters that it is possible to be a wife, mother AND businesswoman. But I will also teach them that sometimes bad relationships happen. How excellent would it be if they were able to recognize such a spectrum in what they see on television too? If what they saw on television was more reflective of our real emotions, issues, triumphs and struggles? We are just now breaking through the barriers and producing content that will help us, and the generations after us, see a vast number of Black women onscreen, as well as young Black girls too. Doc McStuffins, Princess Tiana and Penny Proud paint a subtle but solid picture of what/who Black girls are and what they can become in the developmental stages. I could have shed tears when I walked into Target and saw a Doc McStuffins costume! We are beginning to pair the the telling with actually showing our girls (and ourselves) what diversity within our Blackness, and as women, looks like in entertainment. Now we can consistently view ourselves just as varied and adaptable for all stages in life. To me, this proves very valuable for Black women and girls and I am ecstatic.

My daughters will have me to look up to, but also diverse images of WOC in their books and on their televisions that we can have open, honest and stimulating conversations about. This will be a good change from only looking to either the perfect or the downtrodden caricatures that Black women on-screen have been made to bounce between for too long.

With complex Black women characters like Nia Long as the politically savvy Billie Page in WeTV’s new drama series “The Divide,”  Gina Torres as Jessica Pearsona top law firm executive trying to maintain her spot as the only WOC at her level on USA’s hit show “Suits,” or the highly-anticipated arrival of Annalise Keating in “How To Get Away With Murder,” starring Viola Davis as the charismatic and seductive professor, we are getting to see ourselves onscreen as composite and colorful as we are in reality. Because regardless of what we say, entertainment is a large part of our lives collectively. Pushing for the range of our stories to become available in these spaces of entertainment for all to see is half the battle. We, as Black women, are starting to win and I, for one, am excited about what the future of entertainment holds for us.

La Truly is a writer, college professor and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences  to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young Women of Color. Follow her on Twitter: @ashleylatruly and check out her site: www.hersoulinc.com.

Nia Long Joins Regina Hall As A Brand Ambassador For White Diamonds Lustre

July 14th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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whitediamonds2014Nia Long has been tapped to become a new brand ambassador for the White Diamonds scent, joining Regina Hall as an ambassador for the brand.

Launched more than 20 years ago, it is one of the top-selling fragrances on the market with more than a billion dollars in sales. Some of the proceeds from her Elizabeth Taylor Fragrances are earmarked for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Long will help introduce a new product,  White Diamonds Lustre Elizabeth Taylor.

“Elizabeth Taylor said White Diamonds was her ‘Diamonds In A Bottle,’ and that’s what Lustre really is to me – Lustre just adds that extra sparkle,” said Long, who will be starring in WE tv’s first original scripted drama series, The Divide, premiering Wednesday, July 16.

The company is hoping to pull in a new, younger market with Long, describing the new product as sparkling with “the energy of youth, the vibrancy of a strong personality and the mystery of what might come next.”

Back in May, it was announced that Regina Hall would also be serving as a brand ambassador for the perfume. “Whenever I do red carpet looks one of the things that I like is to always make sure that there’s a sense of elegance and class,” Hall told us a couple of months ago. “And I felt like [Elizabeth Taylor] always exuded that.”

Elizabeth Taylor launched her scent with Passion, which was an instant success and was soon followed by Passion for Men. White Diamonds was released in 1991 and has become Taylor’s most successful fragrance grossing $61.3 billion globally in 2010, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.

“With the launch of her first fragrance in 1987, Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion, she built a fragrance empire and one of the most successful brands in fragrance history,” a statement from the company said (via CNN). “White Diamonds remains a best seller almost 20 years after its 1991 introduction, a testimony to her transcendent and enduring appeal. Our best tribute to Elizabeth Taylor will be to continue the legacy of the brands she created and loved so much.”

“Branding is everything these days, but to attach yourself to something that really has a legacy behind it,” Long told us in an interview just last month. Read more on that here.

Nia Long Talks Co-Parenting, Being Friends With Her Ex & Their Nontraditional Family Structure

June 30th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Beauty and business sense are a powerful combination when it comes to show biz and apparently, Nia Long was blessed with both. We were able to catch up with the brown-eyed beauty for an intimate chat to discuss her new partnership with Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds Lustre, how she balances motherhood with her career and getting to a place of friendship with her ex-fiancé to provide the best co-parenting scenario for her older son, Massai.

“Put the child first,” Nia calmly advised. “The child always, always comes first. And agree to disagree on certain things. If you set an example, your child will understand the value in every relationship. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a marriage or someone you spend the rest of your life with.”

Of course, this is certainly easier said than done, but Massai knowing that his parents did all that they could to create a stable life for him—including putting their differences aside and forming a friendship—seems to make it all worthwhile for the “Divide” actress.

“I know one thing that my boy Massai will be able to say is, ‘Yeah, my mom and dad may have had their differences, but they liked each other.’ He may not be able to articulate that at this time, but I believe when he is an adult, he will say, ‘Yeah, they had their moments, but they were cool.’ His dad comes over to dinner. He’s still a part of my family. It may not be traditional, I may not have had seven marriages [like Elizabeth Taylor], but you have to do what works. Not what other people think works for you. Just be liberated. What are we tied down to? We tie ourselves down.”

Speaking of motherhood, we’re still amazed at how Nia does it all. She is currently raising two young boys, preparing for the debut of her new WE tv series, “The Divide,” and promoting the fragrance. But when we asked about the secrets behind her impressive balancing act, the 43-year-old bombshell didn’t have a fancy mantra to offer.

“You tend to the things that require your immediate attention and then you do one thing at a time,” she simply stated.

In fact, mid-interview, a minor crisis involving her 2-year-old son, Kez, was resolved.

“Last night we were having appetizers. My mother called and I hear my baby screaming in the background. I’m like, ‘Oh my God what’s the matter?’ and she’s like ‘Oh, he’s coughing a lot.’ And I’m like ‘Okay, well just don’t let him run around.’ You know, he’s my sensitive one. Then I get a call around four in the morning, ‘Oh, his temperature is really, really high. So I’ve been up since four, he’s fine. But that’s part of my life and I can’t deny any of that.”

Thankfully, during our interview, she received an update that baby Kez was doing much better.

 “I just got an update– no temp, no runny nose,” her publicist interjected.

“So you just go with the flow, it takes a village. I just do the best that I can do and I don’t try to be superwoman,” said a smiling Nia.

“I just try to stay honest and grounded and I think motherhood helps a lot with that. You’ll get such a different perspective. First you’ll be like, ‘Oh, this is who I am now?’ You just improve greatly because you know now that it’s not just you for you, but it’s for this other little person who watches everything you do […] They’re a direct reflection of the best part of ourselves.”

Exclusive: Larenz Tate Dishes On ‘Love Jones’ Sequel & Why It’s A ‘Priority’

June 16th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: New Line Cinema

Source: New Line Cinema

It’s been close to 18 years since the release of “Love Jones,” but if you were to go by Larenz Tate’s social media mentions, you’d think it was just released yesterday.

“Darius Lovehall! Yeah, Darius Lovehall! Let me tell you, this is going to be a plug right now for all of my social media @LarenzTate. I’m really starting to get into this social media thing,” Larenz told MadameNoire in an exclusive interview. “I gotta say, there has not been one day since I’ve been on social media that someone hasn’t mentioned ‘Love Jones.'”

Larenz went on to say that he’s a little shocked by all of the attention “Love Jones” still receives.

“When I say, not one day has gone by. I’m thinking, ‘It’s a movie. Really?’ I’ve done a lot of work. There’s ‘Dead Presidents,’ ‘Menace,’ ‘Crash,’ ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love?’ No, hands down, ‘Love Jones’ is the one that gets a mention every day. Hands down, there’s no comparison. The audiences love that movie.”

Though he’s gearing up for the premiere of his new USA series, “Rush” as well as for the premiere of his new BET movie, “Gun Hill,” both of which debut next month, the seasoned actor says that giving fans a “Love Jones” sequel has become a priority on his list, as well as his co-star Nia Long’s.

“We’ve been talking a long time,” Larenz excitedly explained. “Nia and I, I’ve been trying to figure out, do we do the sequel? Is there a way to do a sequel? Is there a way to do a continuation? Or is there a way to do a part two?We’ve been creating all kinds of scenarios. It’s still very much so at the top of our conversations. It has become a priority. We have to address this. What are we going to do because the audiences in that time, not only do they celebrate the movie, they want to see what happened.”

Of course, being the mastermind behind the follow-up to such an iconic film is no easy feat.

“It’s really tough to figure out how you catch lightening in a bottle twice. The movie was such a success. Maybe not when it first came out, but over the years, it’s become such a cult classic. It’s become such a groundbreaking movie for our generation and now the next generation is picking it up. They’re into the whole poetry thing and the whole notion that African-Americans, black folk, people of color are smart and don’t have to deal with all of the so-called stereotypes.”

“No one got hurt,” Larenz continued. “The only thing that was hurt in that movie was someone’s heart and that was something that was very special. Those elements and those underlying themes are what keep people wanting more because Hollywood stopped making those films. Hollywood got into a whole bunch of other stuff that wasn’t rich in culture and rich in story like ‘Love Jones.’ There’s a need for it. There’s a void and that’s one of the real reasons why we’re considering doing a part two. We really are talking about it because they don’t make those types of movies anymore. So why not go back to what worked?”

The amazing on-screen chemistry that Larenz shares with Nia Long also appears to have served as an incentive to make the sequel happen.

“Nia and I, when we work together, we work!”

The two appeared briefly together on Don Cheadle’s “House Of Lies” recently and plenty folks were expecting Love Jones-esque make-out scenes, but fans were left a bit disappointed.

“We didn’t really work together, we were just on the same series at the time. And everyone thought we would, you know, hook up. But it wasn’t my show, it was Don Cheadle’s show so he hooked up with Nia!” he joked. “But we was like, ‘That’s fine! We wanna wait for our scene anyway! That don’t even matter!'”

Sooo are you here for this “Love Jones” sequel?

 Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

 

 

The Apple Fell Far From The Tree: Celebs With Wild Siblings

May 13th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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We all have that one family member who will pop off at the drop of a dime and celebrities are no different. While these famous folks may know how to keep their composure, their wild siblings have no problem throwing down in a heartbeat.

Celebs With Wild Siblings

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Beyonce

All anyone has been talking about the past few days is surveillance cameras catching Solange Knowles attacking her brother-in-law Jay Z while his wife and her sister Beyonce stood by and watched in an elevator following a Met Gala after party. While there’s no sound to support the video, it’s clear that Solange was none too happy with the rap mogul and let her feelings be known through slaps and kicks. Neither Jay Z, Solange nor Beyonce have released a statement about the incident.

Nia Long Poses For Allure In Her Birthday Suit: ‘I Can Still Take It Off—Two Babies Later’

April 23rd, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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"Single Moms Club" actress Nia Long poses for Allure in her birthday suit.

Source: Allure

If there was any question about whether or not Nia Long still has “it,” I think it’s safe to say that her “Naked Truth” spread for Allure magazine’s annual nude issue has proven that she absolutely does.

The 43-year-old actress was photographed completely nude on a bed of sand as she strategically poses to cover her most intimate body parts. Inside of the issue, she touched on what it’s like to bare all in front of the camera.

“Posing nude is probably the most uncomfortable thing ever, and not from a spiritual sense,” the mother of two explained. “There has to be the arch of the back. There has to be the hair covering the nippy action.”

“I’m still going naked. I can still take it off—two babies later. The point is to capture the true essence of beauty in our most comfortable state—and that is nude. When you have kids, your body changes drastically. My boobs are not the same as they were before, I’m not going to lie.”

Of course, this wouldn’t be Nia’s first time posing nude for a magazine. A few years back a very pregnant Nia posed nude for Ebony magazine.

#Laid: 5 Celebrities With Silky Smooth Hair

March 20th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Need inspiration to transform your mane from wild and untamed to silky smooth hair? Look no further than these five ladies who rock some of the sleekest tresses in Hollywood.

Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Ashanti

We don’t know what took Ashanti so long to trade in her 18-inch weaves for this sleek short bob, but all we can say is better late than never. We love the way this smooth blunt cut frames her face.

Nia Long Says As A Single Mom, It’s Important To Introduce Your Kids To A Guy You Date “Kinda Early”

March 7th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Nia Long single mom

We told you yesterday that Nia Long nabbed the cover of the new issue of Essence as the stunning star promotes her new film, The Single Moms Club, which is the new Tyler Perry project. To talk about the realities of being a single mom, Long has been chatting with Iyanla Vanzant and Oprah on Oprah’s Lifeclass and they’ve discussed a little bit of everything. On Part II of their sit-down, which airs tonight on OWN, they talk about single mothers navigating the dating world. Long had a very interesting story to tell about a first date she went on, and talks about the awkward moment at the beginning of that date that helped her realize it’s not a bad idea to introduce your child to a prospective partner early.

“I actually do have a funny story. My son was a bout two. I had just broken up with his dad and I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to go out and I am going to reclaim my sexy!’ This gentleman came and I said, let’s do a group date. I didn’t want to do a one-on-one thing. Let’s do a group date. So I called my sister and I said, ‘You’re going on my first date with me.’ I was living in New York at the time. We walk out of the apartment, he’s in this big truck like a Suburban, but it was a driver and a car. And I was like, ‘Oh he’s fancy.’ We get in the car and my 2-year-old goes, ‘My daddy has a big ol’ blue truck and it’s faster than this one!’ I just went ‘Oh my goodness.’ So they know. They know. Even when you try to hide it, when you try to pretend like, ‘This is just mommy’s friend’ they know. That guy didn’t last so him and his truck went bye bye, but what it did teach me was to introduce kind of early.”

Of course, Long will go in depth about why she thinks this is necessary on tonight’s episode of Life Class (airing at 9/8c). But check out the clip of her talking about this date and let us know what approach you would take when it comes to dating as a single mother, and when you think it’s best to introduce your children to the men you are getting to know on a romantic level.

Tune in Friday night at 9/8c.

Nia Long On How She Handles Raising Her Sons: “My Mantra Is You Created This, You Can Handle It”

March 6th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Nia Long Covers Essence

Essence’s favorite cover girl is back front and center on their April 2014 issue and this picture alone tells us why Nia Long is talking about “keeping it sexy after 40.” The mother of two is also discussing her new role in Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club and, naturally, her own role in real life raising two sons. Nia told the mag of her day-to-day life raising 13-year-old Massai and 2-year-old Kez with boyfriend Ime Udoka:

“I’m not a movie star mom who’s got a private chef, a nanny and a driver. My mantra is, ‘You created this, you can handle it.'”

You certainly can’t be mad at that approach, though the idea of juggling a teen, a toddler, and a job all at once sounds overwhelming just thinking about it. Not for Nia, though, who said:

 “I think that if you’re committed to being a great mother, single or not, you’re going to enjoy every moment you have with your children. I love when it’s just the three of us and no one can see how silly we’re acting. The preciousness of it all makes the tough days a little bit easier.”

Nia’s sons would clearly agree. In addition to her feature, the actress’s oldest son Massai also penned a love letter to his mom in Essence, thanking her for all she does for their family, writing:

“You are loving, and are always there for me and my little brother…You have taught me to have a voice and fear nothing but the Lord.”

How sweet!

Essence’s April 2014 issue hits newsstands tomorrow.

Nia Long On Working With Her Son In “The Single Moms Club:” I’m Not Gonna Be Looking Like A Fool

February 19th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Nia Long

Though the odds were stacked against Nia Long due to other work obligations when Tyler Perry asked her to take the leading role in his new movie “The Single Moms Club,” Nia says Tyler made taking the job a lot simpler because he’s so easy to work with.

“Tyler called and said, ‘Look, I need you. Can you do this?’ And I was doing a show. I was doing ‘House of Lies’ at the time,” the mother of two told HipHollywood. “I was like, ‘God, I don’t know how I’m going to do this.’ It just seemed impossible.’ He said, ‘Look, we’ll work it out.'”

His willingness to work around her hectic schedule isn’t the only reason why Nia says Tyler is such a joy to work with.

“If you’ve ever worked with Tyler Perry, it’s the most well-oiled machine you ever seen operate. You get there, you’re treated like a queen. You have fresh flowers in your trailer everyday. It is the most unbelievable thing ever. Everybody is on point and when we wrapped that film in 17 days, I left going, ‘Did we just make a movie? Because I don’t know that we just made a movie. Like, what happened?'”

As if that weren’t enough, Nia also revealed that Tyler allowed her 11-year-old son, Massai, to audition for the role of her son in the film.

“My son plays my son in the film,” Nia explained. “Massai plays my boy in the movie. I asked [Tyler], ‘So who’s playing my son in the film?’ And he goes, ‘Well, I don’t know, we’ll probably get a kid local in Atlanta.’ I said, ‘Well, you know my son is the same age as the character.'”

While Tyler was willing to hire Massai without an audition, Nia says that she wanted him to go through the audition process for a host of reasons.

“I said, ‘No, no, no, no. I’m not gonna be looking like a fool if I get him there and he’s terrible. Let’s make him audition.’ I knew in my heart he could do it, but I wanted him to go through the process of earning something and also for him to understand what I do and that we really have to work hard to get what we have.”

After setting little Massai up with her old acting coach, Nia says he auditioned and nailed it.

Watch a clip from Nia’s interview on the next page.