Actress LisaRaye is in high demand right now, both inside of her home and in the industry. The 52-year-old star has been entertaining her mother, her daughter, Kai, and her granddaughter while in quarantine, but she’s also done a number of interviews where she’s been asked to share her opinion on a wide range of topics,, including how the Kardashians have altered the acceptable body shape for women.
“I ran out of personal makeup to do my own makeup for all these virtual interviews and Zooms and FaceTimes and Instagram Lives and all of this,” she jokingly said to us during a recent phone conversation.
But we talked to her because she is promoting her new role on streaming channel UMC‘s A House Divided Season 2, which returns Thursday, April 30. She will play the part of a character named Alexis, which was written for her specifically.
“When I read it, the dialogue, the scenes? I was like, ‘Oh she’s fierce. She’s not playing,” she said. “There’s also a vulnerability about Alexis that you understand. Keep that in mind when you see the scenes, because we don’t hurt for no reason. We don’t just hurt because there’s jealousy there. You’re hurt for a reason.”
But aside from chatting about how much she relates to her characters, particularly when it comes to taking no mess, LisaRaye opened up about a wide range of topics, from keeping it sexy but sultry at 52, to being a boss business woman. We talked about that, as well as about her sister Da Brat’s new public relationship with entrepreneur Jesseca “DaRealBBJudy” Dupart, and the part she played in them meeting, and what’s the status of her own love life. Check out the deets from our talk.
How She Stays a Size 6 and 7 and in Great Shape At 52
I do a fast, taking away the sugar and the alcohol. I have to cut that out because that’s a lot of sugar. I’ll go through a phase where I’ll just drink tons of water. I’m always working out, but when you have something you’re about to do, you hit it hard. I do that like everybody else. I give myself a two, three week window when I’m trying to shed some water weight or five pounds. I’ll hit it hard. But for the most part, I don’t want to get so out of shape that it takes so much more discipline for me to get it back in shape, because I’m older. I don’t want to do that to my body, going up and down. So I want to find a perfect size for me, and it has changed. When I look at older pictures and film that I’ve taped, I think to myself, hell nah I don’t want to be that small again, at all! The sizing became different now and acceptable to be thicker than a snicker or cornbread fed. But what I do on TV, it adds 10 pounds to you, so you’ll look thicker. And unfortunately, thicker when you’re older makes you look older, and I don’t want to look like that. So I have to stay between a 6, 7 for me to still look like I’m healthy. For me, that’s like from five to eight pounds where I have to stay consistent with the weight that I’m used to because I’ll see it in my face first. My face will get full, and I personally don’t like that look. So that’s what dictates for me how to pull back from bread and sweets and alcohol.
Why You Won’t See Her Half-Dressed and Doing the Most on Social Media Like Everyone Else
One thing that’s for sure, I’m a sex symbol. I know this. It wasn’t deemed on me through me, it was deemed on me through my public. So if there’s something sexy about me that they regard, I want to keep it sexy and not raunchy. Like your mama used to say, there’s a time and place for everything, and then there’s also too much information. I don’t want my husband to pick me because he saw my booty cheeks clappin’. I don’t wan’t that to be the reason he’s stepping to me. I want him to step to me because he’s seen an interview where I spoke well and that I was smart in my execution and delivery and my wisdom. I want him to come to me because he knows and sees that I’m centered and knows that I’m a woman of God and that I can, perhaps, if he has children, be a great stepmom to the kids. See that I can be an influential person, that I am a great cook and that I am those things that make a great wife. Those personal things are supposed to be just that — personal. And that don’t mean I don’t get personal. But all that real pillow talk personal stuff? That’s just a little too much for me. I know how to be sexy without giving you too much because to me, sexy is in the eye of the beholder. But also, it’s also less means more to me. I want you to build upon your imagination. I don’t want to just give it all to you because then you would have nothing to explore because you’ve seen it all. I want you to imagine. But I’m not going to just bam and give it all to you. You’ve got to work for that. I’m sorry, Instagram ain’t paying me nothing to do that.
The Key to the Fountain of Youth
For the most part, finding that fountain of youth is just finding what you’re comfortable with. I’m just totally comfortable with me. That doesn’t mean I don’t have some insecurities, some things that I would want to change. Like my arm fat, I don’t like that. I’m getting little cellulite dimples on my butt. But understanding that I’m older now, if someone is complaining about that, someone I’m with, he’s worried about the wrong damn thing. I’m secure with me.
How She Played a Part in Da Brat Meeting Jesseca Dupart
I met her before she even met my sister. She and I were doing some videos for her Kaleidoscope products because she was actually a fan. So we reenacted a Player’s Club scene and did a couple of videos together. So when she reached out to have my sister try her drops, then they actually made a rapport with each other and built a friendship. What came out of that is what we see on Instagram now. I think it’s just fantastic when you can find someone and build any kind of relationship that you can build on and that can be solid enough for you to be able to be yourself, and to be able to share that with the world. That’s awesome. People kill me when they ask, who you dating? You gonna get with this person? You married? It’s like, look, none of that will be a secret. When you’re happy, you’re happy to share that news with anybody. It’s going to show on your face, they’re going to see a ring on your finger, you’re not trying to hide that kind of happy news. So I’m glad she’s living in her truth. She like it? I love it.
Why Things Didn’t Work Out With Short-Lived Fiancé Anthony B From “The Proposal”
It was a great show. It was to try to potentially see if there’s love at first sight, if that could still exist in this time. I’m very open to meeting people because I’m a people person. So when they asked me to do the show, it was like, yeah, I am single, and yeah I’m looking to date someone to potentially find my husband. So I signed on to do the show and the guy, he was a great guy, he wasn’t for me. But I still talk to him to this day. I have a buddy in him.
What She’s Looking For In A Man Now
Some of the things I’m looking for in a potential mate is definitely a God-fearing man, because I think he needs to lead his family in that way. I want him to be not only the provider and king of our family but I also want him to be the leader of our family in God’s name. So that’s number one. I want him to be generous. And when I say generous, I mean generous with his feelings. Not to hide behind his feelings. Generous with his conversation so we can communicate. Generous financially. Generous with family because I’m a family-oriented person. He needs to be a businessman because I’m a businesswoman and I want us to grow together financially healthy. I’m also attracted to knowledge, and for me, that’s where the power is and the sex appeal of a man to me. When you’re rooted in business and you’re smart and knowledgeable, I’m like, wow, teach me, show me, tell me. That’s a turn on for me. But it won’t be a turn on if you’re so business where you’re boring or where you don’t share your wealth. And I need him to have swag and to have fun. Not to take himself so serious where he’s in a box. I need him to have eyes for me only. I’m older now. I don’t have time to be playing. I don’t want to be a notch on your belt. I want us to grow in love and just grow so we can do the things in life that’s left to do that maybe he hasn’t done and I haven’t done, that we can share together.
How Her Businesses Are Giving Back During the Pandemic
I was just about to launch the jean line, PZI Jeans, and then all of this happened so it was like, okay, we’re going to wait. I didn’t want to be insensitive to what’s going on now. That’s why I didn’t launch LR Homestyles either. What I did was, I did a giveaway for Easter because I go through my Instagram comments and I’ll go through my followers’ pages and see how many kids they have, I’ll see if they’re working or not, if they’re having a hard time, and I was like, what can I do? How can I help? I just wanted to know how I could use my platform to be able to help someone else. I said, well I have this lovely furniture line and mattress line, Sleep Black, and it’s also a way to let them know I’m in business. I’m a Black woman that is in business for myself and we can support Black businesses. Here’s one you can support. It’s been wonderful giving back because we’re also donating mattresses to a couple of hospitals as well and we came up with a mattress you can disinfect that is wrapped in rubber or silicone that can be wiped down and reused. So it’s just about being innovative and current and figuring out how I can survive in what’s going on now, not just business wise, but survive as far as being a tool to be able to help what our world is going through. And PZI Jeans will be coming in the latter part of the summer, though. I’m excited about that because I used to work for PZI at first and then I was there ambassador and then I bought the company. I think that’s an awesome boss move.
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