I’m a Survivor: Maia Campbell Talks New Career and Sobriety
Anyone who came across this video of Maia Campbell that went viral in 2009 knows the “In the House” actress was in a bad way a few years ago, seemingly strung out on drugs and hurting from the death of her mother, author Bebe Moore Campbell.
Thankfully, all of that appears to be behind her now, as she revealed in a recent blog talk radio interview. The 35-year-old says she’s clean and ready to make a comeback to the industry—only she wants to make sure she does it the right way this time. Check out some of the highlights of the interview:
On her life
I’ve been sober for two years, and a lot of people can’t say that. I’m timid, shy and broken a little bit by some of the responses [online], but then again so much support from the people saying “No! She’s none of that.” Real friends stepping up … And just showing me who the real people were in my life. It helped me find myself and find out that there’s a real true artist inside of me–that no matter what obstacles may come, he’s not going to let you fall, and he’s not going to let you down.
I started ministering to myself and looking at my heart … Finding my voice … And it just made me stronger. If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. Like Drake says, “It’s far from over…” I listened to the music that people were making, and it kept inspiring me. I started making music, and I just stepped out on a limb. My mom died … So much has happened. I miss people in my life. I miss LL [Cool J]. Debbie Allen came back to the community … And for once so many miracles. I swear so many miracles!
On her career and Internet image
“I went on to do movies, and nobody talked about it, and that hurt me. I did a movie called ‘Rim Shop’ after Katrina had happened in New Orleans. We went down there, and that place looked a mess, seriously. We shot a film out there just to help those people, to bring revenue in and just show our support to their situation. Then, I did a gospel kind of Tyler Perry play called ‘Friends and Lovers’.
“I’m trying to reach out to Tyler Perry about one of the mom’s latest novels. She was nominated for a Noble Peace Prize for literature. [It’s called 72-Hour Hold] it was a story about her and my relationship, and I wish that Halle Berry would pick it up and read it if you’re listening. I would love for her to play the lead character.
“There are so many goals and dreams that God has put in my heart while I’m sitting here sober. And I’m not doing the things I use to do. The way they attacked me on the Internet–it was BS. These guys said they were going to shoot a video for my music. I was trying to work independently–and I’m not saying that I was clear headed to believe them, but I was not doing what the heck they said I was doing. They blasted me with the words they put on the screen and just made everybody look at me another way. And I’m like, “That’s really messed up if anybody believes that!” But a lot of people didn’t. And they knew that and came to my rescue and said, “Let’s just get you all the way right.”
Her plans for the future
“I went to Spelman, but a lot of HBCUs named a month after my mom for mental health month because she supported the mental health … Her book was about a girl with a bi-polar mental health issues and her relationship with her mom. It was kind of a bougie little girl that was prive to every freakin’ thing, raised up in The Hills and just had it like that. Nobody took the time to deal with her psychologically. And that’s what ’72-Hour Hold’ is about. That’s the next project that I want to basically get out to producers and Tyler Perry to see if anybody is interested in pushing it.
I want to attach myself to anything-–reality shows, movies–but positive characters. I don’t want to play the crazy girl like, ”Craig, Craig let me borrow your VCR!” It’s too much of that in life, and we got kids out there … I wish they would take that type of stuff off the Internet because the kids have to go to school and deal with reality of that, and it makes it hard for them to learn.”
Sounds like Maia is headed in the right direction. Hopefully the people she’s surrounded herself with will keep her grounded as she reenters the industry.
Check out the rest of the interview on Necole Bitchie.
Do you think Maia can recover from her tainted image? What roles would you like to see her take on?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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