By Nicole Williams
There are some women who work hard at trying to be smart and sexy, and then there are women like Eva Marcille who exude sex appeal effortlessly and has got smart sitting in her back pocket. This modern-day silverscreen siren and (believe-or-not) mom started her career with humble beginning acting roles on a bevy of television shows that included “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “The Young and the Restless.” Her most notable big break came when she became the first African-American to win on Tyra Bank’s model competition show “America’s Next Top Model.” That win helped to skyrocket Eva’s career to new heights which have us celebrity stalking and clamoring to see what’s next from the actress and red carpet regular.
Her most recent television endeavor shows off her sitcom chops in the stand out role as Tara, an irrevantly sassy budding actress looking for a human ATM to bankroll her lavishly-inspired lifestyle on TV One’s hit series, “Born Again Virgin.” The series, in its second season, takes a look at the dating lives of three best friends in today’s tech-connected world as they trifle through hilarious dating sexcapades, that include something called sex-fasting (mental note: make this next year’s new year’s resolution) and a challenge-to-commit to celibacy experiment that is sure to fail with co-star R&B singer Tank being one of the characters love interest on the show. Born Again Virgin gives viewers a comical and unapologetic perspective of the complicated world of dating.
In keeping a diversified career portfolio, Eva also just announced her new exciting BET reality show, “About the Business,” that follows Eva as she ventures out into the entrepreneurial arena with a goal of building a luxury container home business along with her friends (that all happen to be glamorous entrepreneurs themselves). The show’s cast members include R&B crooner Ne-Yo’s newlywed wife and mom-to-be Crystal Renay and Chris Brown’s stylist, EJ King. The docu-series premiered February 24 at 10p.m. on BET.
MommyNoire caught up with the multitalented celebrity mom to dish on her role on “Born Again Virgin,” love advice, motherhood and how she manages to balance it all.
We love the hi-jinx escapades you and the girls get into on the show. We know a lot of the script is written by a variety of hilariously witty writers, but is there some of your own reality written into your character’s role?
Eva Marcille: It really is all in the writing. True enough, I like to personalize Tara and make her my own, but I must say the writers have completely captured these characters.
Although you play the sexually-charged and a bit shallow yet “gone with the wind” fabulous role of Tara, which is opposite of your real life (or so we think), is this a girl that you could relate to or maybe have been at some point in your life?
My character Tara is a lot different than me. No question about it! But I definitely notice similarities. When it comes to men, we are completely different. Tara is looking for a pay check and flyer miles, I, on the other hand, look for integrity, drive and humor.
The saying goes “ life imitates art” and fortunately you’ve had the opportunity to experience just that in your own life, so if Eva Marcille could give Tara advice on finding love, fame, money and success…what would that advice be?
I would tell Tara to live her life. Do not worry about what others think of you and live in your happiness (whatever that may be).
Over the past few years you’ve been quite busy launching a career that some might say has been graciously rising from model to television host to now a budding actress, what are some lessons learned along the way?
Well, I started acting in 2005/2006 on Kevin Hill with Taye Diggs, then on “The Young and the Restless” in 2007. The last 10 years I’ve learned that there is always more to learn. By keeping my mind open and being free I’ve seen characters and scenes transcend into magic. Own who you are without judging yourself or your character.
Since the show is called “Born Again Virgin”…I appropriately titled this segment “Best You Ever Had” …..What was the best advice you ever had?
Best advice I ever got was from my Mommy. Every day before leaving the house growing up, my Mommy would stop me and say, “Always be a Lady.” I have lived by this and will instill this same thing in my daughter.
Finding love is no easy task. What, if any are your secrets to “surviving the dating game” when it comes to finding love?
I have no secrets to surviving dating. I’ve had my fair share of losers and disappointment, but I’m in a good space right now. I have a beautiful daughter, a great career and a man that loves me. I’m blessed.
Although your character wouldn’t agree, could Eva Marcille ever take on the Jenna challenge of becoming a “Born Again Virgin”?
I’ve taken the vow before and I believe it works. It’s all about what you want to get out of life – that’s what you put in.
Finding balance in life can be a challenge, so how do you manage being working mother with a thriving career?
I’m blessed. I have a great support group, mom and nanny that help me balance it all. I cannot take the credit.
Having “Eva the Diva” as a mom would set the bar pretty high for any kid…tell us how little Marley handles having you as a Mom? What are some of your favorite things to do with Marley?
I’m not sure if Marley realizes who I am and what I do for a living. To her, I’m just mommy. Marley is such a smart girl and extremely independent, so I love to have her help me with anything and everything – from laundry to dishes to dinner. She is also very artistic, so we spend time daily singing and playing instruments, as well as coloring and drawing.
Dating is never easy as a single mother, what advice can you share regarding how to merge motherhood and a successful strategy for dating?
Just be yourself and take it slow.
Although this is many years from now, what advice will you give a 20-something year old Marley about dating and relationships?
I’d explain to her how special she is and sacred she is, and that God has a plan for her life.
We look forward to watching episodes of the new season of TV One’s “Born Again Virgin,” tell us what fun shenanigans, panty-dropping or life changing moments we can expect from the girls this season?
This season there will be love, loss and whole lot of funny.
What other projects are you working on?
I have a new reality show on BET called “About the Business” airing Feb 24.