Tyler Perry’s popular TV series “If Loving You Is Wrong” returns to OWN TV tonight and the new season promises even more drama than the last. But actress April Parker-Jones, who portrays single working mom Natalie Henning on the series, is ready for the roller-coaster storyline.
The show, which focuses on the lives of five husbands and wives who live on the same street, also stars Amanda Clayton, Edwina Findley, Heather Hemmens, and Zulay Henao, and is loosely based on Perry’s 2014 film The Single Moms Club.
Parker-Jones was born in Durham, North Carolina, and attended North Carolina Central University before moving to New York to pursue a career in acting. After moving to New York, she appeared in several theater productions and received two award nominations for her work in the play Plenty of Time, which co-starred her husband Joseph J. Jones whom she married in 2007.
After, Parker-Jones landed a role as series regular Darcy Hawkins in the series “Jericho.” She also appeared on “CSI: Miami,” “Lost,” “The Unit,” “NCIS,” “Scandal,” and had recurring roles on “90210” and “The Fosters.” In 2015, she had a recurring role as detective Claire Bryce in “How to Get Away with Murder,” and starred in “Devious Maids” in 2016. Here she talks to us about how she juggles it all and plans to have her hand in multiple money pots.
MadameNoire (MN): You are one busy woman. How are you juggling everything?
April Parker-Jones (APJ): I just had a birthday — without giving away my age (laugh)– I am pretty much at that middle point. I am a grown woman, so I am juggling being a wife, a mother, my career. It’s a struggle and I am still trying to learn how to juggle. But in my family we are team players, so that helps.
MN: Acting is one of the toughest professions, how do you stay so active?
APJ: I was always taught it is important not to keep all your eggs in one basket but especially in the entertainment business. So this year, for 2017, I set goals for myself to set up seven streams of additional income. I have come up with a list and now I am in the process of mapping them out.
MN: What are the seven streams?
APJ: They are 1) Author, I’d love to write a book one day; 2) speaking, although it terrifies me, but sometimes you have to do things that are challenging so you can grow; 3) real estate, I think real estate is a good investment; 4) endorsement deals; 5) teaching, I really want to start teaching more because people always asking me if I teach acting; 6) acting; 7) product sales, I am not really sure on what yet but maybe something like merchandising.
MN: How did you come up with the number seven?
APJ: My manager sent me a book by Nely Galán called “Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way ” and she talks about how true empowerment comes from having your own money. So I came up with seven revenue streams: I chose seven because I like the number seven (laugh). But also I don’t think we, especially in the Black community, talk about money and finances enough.
MN: What is it like working with Tyler Perry?
APJ: When you work with Tyler Perry he knows what he wants, gets the shot, and moves on. He doesn’t believe in a lot of takes so you have to be on point. You know to know your lines and be ready. I call working with Tyler Perry like being in actors’ bootcamp. I am really happy getting a chance to witness his work ethic and how many people he employs. It gives me inspiration; if he can do it we all have what we need to be great.
MN: What can we expect from your character on the show this season?
APJ: I will say that people reach out to me to ask about “Joey,” my son on the show, and all I can tell you is this season we will find out what happened to Joey.