Have you caught the new vampire show on ABC called “The Gates?” According to the sole black actress on the show, Madame Victoria Platt, it’s her big catch. She gets to play a savvy doctor in a world of vampires, and we got the chance to interview her for more drama galore. Check out the details!
Madame Noire: You’re starring in this new series called “The Gates,” can you tell us more about it?
Victoria Platt: “The Gate” is about an exclusive community of people who want to keep folks out but they are keeping people in (laughs). I play the local doctor who happens to be a practicing witch so it’s an exciting role!
MN: What types of people are they keeping in..vampires or bad people? What’s the draw for us as viewers?
VP: They are vampires and werewolves, but not all bad. Some good and not so good.
MN: Wowsers! Is there such a thing as a good vampire?
VP: Within “The Gate,” everyone tries to be normal but it’s a community of people who are not the norm in society. “The Gate” is a place where people can go to be safe.
MN: As the woman of color in “The Gate,” how does it make you feel as an actress?
VP: It’s hard not to notice. I always notice. I’m glad to be on it and say i’m the only female of color on the show. I certainly would like to see more. It’s always odd. It’s 2010 and we have a Black president and there are a lot of shows and theories that only have one person of color on them.
MN: What is the best part of filming this series?
VP: The best part is two things. First is the writing because it really is intriguing. I look forward every week to reading the script. It’s well written and relevant to the times. “The Gate” has a lot of social commentary about where we are today in our world. Then another, are people I work with. It’s one of the coolest, kindest sets that I’ve been on. People who you would consider stars are really nice and just regular people! There’s not a lot of ego. (laughs)
MN: Who’s your favorite cast member?
VP: I don’t think I have a favorite, but Chandra West and I have become really close. We stay in the same hotel – her family lives in L.A. and my husband is in N.Y. so we keep each other company often. We spend a lot of time and eat together a lot. She’s the bad witch and I’m more like Glenda. (laughs)
MN: How does your husband deal with your schedule?
VP: We deal with our own schedules in a way. He’s on “One Life to Live” so he’s working and I’m away a lot. So there’s a lot of compromise on both sides. We sort of meet in the middle sometimes. (laughs) I’m in New York now to spend time with him but I have to go back to shoot for “The Gates.”
MN: How gruesome or not is shooting?
VP: It’s the travel that’s difficult. I’m sometimes in L.A., sometimes in N.Y. We also have a house in L.A. and I work in L.A. so traveling can be grueling. Sometimes I come in for a day or two at a time and I’m taking a flight or driving somewhere but the work itself is relaxing. (laughs)
MN: Cool! Do you think the vampire-themed shows are going to have a lasting impact particularly in the African-American or Black community? How does that demographic receive it?
VP: I’m not sure, but I think the vampire craze is here to stay. We’ve seen vampires for a long time in movies, television, books –”Twilight” [the show]. It’s way more Hot now than it used to be…you know, back with “Dare of Dark Shadows,” the soap opera which was about vampires. It’s here to stay and I’m beginning to see vampires of color which is also a big thing. We had Morant who I worked with a couple of years ago on a show with the Kirk Douglas theater. He was Morant from the “Twilight” series and normally you don’t see people of color as vampires on a major film. It’s a better situation now.
MN: What advice would you give to any of our readers who maybe listening if they were trying to compete as Black actresses in the Hollywood sphere?
VP: People will say, ‘everyone tells me that I’m a good cry-er and I should act .’ That’s the least of what we do. If you’re funny in life or friends say you’re beautiful, that doesn’t make you an actor. You have to train with a good acting coach and be in it for the long haul. If you’re in it for fame or money, that’s not gonna happen right away. For decades, I’ve been in the business and I’m just getting a major television show. I’ve been on Broadway and television shows. You have to be in it because you love what you do and not want to be Tom Cruise, Will Smith, or Julia Roberts.
MN: Who are some of your best acting teachers?
VP: Leslie Kahn, Bill Esper, Bill Duke, and Richard Laughlin. They’ve been some of the best I’ve had.
MN: Could you tell us whom your husband plays on “One Life to Live” for all the show’s fans?
VP: [My husband] Terrell plays Dr. Gregory Evans (laughs) It’s funny that he’s also a doctor on an ABC show. Both of us are [I’m a doctor on “The Gates”].
MN: Did both of you ever consider playing doctors in real life?
VP: When I was 6, I decided that I wanted to be a cardiovascular surgeon. My father was over the moon! (laughs) So now we kind of get what we want.
MN: What has your father’s reaction when he learned you wanted to be this wonderful actress?
VP: He freaked out for a long time and was concerned. My dad was a logical guy. He was a principal of a school in Brooklyn and served in WWII. He was an older father and had a different set of rules and morals. And thought this business would corrupt me. He was scared of me being an actress until he saw that I wasn’t turning into one of those disrespectful children. Then, he felt comfortable.
MN: What is your relationship with your mom? Was she on the same page as he was?
VP: No. My mom actually sang backup for Sam Cooke in her early 20s, so she had an understanding of show business. So, when I went into it she was totally into it and supportive.
MN: And finally, why are we going to be addicted to this new show, “The Gates?”
VP: It’s a story about relationships and what drives people’s fears and insecurities and how that plays into people’s behavior. It could be about anyone. It doesn’t have to be about vampires and werewolves. It speaks to the regular person. There are a lot of interesting twists to this show. But it’s an exciting show. Definitely watch!
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