Monday, October 5, 2015

Kim Fields Talks About 'RHOA' Experience


HuffPo.com:
Bravo officially announced that award-winning actor and director Kim Fields has made the foray into the reality world by becoming a cast member of Bravo's #1 rated Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Fields will be joining the cast of: Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, Phaedra Parks and Porsha Williams. Noticeably missing from the lineup is Nene Leakes who announced that she would not be coming back to the reality show that turned her into a celebrity. 

Fields is most recognized as roller-skating Tootie from the 1970's mega-hit show, Facts of Life and as the super, sassy Regine Hunter from the 1990's hit Living Single. Fields has been in front of the camera since she was 7 years old and continues to hone her craft as an actor. Her most recent acting credits are a Hallmark TV movie, For Better or for Worse, and motion picture, What to Expect when you are Expecting, starring Cameron Diaz. She has also been very busy behind the scenes as a sought after director and producer. She has directed successful televisions shows on TBS, BET and TVOne. Fields said, "I'm an actor, director, producer, entrepreneur, mom and wife."

It's because of Field's celebrated history as a "legit" actor and director that many have questioned her choice to join a sometimes tasteless, oftentimes embarrassing, generally degrading and always controversial reality show like the The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Fields said, "When there were rumors about me joining the The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast I was intrigued by how much chatter there was. I was humbled by how many fans were protective of me. Not the brand, but of me." 

In this exclusive interview, a very candid and humorous Kim Fields opens up about her entertainment career, her decision to join The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of Atlanta drama, and her family. 

Tanya: Over the past few years you have taken on more directing jobs than acting. Are you still passionate about acting?
Acting is my first love. There are still so many characters inside of me that are waiting to come out. 


You starred in Facts of Life for nine years and Living Single for six years. Do you stay connected with your cast mates?
Oh yes. Those are large chapters in our lives and reaching milestones and your co-stars are there to experience all of this with you. They become your family. I stay connected with everyone. When former cast mates, from both shows, come to Atlanta they come and hangout. Lisa Whelchel and I were working on a movie together for Hallmark and our kids played together. That was really cool. Erika Alexander swears that we named our son, Sebastian Alexander, after her because we were such good friends. So we let her continue to think that (laughing). I also stay connected with everyone through social media, Facetime and Skype. 


You made guest starring appearances on many shows including a very memorable episode on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air where Will Smith tried to get you into bed. What was it like working with him?
Working with Will Smith was one of the highlights of my career. He is so talented and has a tremendous work ethic. We are still friends and I reach out to him and his partner to pitch ideas. He loves my mother. In fact, my mother was his son Jaden's acting coach for the movie Pursuit of Happiness. 


Viola Davis gave a stirring acceptance speech during the recent Emmy awards. She spoke about the struggle women of color have in securing acting roles in Hollywood. Do you agree with Viola's statements?
There is a history in the shortage of opportunities for women of color and people of color verses our non-persons of color counter parts. I don't feel that I was often compartmentalized as an African- American actor, yet I am fully aware of the plight that actors, directors and producers of color face in our industry. I choose to focus on being proactive in creating opportunities for myself and others while acknowledging that we are not playing on a level playing field. The web, other digital outlets and technology have increased the opportunities for actors tremendously. 


You are married and have two children. How do you balance your career and family?

Yes, my husband's name is Christopher Morgan and we met in Atlanta. My two children are Sebastian and Quincy. I am 46 with a two year old and an eight year old. You'd think I would be a size two running after my kids like a do. There is no nanny. We have the occasional sitter. If my work causes me to be gone more than 2 days, the kids come with me. My husband and I are involved in school activities. Again this year, I am the Chair of the Black History Month events. The kids have lots of extracurricular activities too. We are 1000 percent hands on. We just make it work. 

How does your husband deal with your celebrity?
I have an amazing husband who is a strong man of God. He is very dedicated to me and our family. We have been married for eight years and together for 10 years. It's not being easy being married to someone who has been in the public eye for over 35 years, but he has become very comfortable with it. 


Is it more difficult to maintain privacy as a celebrity in light of the Internet?
The Internet is my scrapbook. The Internet can be a wonderful tool. But sometimes it's food and sometimes it's poison. It causes us to live a transparent life even though I am a private person. There is no hiding place although I have nothing to hide. You don't even have to be a celebrity for everyone to know your business. 


What made you decide to sign on to The Real Housewives of Atlanta?
I've been asked for years to do a reality show. One of my criteria is that I would be given the opportunity to show a strong family unit. When they came to me to do the show, they said, "We love you. We love your light and we love your opinions and you can give them in your way." So far they have been great in letting me be me. 


In order to be a part of the Housewives of Atlanta cast, the ladies live in the Atlanta area. What brought you to Atlanta from California?
There has been a tremendous growth in the entertainment industry throughout Atlanta. There are many opportunities in film, television and theatre. I was offered an opportunity to direct Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns. It was a time when I was thinking about leaving California anyway so it was a great fit. 
RELATED:  Did Kim Fields Just Throw Shade at Kenya Moore?