Ballers’ star Stacy Rose won’t com­pro­mise to get to the top

WON’T COM­PRO­MISE TO GET TO THE TOP

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - By ISHEKA N. HAR­RI­SON ihar­ri­son@sfltimes.com

PEM­BROKE PARK, Fla. – When she was only 9-years-old, Stacy Ann Rose knew she wanted to be an ac­tress. She was un­aware, how­ever, that one day she would play a role that would move women and girls to tears.

Rose por­trays a neu­rol­o­gist named Dr. Rob­bins on HBO’s hit se­ries, “Ballers.” Her char­ac­ter is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the ev­ery­day woman and gives young girls some­thing re­al­is­tic to as­pire to.

“I didn’t even think about my role on ‘Ballers’ and how it would come across to some young black girls or girls of color,” Rose said. “I went some­where and a woman was in tears. She said … to see me in ‘Ballers’ – just a reg­u­larly shaped, black woman with curly hair and my fea­tures are pretty reg­u­lar for black women – she feels so en­cour­aged and she finds em­pow­er­ment for her daugh­ter to say look, you can do that. Look at how beau­ti­ful she is. That was the fur­thest thing from my mind, but these are the lit­tle mo­ments that I have along the way that make me say okay this is good, I have pur­pose here.”

It is those mo­ments, com­bined with her Chris­tian faith and val­ues, which cause Rose to choose her roles very care­fully.

“I have had to turn down my fair share of roles quite a few times. As a sto­ry­teller, an ac­tor, I have to know who I am,” Rose said. “For me that means liv­ing the life that I’ve cho­sen. My re­li­gion is very im­por­tant to me. My re­la­tion­ship with God is very im­por­tant to me and that’s what keeps me cen­tered and keeps me grounded so ev­ery­thing else comes af­ter that. I have to be able to look at my­self in the mir­ror and be happy.”

Play­ing Dr. Rob­bins – and the re­ac­tion she gets be­cause of it – makes her happy.

“It’s just amaz­ing that it’s be­ing re­ceived that way. I’m so happy that I’ve been given the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent us in this fash­ion. I’m so happy I’m able to bless peo­ple in that kind of way and give them en­cour­age­ment,” Rose said. “It’s just such an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity to work with that crew and with the cast. … I’m re­ally thank­ful that I’m still in the story line. ”

In ad­di­tion to just wrap­ping Ballers’ third sea­son, the South Florida res­i­dent – by way of Kingston, Ja­maica – is an in­ter­na­tional ra­dio per­son­al­ity, wife and mother of two.

She also re­cently pro­duced her very first fea­ture film, “Break The Stage,” which will hit the film fes­ti­val cir­cuit soon, and is start­ing her own com­pany, Cielo Me­dia. “I’m now pro­duc­ing as well as act­ing. … That has been a re­ally amaz­ing process. Bap­tism by fire, a lot to learn, but it’s been ex­tremely re­ward­ing. We’re proud of the end re­sult and we can only go up from there,” Rose said.

When asked how she man­ages it all, Rose said she has to abide by sched­ules.

“Nat­u­rally I’m a free-flow­ing, spon­ta­neous, easy per­son, but life has forced me into sched­ules. That’s the only way I re­ally get any­thing done,” Rose said.

She cred­its her Ja­maican cul­ture, up­bring­ing and re­lo­ca­tion to the United States as a teen with giv­ing her di­verse ex­pe­ri­ences that un­der­gird her act­ing and work ethic. In fact, she said she of­ten asks if her char­ac­ters can be Ja­maican.

“As an ac­tor … it’s so im­por­tant for us to have ex­pe­ri­ences … be ex­posed to dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, dif­fer­ent cul­tures and dif­fer­ent thoughts be­cause you’re able to bring those to bear on each char­ac­ter that you bring to life,” Rose said. “Ja­maican life in and of it­self is so col­or­ful and there’s so much tex­ture and rich­ness in that cul­ture and … I’m so happy that it is a part of me and it gives me a unique per­spec­tive. … That drive to suc­ceed for me is in­nately Ja­maican.”

While Rose is will­ing to travel to au­di­tions, she has no plans to re­lo­cate from South Florida any time soon.

“At this point, I don’t think I’d be will­ing to move my fam­ily … I think about my young chil­dren … The fam­ily struc­ture I have here, the sup­port I have here and I’d be tak­ing them away from what’s com­fort­able,” Rose said.

With authen­tic­ity and hu­mil­ity, she ad­mits some­times she still has mo­ments when she ques­tions her cho­sen path, but said God af­firms her through mo­ments of il­lu­mi­na­tion.

“It’s hard. It’s not easy at all but I am look­ing at that light at the end of the tun­nel. You re­ally have to know deep down in­side of you that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life be­cause there’s a lot of sac­ri­fice to be made,” Rose said. “I feel like God is say­ing, ‘You’re in the right spot, keep go­ing.’ It’s a bit of peace in the midst of this busi­ness. There’s quiet guid­ance, lit­tle light­bulbs that go off ev­ery now and again.”

She said she will use Cielo Me­dia to pro­duce con­tent she is pas­sion­ate about and lists Cate Blanchett, Vi­ola Davis, Den­zel Wash­ing­ton and Kevin Spacey among peo­ple she would love to work with.

“I would re­ally get up early in the morn­ing to get to those sets,” Rose said. “There are cer­tain types of sto­ries that I would like to tell. I love pe­riod pieces, those sto­ries that talk about where we come from as a peo­ple and in gen­eral as a hu­man race.”

She also has a heart as big as her tal­ent.

“The tug on my heart­string now is more phil­an­thropic than any­thing else. I think there’s so much need all over the world and we’re so priv­i­leged in this coun­try,” Rose said. “I’m priv­i­leged to do what I love to do and I just feel a pull to pour into the lives of those who are dis­en­fran­chised in one way or an­other.”

Her mes­sage to the masses: Don’t give up, pre­pare for suc­cess and be en­cour­aged.

“We’re cre­ated on pur­pose for a pur­pose. Life gets hard and it gets re­ally con­fus­ing, but we have to know that we’re not here by ac­ci­dent. It’s just a mat­ter of not giv­ing up. To­mor­row will be bet­ter. Keep push­ing un­til you hit your mo­ment,” Rose said.

Sea­son 3 of “Ballers” pre­mieres on July 23. While Rose can’t re­veal much, she said her char­ac­ter does evolve this sea­son.

“There is a slight evo­lu­tion for her so I’m ex­cited to see what the fu­ture holds for Dr. Rob­bins in the ‘Ballers’ world,” Rose said.

We sec­ond that.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THIRD EYE ME­DIA PHOTO COUR­TESY OF HBO

Stacy Rose

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