Vivica A. Fox is hot­ter than ever, and dis­arm­ingly real


South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - By AL­LI­SON KUGEL

Kind, con­sci­en­tious, coura­geous and re­fresh­ingly can­did, Vivica A. Fox has proven that as Hol­ly­wood ca­reers go, sec­ond acts are of­ten the sweet­est. The multi-hy­phen­ate ac­tress-di­rec­tor­beauty en­tre­pre­neur-au­thor is em­brac­ing life and not look­ing back, ex­cept to pull from her well of wis­dom for her new mem­oir, Every Day I’m Hustling.

Born Vivica An­janetta Fox on the out­skirts of In­di­anapo­lis, she went by Angie Fox, one of four sib­lings be­ing raised by di­vorced mother who worked over­time to pro­vide for her chil­dren. Af­ter high school, she made her way to Southern Cal­i­for­nia to at­tend col­lege, all the while seek­ing out op­por­tu­ni­ties in Los An­ge­les to model and act wher­ever she could. It was in LA that Angie be­came Vivica A. Fox. She worked her way through the ranks on sit­coms and day­time soaps, and in 1996 got her break­through role op­po­site Will Smith in the clas­sic block­buster, In­de­pen­dence Day.

Next came a string of fan fa­vorites in­clud­ing Set It Off, Soul Food, Two Can Play That Game, Kill Bill Vol­ume I and II, and a string of sub­se­quent roles in film and tele­vi­sion, in­clud­ing Larry David’s sharp-wit­ted house­guest, Loretta Black, on Curb Your En­thu­si­asm and Skye in the campy Shark­nado fran­chise. Her eclec­tic ca­reer has kept her on the move for nearly three decades. In 2016, Vivica joined the cast of the smash hit tele­vi­sion se­ries, Em­pire, play­ing con­ser­va­tive sub­ur­ban­ite Can­dace, Cookie Lyon’s (Taraji P. Hen­son) older sis­ter and char­ac­ter foil.

Dur­ing our in­terview we cov­ered ev­ery­thing from movie star­dom and ma­ter­nal in­stincts to so­cial me­dia drama, set­ting bound­aries and find­ing love.

Al­li­son Kugel: When are you Angie and when are you Vivica? When do you take off the Vivica and be­come Angie from In­di­anapo­lis?

Vivica A. Fox: Well first off, that’s Angie Fox from 38th and Emer­son in In­di­anapo­lis (laughs)! I’m Vivica Fox when I hit that red car­pet and I’m ready to slay the game. That’s what I do. But I love that I have in my life, and in my jour­ney, learned when to be Angie Fox. And that’s mainly when I’m with my fam­ily, time off, hang­ing out with my god­chil­dren, hav­ing my Me Time and learn­ing to take Me Time. That’s when I’m no makeup, base­ball cap, chill­ing and blend­ing in.

Al­li­son Kugel: I love the part in your book where your god­son, Chris­tian, sees you all done up as Vivica A. Fox, and he gives you that side eye like he doesn’t rec­og­nize you, and you say, “It’s okay, I’m just wear­ing my Vivica cos­tume.” Then he asks, “You’re still my G.G., right?” And you re­as­sure him that it’s still you.

Vivica A. Fox: It’s funny be­cause he was just a baby the first time he saw me like that, and he was like, “Who are you!?” He was so used to see­ing me in my track­suit and base­ball cap. But now at seven, he kind of likes it when he sees the re­ac­tion I get from peo­ple. He’s done a cou­ple of red car­pet events with me and he knows the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two.

Al­li­son Kugel: Your book is part mem­oir and part mo­ti­va­tional guide­book for suc­cess. Tell me about your men­tor, or men­tors…

Vivica A. Fox: My men­tor would have to be a good friend of mine, and my first act­ing coach, Sheila Wills. I’m her two daugh­ters’ god­mother. Sheila, I met when I was do­ing [the day­time soap opera] Gen­er­a­tions. She took me un­der her wing, and she would work with me with au­di­tions. I would go into those au­di­tions and just nail them. I at­tribute my suc­cess to her. She would say, “Vivica, you’ve got to stay ready. You got to be ready. You’ve got to take care of your­self.” And peo­ple who in­spired me to be who I am would be Diana Ross and Pam Grier.

Al­li­son Kugel: Fin­ish these sen­tences for me. I know that God is speak­ing to me when…

Vivica A. Fox: Woo! Hmm. All the time. Every day when I wake up and I can thank Him for let­ting me see an­other day. I would say, I know God is speak­ing to me all the time, and He helps me make bet­ter choices.

Al­li­son Kugel: My spir­i­tual mis­sion in this life is…

Vivica A. Fox: To be kind, to do unto oth­ers and to leave a good mark.

Vivica’s mem­oir, “Every Day I’m Hustling,” is avail­able ev­ery­where books are sold.

Al­li­son Kugel is a syn­di­cated en­ter­tain­ment and pop cul­ture jour­nal­ist, and au­thor of the book, Jour­nal­ing Fame: A mem­oir of a life un­hinged and on the record. Fol­low her on In­sta­gram @theal­lisonkugel.

The ac­tress and en­tre­pre­neur has been in show busi­ness for over 25 years.


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