Often recognized for a stellar list of over twenty commercials in addition to films and television projects, actress Yvette Nicole Brown has defied the odds as one of Hollywood’s hardest working actresses. But to Brown, life in Hollywood is full of fun, intriguing and often lesson filled moments on the set of shows including ‘Girlfriends’ and ‘Half & Half’.
You might even recognize or look at Brown as an actress who always has a smile or plays some sort of whimsical role that makes audiences laugh or gawk in sheer surprise but, this actress has a voice too. In this exclusive interview with Singersroom, Brown sheds light on her latest film ‘The Ugly Truth’ and the trend of actors and actresses stepping up to the mic. In fact, you might be surprised to see what she has to say when it comes to her record deal with Michael Bivins of New Edition and most important an unmoving admiration for the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Singersroom: People may recognize you from commercials, television and film as an often smiling and fun character, is that the real Yvette?
Yvette Nicole Brown: I think so. I try to stay positive and believe the best is coming. I always feel like a smile is a great gift to give to people whether you know them or not. So if that’s the feeling you get from seeing me on TV I’m very happy.
Singersroom: Do you ever feel forced to put on a show when you’re going through a rough day ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: No, because you can always stay home. If I’m having a not so great day I just stay in my house. There is no reason for anybody to have to deal with the fever (laughter). I’ll stay home if I’m having a really bad day.
Going to work, especially in an economy like this, cheers me up if I’m having a bad day. So if you don’t see me around I’m probably just keeping to myself or things might be a bit weird at that moment but, I never feel pressured to be anything other than who I am.
Singersroom: You appear in the flick ‘The Ugly Truth’, what was the most interesting part of shooting the movie ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: You know I always love watching other actors work. So the most interesting part for me was getting to see what Gerard Butler’s process was and what Katherine Heigl’s process was. We also have Cheryl Hines in this film. There were a lot of really great and different actors and everybody sort of brought something different to the table. The most interesting part was sitting back and saying “how does this person prepare and does this person know their lines or are they waiting till the last minute”. It’s like an acting class that you’re getting paid for.
Yvette Nicole Brown: Now you’re character’s name is Dori, what is her story in the flick ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: The entire film is set at a TV production studio in Sacramento and I play one of the producers. Dori is the kind of producer where she has a choice between a story about [Hurricane] Katrina and ‘Brad [Pitt] and Angelina [Jolie]’ and she goes for Brad and Angelina. She really prefers fluffier celebrity driven news over real news. So she continuously clashes with another producer at the station because of her tendencies.
Singersroom: The summer months have long been known for big films, as we’ve seen with Transformers for example. What is your favorite summer anthem or thing to do ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: I just love hanging out with friends. I’ve taken up bowling again. My mom is a big bowler and me and brother used to bowl when were younger but, I haven’t bowled in like forever. Lately I’ve been bowling a lot and loving it.
Singersroom: When it comes to music, do you have a favorite summer anthem or song ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: It’s hard for me right now because everything I’ve been listening to is Michael Jackson. This summer has been the summer of Michael Jackson for me. I can’t think of anything else right now that I’m listening to and enjoying as much as his old stuff.
Singersroom: It is hard to pick but, what is your favorite Michael Jackson song ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: It’s hard and probably so obscure most people won’t know but, he had a song when he was a kid called “With A Child’s Heart” and that’s my favorite of vintage Michael Jackson. My favorite of up to date Michael Jackson is probably “Working Day and Night” or “Baby Be Mine”.
Singersroom: When it comes down to Hollywood there is sometimes a stereotype of being high maintenance. How do you stay fresh for the camera?
Yvette Nicole Brown: I am so not that girl. I am so down to earth and just regular. I don’t know about the creams and the potions. Staying fresh for the camera is courtesy of the wonderful hair and makeup people that work on every production. Yeah, I don’t have any secret tips other than Dove soap, I guess (laughter) and Colgate toothpaste.. just regular stuff for me.
Singersroom: When it comes to music, what is in your ipod or music collection that might surprise people?
Yvette Nicole Brown: I love Jason Mraz. I’m like on a singer/songwriter tiff right now. I enjoy India.Arie and I love Gladys Knight and the Pips. It’s across the board with me. Ronnie Milsap for country, you know I like everything [and] all genres. It’s a hodgepodge.
Singersroom: Is it true that you went to Los Angeles to become a recording artist ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: Yes. I actually had a record deal when I was a teenager. I was signed with Michael Bivins of New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe. He managed artists like Boyz II Men and Another Bad Creation when I was a teenager. I sang for him in a hotel lobby and got signed. And so we did like a group video and song and had an album come out. I went back to finish college and my goal, when I graduated, was to come out here and sing but, in that year that I was finishing school, the music industry kind of changed and it wasn’t so much about singing as much as dancing and being hot and sexyâ¦that’s never been my thing. When I came out here I kind of just said ehh I’ll try acting instead.
Singersroom: There are actors returning and stepping up to the mic, like Idris Elba and Columbus Short, would you consider doing something similar since distribution, in terms of the internet and independent labels, has changed ?
Yvette Nicole Brown: I get asked that a lot and it’s a tough one for me because when I was growing up they were open to singers who became actors but, actors who became singers were ridiculed. And I don’t know if people know that I started off as a singer, so I feel like if I put out an album, I would look like every other actor who believes they can just do everything.
I don’t know that everybody can do everything with excellence so, for me it’s best to focus on one thing at a time. I could imagine doing an album and giving it out as a Christmas gift to my mom and my friends. As far as trying to position myself as a recording artist, I never say never, but I respect music too much. Not saying that the people you mentioned aren’t doing this but, for me, if I can’t do it 100% and give it all that I have, I’d rather not. I don’t see how I could give acting 100% and singing 100%. It just seems like I’d be dividing myself a little too much . I’m excited about all of the projects other actors and actresses are doing and wish them well with that.
—— By: Njai Joszor
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