Excerpt from original interview published in our September 2014 issue.
When first learning that I would be privileged to interview Terri J. Vaughn, my first thoughts were to enter our call with “Lovita!” but something warned me against that. Then I remembered that Vaughn is a pretty seasoned actress, and I got a little nervous. In the beginning of our interview, she describes her latest character as being the Libra of the bunch, and I got excited and told her I am a Libra too. Then she told me is a Libra also, and I was like- “ok, she cool”, and she really is, but I also realized that like most Libras, Vaughn is creative, caring, and deep.
Most of us remember Terri J. Vaughn as Lovita Alizay Jenkins, the funny but ghetto secretary on “The Steve Harvey Show”, but there is much more to her than that. While Vaughn did receive three Image Awards for Best Supporting Actress for her role on “The Steve Harvey Show”, she has certainly outgrown Lovita. Many do not realize she is also steadily working behind the scenes as well. Her most recent production, “Girlfriends’ Getaway”, premiered this past weekend on TV One. Garcelle Beauvais stars in the movie as a sophisticated and successful business woman (Vicky Holmes), who is dumped by her boyfriend a few days before their planned romantic trip for Holmes’s birthday. Vaughn plays Sofie, Holmes’s five months pregnant friend. Malinda Williams and Essence Atkins star in the movie alongside the two.
When asked what did they hope viewers to take from Girlfriends’ Getaway she replied, “We’re hoping for a couple of things. Friendship, valuing time with your friends, because I think that as we get our older we kind of lose touch of that. We’re focused on our families, of course, and work and careers, and we lose touch of that part of us that was free, loving, and fun with our friends, and depending on our friends, and supporting our friends. I think it’s important for us as women to get back to that. It feeds our soul and our spirit on another level that our husbands can’t, or our kids can’t. It’s another part of being a woman.”
She went on to say, “For my character it’s about accepting who you are and what you are as being enough, not being validated by being a mother or whatever your career. It’s just kind of “I’m valuable just because of who I am. I don’t have to change for my man” (mentality). I feel like a lot of women do that once they get in relationships. It’s like we start doing the things that our love ones want us to do, and we kind of lose the stuff that makes us happy before we got with them. I think it is important to hold on to that.”
“Girlfriends’ Getaway” is only one of the few titles Vaughn has under her belt. She along with Cas Sigers own Nina Holiday Entertainment. The company has produced films and TV shows such as “Sugar Mommas”, “GALS”, and her latest project. The gogetta admits that she finds it funny that she is mostly cast in comedies, because she was known for being dramatic and able to portray a wide range of emotions in acting school. She agrees that directors seem to pigeonhole African-American actresses and only want to cast them in comedies. Nina Holiday allows her the privilege to not only produce more in depth characters for herself, but other Black actors and actresses as well.