Back in the late 90s, Garcelle Beauvais was the object of Black men’s fantasy while playing roles like “Fancy” the prettiest hotel clerk in “King’s Towers” that caught Jamie Foxx’s eye on “The Jamie Foxx Show” or R.Kelly’s love interest in “Down Low,” where she donned that scintillating transparent maxi. These days it’s still safe to say this ageless beauty knows a thing or two about being sexy, but sexy looks different to the actress now that she’s settled down, started a family and penned her first children’s book.
Garcelle is promoting her role in the new DVD “And Then There Was You” (in-stores now) where her character, “Natalie” struggles through her marriage after finding out her husband (played by actor Leon) cheated on her and is leading a double life. We chatted with Garcelle about the recent glorification of the “side chick” through shows like “Being Mary Jane” and “Scandal,” Beyonce’s racy performance at the 2014 Grammy Awards and how to be sultry and sexy without going overboard.
HelloBeautiful: Many women have dealt with a cheating partner. How do you feel about TV shows that portray the ‘side chick’s’ story?
Garcelle Beauvais: My thoughts are that entertainment is entertainment and you have to do what’s happening so people can relate. But, I do think it’s glorified and I do think that nowadays it seems like there are no consequences for bad behavior, there are no consequences for mistreating another human being. That part saddens my heart because I feel like young kids are seeing that it’s okay to do this and, as a mother and human being, we do have to take responsibility for some of the things that we put out there. It seems like now it’s okay to do that, if you’re not caught. And, even if you’re caught, nothing really happens. You can have a girl, be pregnant with somebody’s child and then be engaged to somebody else, it just seems like everything’s ok and it shouldn’t be.
HB: What was the hardest trait about yourself that you had to adapt to play your character in ‘And Then There Was You?’
GB: That hardest part for me in playing this character is being so completely their emotionally and surrendering to the pain of what her husband did and the betrayal, which I can also relate to.
HB: How do we get back to these situations having consequences?
GB: I wish I knew. I have no idea. Once people, I think, grow up, you become more aware. We’ve all done stuff, no one’s perfect, I’m certainly not perfect. But, I think,as you get older, you have more morals and integrity and you want to pass that around. But like I said, now, it seems like everything is ok.
HB: Speaking of entertainment, you were a sex symbol for many years. How do you feel about being viewed in this way and how does it affect your womanhood?
GB: For me, you’re obviously flattered when someone calls you sexy or thinks you’re sexy. I think that’s great. But, for me now, there’s so many ways to be sexy without being overt about it. I think you can wear a great short dress, but if you have long sleeves and you’re only showing leg. I think you have to stick to a body part and show that. I don’t think you have to show all of it. As I get older, I still want to be sexy, but I want to do it in a different way. I want to do it in a way that’s more classy. Certain things are just too overt for kids. I love Beyonce. I love her. I think she’s beautiful and talented. But, I think there has to be a fine line where you have to take responsibility for what you do. I think it’s good to be sexy, but sexy can come across in so many different ways. It doesn’t have to be everything showing out grinding, all of the time.
HB: How hard was it to stay focused with Leon and Brian White on set?
GV: Brian would come in and strip off his shirt immediately. We had fun. I’ve always seen Leon from “The Five Heartbeats” and the Madonna videos, so when I knew he was signed on for this film, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to talk to him, just to be around him. Talk about sexy, that man is sexy. The way he walks, the way he stands. There’s a difference between that sexy, where he knows it and doesn’t have to show it, to a guy who’s flashy all the time. And, then you have Greg Vaughn also, and yeah, it was complete eye candy all the time. In the makeup trailer, we were cracking up. We were acting like the guys do.
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