Terri Vaughn is known for her acting roles on Tyler Perry's "Meet The Browns," "The Steve Harvey Show," and "All of Us." Originally from the Bay area, Terri has came from humble beginnings expanding her brand into film producing, directing and philanthropy.
Known for playing character's in mostly comedies, Terri has shown her dramatic side in one of the most talked about independent films this year "Life, Love, Soul." I talked with Terri about why she wanted to play Tiffany and what projects she has for her fans in the future.
Fallon Davis: How did you get involved with the film "Life, Love, Soul?"
Terri Vaughn: Deidra Tate, one of the producers, asked me to be in the film. I read the script and absolutely fell in love with the story. The topic of the film was powerful. It was exciting to have many layers to work on and reveal about my character. I was playing a single mother of a young girl who became pregnant, while co-parenting with her father. I am at a point in my life where I do a lot of mentoring for younger people through my foundation and, when there is an opportunity to play a nurturing type of character, I am very interested in it.
FD: You are mostly known for comedic roles. How do you feel your character Tiffany is different in the type of roles you normally play? How did you prepare for the role?
TV: It was very different, I have never played a character such as this where I am a single mother and I was raising my daughter. My relationship with my children is different from Tiffany and her daughter. It was not a difficult role to prep for because I am a mother and, I work with young girls daily so the transition was easy for me. To prepare for any acting role you have to ask the right questions, see where the character is coming from and develop what type of relationship they have with the other characters.
FD: What scene in the film do you feel is the most powerful and why should the audience pay attention to this message?
TV: The most powerful scene is where Roosevelt and his father get in a huge fight. I think there was so much pain and hurt that neither one of them had dealt with. Although they are father and son, they did not know how to express their feelings to each other because they did not have the chance to get to know each other. The scene showed that no one is perfect but, in the end we are all responsible for having a relationship with our child. A son or daughter needs their father and it does not mean that everything will be "clean and neat." As a parent, you have to be willing to go through the tough times and you cannot let that deter you from being a role model to your child.
FD: One of your key sayings is to "Take Wings." Can you explain what that means?
TV: Usually in the entertainment business when actors go on auditions people say "break a leg." When I was growing up in theater and doing shows, before we would go on stage we would tell each other to float and soar, and not be consumed by negative energy.
FD: Can you tell me more about your foundation "Take Wings?"
TV: It's a mentoring program for young girls 13-18 growing up in at-risk communities. We primarily expose them to positive activities other than the challenging situations they live in day to day. We also offer life development workshops, college scholarships and overnight retreats for graduating seniors. We become their friends, sisters, and mentors. We try to inspire and motivate the girls to stay in school, make positive decisions, get involved in community service and remind them that the impact of their actions will be based on the choices they make in life, and, never get caught up in their current situation because it will not stay that way.
FD: Can you tell me more about the Green Room?
TV: When I moved to Atlanta I started teaching acting classes and used material that I received over the years living in Los Angeles and the Bay area. There was not a lot of material on books and plays for aspiring actors in Atlanta at the time. My students would ask me where to find the literature in Atlanta so I opened a bookstore and lounge. Over the years the bookstore has developed into a place for actors to network and for me to teach acting classes as well.
FD: What's next for Terri?
TV: I have a new film releasing starring Burt Reynolds called "Hamlet and Hutch" by my production company Nina Holiday Entertainment. We are also preparing to do a film slated to start shooting in October starring Sherri Shepherd, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Nicole Ari Parker and myself.