*Terri J. Vaughn chatted with us about her latest movie “Love, Life, Soul,” working with reality star Tami Roman and even discussed her thoughts about Trayvon Martin.
Check out the second half of her interview:
Our Black boys and men are up against a lot and have been for ages. Since the George Zimmerman was declared innocent, what thoughts and fears have you grappled with for the sake of your own children?
I have two sons, a 5 year old and a 12 year old. Honestly, I was hurt. My heart was broken. It took me a minute to literally stop crying. It was a very emotional evening for me. Just being a mother of boys and hearing that verdict come through, just feeling like my sons are up against this world in this kind of way and how the world views them and whatever lack of consideration lack of humanity, lack of love, lack of support the world view them with, all of that stuff is going through my mind. And just like Trayvon, my kids are beautiful, young, vibrant, smart kids. They are assets to the world. And it hurts my heart that some people do not view them as that.
How did the story impact you on a personal level?
I’m a very active, supportive parent and my kids piss me off a lot when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, when they’re not focused in school. They make me angry and they are punished. Still I get up with them every day and still make sure I’m providing them with the nourishment that they need. I’m sitting at the table doing homework late at night when I don’t want to be but I have to. That’s why we are called to be their parents. Even when they’re at their worse, we never walk away. We’re still there pushing them to be the best they can be. That’s where she’s coming from too. She’s angry when she finds out her daughter is pregnant. But (my character) still can’t walk away. I loved playing this character. I was so over it. I was so angry with her. I just wanted to kill her. But she’s still my daughter and still my baby. But, how dare she.
You’re a mother, in real life, but in a different way through your foundation, Take Wings Foundation. Tell me about some of the issues that came up in the movie that are relevant to the situations that come up with the young women you service.
We have to deal with teen pregnancy. We talk to them and we’re very open and very candid. The choices that you make are going to alter your journey. Not saying you can’t still be successful women, the choices you make can make your journey harder or easier. You have to think about when you are deciding what you want to do in any given moment. Sometimes we make the wrong choice and sometimes you make the right choice, but you still keep going.
We deal with a lot of stuff. Some of the girls are growing up in the foster care system. So they’re dealing with a lot. The people that are supposed to be there for them have turned their back on them. Or are molesting them, or abusing them in some kind of way.
For me personally, I have to fill in for them and feed into them that even in the most horrific situations that you may be living in, you still can make the choice to be successful in life. You still can make the choice to do your best and strive to get out of this situation. It’s all in the matter of the choices. Most all of them could easily and quite understandably make the choice and give up.
Yes I can understand you making that choice given some of these situations you guys are in. You actually don’t have to. You can still be very successful in life. Even in the situation you’re in. You can still go on and have a prosperous life, a family and a marriage and whatever you want. You can still get through no matter where you come from, no matter what you’re going through.
The one thing I tell them is that they are stronger because of their situation.
What new projects are you working on?
I am actually in rehearsal for a play, “The Kink in my Hair,” which is a very powerful play around a group of women that are in a hair salon and each of their stories are something somebody can relate to. Their trials and tribulations and getting over the challenges in their lives. So we get to go into each of the lives of these women in the hair salon. It’s really powerful and impactful. I’m in with a great group of women and a lot of other talented women. Melanie Fiona is in it, Angie Stone is in it, a lot of other talented women.
We open in Atlanta September 6th, 7th and 8th.
I’m developing a television series for myself. I have a production company called Nina Holiday Entertainment. We shot a film earlier this year starring Burt Reynolds with a cute little dog and a cute little girl. We’re prepping to go into another film project before the year goes out.
Then I have The Green Room is a lounge and acting school that I opened here in Atlanta. We have acting classes and networking events. It’s a bar and lounge and live music. So it’s a beautiful, creative spot.