*For fans of TV One’s “Hollywood Divas,” tonight’s reunion promises to be as drama filled as the show, full of shade and tons of hot tea. The ladies of the reality show that includes Golden Brooks, Paula Jai Parker, Lisa Wu, Countess Vaughn, and newcomer Malika Haaq will sit together tonight for Part 2 of their reunion show to discuss all their issues with one another.
EURweb.com caught up with cast member Brooks to get the inside scoop on her experience while on show. Check it out below.
EUR: How would you characterize this season of Hollywood Divas?
Golden: It was an eventful season compared to the last two. This season has raised the bar in terms of the tea or the drama. In some cases, that can be good. It’s always harder for the people in the game, the players, to unfold all of what they’re going through.
I feel it’s always been so hard for me to show what I’m going through and what’s happening. That being said, I believe that you do yourself a disservice and to the show and the audience to not show all that you’re going through. Getting recast on a show for me was not the best moment, and when you open yourself up to allowing them to show that and not exactly the way you want them to show it, it puts you a line of fire for people to make all sorts of judgments. But at the end of the day, I believe good or bad, pretty or ugly; you have to show what Hollywood is and what we go through as actresses.
EUR: You are an accomplished actress, why did you decide to join a reality show?
Golden: I’ve done my career so traditionally and textbook, I went to college, got my B.A, and got my M.A. I moved to New York and did theater. Booked a show that brought me to L.A., when that show was canceled I got “Girlfriends.” Everything was going along as how you do things as an actress. After “Girlfriends,” which was such a blessing for a decade of my life, after the show was over I got pregnant, and I took some time off to focus on her. Her dad, who’s also an actor, he’s been working on doing his thing and so finally when Dakota was two, I was like let me get back out there. The climate was a little chilly; it was a little different. “Hollywood Divas” came around, and Hollywood had changed. Everyone knew Golden Brooks from “Girlfriends” as Maya, the ‘hell no girl,’ and I thought this medium would be great to showcase who I am, Golden Brooks the person, I love interior design, and I got a chance to showcase my pillow line.
But within that, I thought it would be a great way to show people, especially young black women, what it is like to wake up and go to an audition, get a callback, how to do a self-tape, get recast, or what if feels like to book something, and being a mother juggling all these things. I thought it would be a great platform to showcase that.
EUR: How is Hollywood Divas different from other reality shows that feature black women?
Golden: “Hollywood Divas” is different because all of us coming into it, especially with the beginning cast, we were all known. Paula, Countess, Lisa, and Elise at the time, we all came in based on our resume and attempting to build upon those resumes. It is a collective energy and collective story with all of us in our struggle and how we come together to try to build a production with all our sub-stories which sometimes [can be] quite a ride. But other times it can be quite beautiful, one of my favorite parts of “Hollywood Diva” was from the first season when we were on the beach, and Countess had just had her surgery and that scene to me was by far one of my favorite “Hollywood Diva” moments.
EUR: The prevailing criticism with reality shows starring black women is that these programs show women pitted against other women, and they display a negative side to black womanhood and friendship. What is your opinion on that impression?
Golden: That’s a tough one because a lot of that is true. I get this question a lot, but I never want to paint a picture that is so negative for everything on a reality show, “Hollywood Divas” being included. I know there is a lot of the shade and a lot of he said, she said. But when we finally get to those moments like that moment on the beach, when we all came together, those moments mean more because of all the drama. Now I’m not saying that it is okay the way a lot of these reality shows pin black women against each other, I don’t like it at all. [On] “Hollywood Divas,” we have those moments where we may throw daggers at each other, but we do love each other. With this season and what I was trying to convey with the Carmen situation, I was like ‘you are this new person, we can say what we want about each other’ we’ve earned the right to say whatever to each other. I’ve earned the right say whatever to Countess, even though she’s thrown me under the bus, but that is another story. It is like I can talk about my Momma but you can’t. So in this weird underlying way, there is that sort of unsaid support even though it is hard to see with all the shade and the drama, but I believe we genuinely support each other even though it does get lost in translation.
EUR: How do you handle all the drama on the show?
Golden: Tequila, no I am joking (laughs). No that would be Paula with the Hennessey. Prayer honey, lots of prayers, this is real, prayer and meditation. I had no idea that reality shows could be this treacherous. I am a very sensitive person, and it was so hard for me when I first signed on to do this. I had to put my sensitive hat on the side, and I had to put on my business woman hat and [tell myself] that other things are coming from this. There is so much drama, craziness, and all the social media with people throwing their two cents in, at the end of the day you have to know why you’re doing a reality show. The [show] has been great for me, for my pillow line, to connect with my fans and I gained a whole new fanbase. People who were too young to watch “Girlfriends” are coming along this journey with me. Some of the drama is hard for my spirit; I’m human, I’m sensitive, but I know at the end of the day it will all be positive.
EUR: Tell me more about your relationships with the other Divas and how have those relationships evolved over the season?
Golden: With Lisa Wu, it was difficult; she came from a completely different world than me and not like better or worse, just different. Through this baptism by fire, we’ve grown to have a real connection, and I respect her on so many levels. I love her caring spirit; she’s fiery, but she’s incredibly sensitive as well. With everything that is going on in the media with her ex-husband, she’s such a class act. I am not sure what is going on with Countess. I can’t even tell you what happened. I am still in a shade of gray when it comes to her, but I love her. This season has turned into something; I have no idea. I am just very real, what you see on-screen is what you are going to get off-screen.
Paula, that’s self-explanatory. Malika is a new friend; I met her on a movie. Being on a reality show, you are kind of in a pressure cooker, but if you are true about who you are, you are going to keep those friendships despite the craziness.
EUR: What was your impression of Malika after the filming of the show?
Golden: It was fine. She is someone who is very clear about who she is as a commodity and her brand that she built with the Kardashians. It is always going to be a difficult situation when the camera is in your face, and you are trying to be as organic as possible, but I think she stayed true to her brand.
EUR: What was your favorite moment from Season 3?
Golden: My mom coming on gave me a sense of [being] normal and peace and something I could connect with that was honest, that was my favorite moment.
EUR: What other projects are you currently working on beyond the show?
Golden: I’m about to do a movie. I just picked up another season of “Blunt Talk.” It’s been good; I feel blessed for Hollywood Divas in terms of the fact that it gave me a platform to keep myself out there. It is not always pretty and doesn’t feel good sometimes. But there is a good side of not always feeling pretty because you can use that to show this is who I am, this is my brand, this is how I want to portray myself even through the adversity.
Tune in to the Hollywood Divas Reunion Specials. Part 2 airs tonight at 9pm ET / 8pm CT on TV One.
Join and follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #hollywooddivas.
Watch Golden read everyone on the cast, shade for days.