Whether you know her from her days as a model, or as “Fancy” from ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’, Garcelle Beauvais has captivated audiences with her stunning beauty and remarkable acting talents. Here, we learn more about her leading role in the TVOne movie, “Girlfriends Getaway 2“, and her new children’s book series.
Tell us about your character “Vicki,” and how much she has changed from the first ‘Girlfriends Getaway’?
My character, Vicki Holmes, is a definite business woman; she’s a real estate entrepreneur. In ‘Girlfriends Getaway,’ she thought she was going to get engaged but that didn’t work out. So, she decides to go on vacation and take her girls with her; and of course, drama ensues. In the first movie, she was really finding herself.
In ‘Girlfriends Getaway 2,’ Vicki is in a better place. She had to scale down her real estate business, and she’s finally getting married. You’ll see the conflict she’s having with trying to keep things simple, but it doesn’t quite work out for her. Sometimes, our friends have a way of influencing our final decisions, even when we had something else in mind. Malinda Williams’ character goes overboard with making all of these wedding plans for Vicki; which shows that (Vicki) doesn’t quite have it all together like she thinks she does. The friendship between the girls is something that everybody can relate to.
One thing that I love about this movie is that the women are written in a positive light.
Oh, thank you! That’s what I loved about it when I read the first script. So many times we don’t get to see those kinds of relationships for African-Americans. It’s normally written where the women are going against each other, yelling, and fighting, but we’re not about that. It was really nice to see a script where it’s about the friendship. Even though there are brief moments of turmoil, it’s nice to see that these women love and support each other so much that they can still have fun in spite of any drama.
video courtesy TVOne
Tell us about filming in Puerto Rico.
It was the best job ever! First, Trinidad, and then Puerto Rico. It was awesome! [laughs] Puerto Rico was a lot of fun. They have great food, great music, the beaches are really beautiful, and everyone was really welcoming. We used a Puerto Rican crew, so it was really great to give back to the local community by hiring the people who live there.
What was your typical work day like on the set?
It depends on the scene. If it was a heavy day, we would start hair and makeup around 6 a.m., and we (worked) like 12 hours. When you’re shooting, 12 hours is pretty good because, I’ve been on shows where we were shooting 16 to 18 hour days; and it’s just grueling. With this movie, it was so much fun. We all loved hanging out with each other. Even when we weren’t working we would go to Walmart or the beach together, or some other excursion. It was like a work-vacation. Our bond grew filming these movies.
I think the industry has changed so much with social media, and you can’t only be an actor.
I know you are a real business woman. You started out as a model and now you’re an author of a children’s book series. How do you stay balanced, when wearing so many hats?
It’s not always easy. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and stressed. Being a creative person, I have to keep moving and tapping into other things. Writing these books helps me keep my creative juices flowing. I also do these things to show my kids that they can maybe write their own books someday. Truthfully, I’m the happiest when I’m busy, but my kids are number one; everything else is after that.
I know that you have the ‘I Am’ book series. How did you get into being a author? Was it because you saw a need?
Yes, definitely that. When my kids were little we would go to the library or the bookstore, and I never saw any books with characters that looked like them; or any showing true diversity. I had an idea for a book but I sat on it. Then, one day I was out at the park with my boys and while they were playing with this other little boy I was talking with the boy’s dad Sebastian A. Jones. I asked him what he does for a living and he told me that he was a book publisher. He had just published his first kids book titled, “Pinata,” and I thought that was so interesting.
A couple of weeks went by, and I finally wrote him an email asking if we could meet to discuss the idea that I had, and that’s when we came up with the “I Am” book series. Sebastian’s son is mixed as well, and so our first book from the series is, “I Am Mixed.” These books came out of a need, because far too often you can’t find books showing kids who are mixed or African American, which I think is ridiculous. I got Halle Berry to write the book’s “Forward”. When I asked her to do it she was like, “I wished there was a book like this when I was growing up, because there’s definitely a need for it.”
When I went through the divorce and my kids started going back and forth between our separate homes, I really wanted the kids to know that no matter where they lived, we’re still a family that loves each other and, it’s not their fault. As a result, we created, “I Am Living In Two Homes.”
Our latest book is titled, “I Am Awesome.” It’s for every kid. I want them to know that they are awesome.
You have been in the business for so long; what have you seen over the years that you would like to change?
In this business, we (African Americans) have to do better at sticking together like other ethnic groups do. But far too often, African Americans don’t do that. We have to look at it in such a way that, if you make it then I make it, and vice versa. I realize now that some of the actresses I started out with in this business, because we are older and wiser, we uplift and root for one another. If I have a project coming out, then Niecy Nash, Laila Ali, Lisa Leslie, and Sherri Shepherd will all tweet about it. We all support each other. I think we have to remember that we can’t do it on our own, and we need other people to help us.
It seems like you consistently work, which is such a blessing.
It really is a blessing. I’m a hustler. [laughs] I’m always trying to think of new ways to reinvent myself. I think the industry has changed so much with social media, and you can’t only be an actor. I think you have to diversify.
Speaking of social media, how are you able to keep up with all of the different platforms.
Oh my gosh, it’s like another job! [laughs] I used to have a love-hate relationship with (social media), because I felt like everybody is so accessible now and there is no mystery to who a person is. But, now I realize that it’s really important to promote what you and your friends are doing. It definitely takes a lot of work to figure out what you’re going to post and say. On Facebook I have over a million followers. It’s just figuring out a way to balance it and have something to brand.
What else do you have going on?
I have several things in the works. But, the really cool thing is that I was recently nominated for NAFCA Award for “Best Supporting Actress In A Foreign Film”, for my work in, “A Girl Like Grace.”