What brought you back to the Chicago area?

“I’m really blessed. I moved back to the Chicago area because my family is here. I missed my family so much and I have a young daughter, and I wanted her to be raised around family; around her grandparents. I have a couple of movies coming up; one in the summer, one in the fall. I’m going to be shooting one in Los Angeles and one in Louisiana, and I’m doing a play here in the Chicago area come this fall in September. And I’m writing, producing. My husband and I are trying to do some things here in Chicago. We believe that Chicago has been under-shot, especially by independent films. And so we have two projects that were working on.”

Isn’t your husband a former football player?

“Yes, Roderick Plummer is a former football player. He is a entertainment lawyer and has been in the business for a very long time. We met because he was the producer of a film I did (Hidden Blessings).”

Born in Chicago, what side of town?”

“I’m from the South Side.”

When did you start your career?

“I was always the little girl in the choir at church, choir at school. Usually, when you’re in the choir in school, you automatically do the plays. So as long as I could walk I’ve been doing plays through my church. On the level of the movies, I didn’t start that until I graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. I was performing professionally on the stage as a singer and a actress. Mo Better Blues was my first movie.”

How did you get the part?

“I went to an open-call audition. A lot of people had told me about Mo Better Blues. I really wasn’t into the film world. I thought I was just going to do Broadway. But so many people suggested that I go in and audition. I went in and pushed myself, and six auditions later I got the part.”

What about your singing career?

“I sang in that movie, and because of the open door it gave me to an audience, people all over want me to sing. So although I have been primarily acting I am pursuing recording a CD, and I sing around Chicago quite often.”

Although you’re rather young still, how would you like us here in Chicago to remember your talent?

“I have a lot yet I want to do. I’ve been blessed because of my career to help a lot of young kids. And I hope through God’s will that I’ve been able to help them to pursue entertainment. But also in their lives with more positive attitudes, and I have every intention of doing that a great deal here in Chicago. And that’s what I want, the chance that I help inspire young people through my example and through my experiences.”

Terry Dean