As a little girl did you imagine your life as a famous Hollywood actress and singer?
I actually did! Obviously, when you’re little kid, you dream big, feel you can do anything and nothing seems impossible. For me, that vision and passion is what ultimately allowed me to pursue my career professionally. I was playing Suzuki Method Classical piano at 3 years old, taking theater, ballet, tap, Jazz and Hip Hop. I feel truly Blessed to be living out my passion and dreams as the struggles and adversity in this business has made me truly appreciative and sometimes feels surreal to work on projects with people I’ve admired. As a little girl I always saw myself entertaining people on stage, in film and on television, so I’m extremely humble and thankful to have this type of success in my career.
What do you love more singing or acting?
Both are forms of creative expression, creating temporary suspension. They are both my passion and I feel both go hand in hand. In the 1950’s music and theatrics were integrated as one art form. They weren’t just actors, but singers and dancers as well. and You’re finding truth inside of you and sharing it with others. Music is definitely closer to my heart and it’s amazing getting on stage receiving that energy from the crowd. I would love to continue playing roles that incorporate me singing like I did in Step Up, Girlfriends, The Game and Crazy, Sexy, Cool. That would be ideal.
What role did your family play in making you a child actress?
My parents initially wanted me to attend Medical School and take over my Father’s medical practice. Sorry Daddy! Lol. However, they saw my passion, determination and persistence and therefore, supported me to the utmost. They’re always there for me when things get tough in the business and truly keep me grounded. My family now runs my business and is the team behind me making the dream work. My sister Allison Jordan of Jordan Management manages my music/theatrical career, my sister Christa Mitchem handles my legal affairs along with my lawyer and my Mom/Momager handles all of my business and financial matters. Having those who love you surround you in this way is a Blessing.
What pressures did you face as a child actress?
Constantly growing as an actress brings forth new challenges and hurdles. I always want to push myself and continue to learn and get better in my craft, so I never want to place myself in a box or limit what I feel I can do and where I can go. I want to break barriers as a woman and portray roles that you ordinarily wouldn’t see a woman play. I’ve portrayed characters a lot younger than my actual age throughout my career so I’ve learned to embrace my youthfullness and not have the pressure of growing up so fast. Obviously, getting that leading lady role is a goal of the future, but having the opportunity to portray T-Boz at age 16 years old in Crazy, Sexy, Cool was another opportunity to embrace my youth and I’m grafeful for that. I continue to set the bar pretty high, therefore I’m always studying and reading in order to have longevity and be prepared for each and every opportunity.
What role did you play as a child that helped shape you into a Hollywood actress?
Honestly with each role, I grow and learn more and throughout my career each project, role, my cast members have helped shape me into the actress I am today. Definitely working on That’s So Raven gave me great insight on physical comedy and as a young woman, I learned so much watching Raven Symone succeed not only as an incredible comedic actress, but also as a business woman, working hard in front and behind the camera as well. She inspired me to learn want to learn the business of entertainment and working behind the scenes more. Working in the film White CHicks, the Wayan Bros gave me so much knowledge and wisdom, need I say more. Ultimately, working with Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan taught me the well roundedness in becoming a quadruple threat and having the ability to showcase may sides of myself as an actress.
You have appeared in many different TV sitcoms and movies, what do you love doing more?
Sitcoms are alot of fun and laughter, but I look forward to accomplishing more drama and film in the future of my career.
Was there a difference playing a TV sitcom actor to a big screen Hollywood actor?
It really depends on the role that your playing. I believe that if your playing the part of a very emotional character in a Hollywood movie you need to prepare in an intense manor prior to the filming of it. I approach both TV sitcom acting jobs and big screen jobs the same. No matter what I’m doing I believe in giving it my all to bring out the true essence of the character.
Describe your role in The Game.
My role in the game was very fun and interesting. People always say to me still “You broke up Melanie and Derwin” and I laugh lol. It is an honor that people still remember that character. But I’d like for people to think about the feelings and emotions of the other women. The women who is not the girlfriend, who is lied to and has her emotions played with as well. I believe that story was very interesting and good for the world to view. There are definitely two sides to a story. People loved Melanie and Derwin though, so I don’t blame them! Lol J
Was your role in The Game as Drew Sidora similar to your personality?
I played myself honestly, based on the singing and dancing. I was put into an atmosphere as a character who was attracted to a football player, a women who didn’t know the full story on what was going on. The part was very natural for me.
How did you feel when you were told that The Game will be returning with new cast members?
I was actually happy for the new members. I believe that the story of the old characters were going into a transition and some of them are moving on to new roles and opportunities in their careers. Often times you’d like to hold on to something, but change is needed and necessary sometimes. I don’t see a problem with it at all.
Moving on from The Game, you have been offered numerous of roles, what is your ultimate role you want to play?
That’s a great question, I’m not sure but I would love to try more diverse roles and diverse genre’s of film.
As a singer and a actress, who played in numerous roles, how did you feel when you learned that you would be taking the role as a mother to your baby boy?
The day that I found out that I would be a mother, it was one of the most memorable days of my life. I was excited and eager to meet my son and love him unconditionally.
Were you worried about putting your career on hold for the baby? What do you love most about being a mother?
No that wasn’t something I was worried about. I knew I could balance my career and raising my son. What I love most about being a mother is to know that I would give him the world and he loves me more then anyone else.
You have gotten backlash from the media about your baby’s father, how did it make you feel? Did you see any support from your fans?
When people criticized my personal life, it didn’t feel good, but I prayed about it and God got me through it. I definitely received a lot of comfort from my fans and its good to know they support me.
Acting since your role in the movie Divas at the age of 9 did it seem unreal when you got the call to play in the upcoming, “TLC biopic, Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story?” Did you grow up listening to TLC?
YES! I grew up looking up to TLC! I had a group called “Mo’Tempo” and we would mimic TLC sometimes. It was so surreal. T-Boz really helped me and gave me pointers. I was able to channel her and bring out my best! I was very pleased with the outcome of the film.
How did TLC and their role in feminizing Hip Hop play a role in your life? What member of TLC did you imagine playing?
I loved them because they promoted safe sex, they promoted high self-esteem for women and they were sexy but classy and covered up, which is something that we don’t see too much of from majority female artist’s today.
How did you prepare for your role as TBoz?
I prepared by watching old interviews and videos, and studying. I also had several conversations with her. After dissecting the script and practicing over and over, and understanding the emotions of T-Boz I was ready to do it! I loved it and it’s one of the most memorable experiences I have in my career to date.
How did you feel playing alongside with Lil’ Mama and Keke Palmer?
They are amazing women! Keke is from Chicago as well so we have something in common. We would share stories about Chicago and food places. It was awesome! Lil Mama and I clicked immediately! She’s a wonderful person and full of energy!
How did the tragedy of Left Eye affect you while playing the character of TBoz?
More then anything, I wanted to capture that real emotion for the situation. We all did, and we were able to execute it. That piece of the story is very important and I couldn’t imagine losing a friend. Chilli and T-Boz were so helpful in explaining everything to us. They were amazing executive producers.
When cast to tell the story of the famous girl group, TLC, as a fan what did you want viewers to get out of the movie?
I wanted them to find out everything that they couldn’t find out by watching interviews and videos. I wanted them to know what it was really like to be TLC and to understand they grew up like regular girls. Their story is so amazing because they worked so hard and they made their dreams come true from scratch. I also was excited for people to hear the story about them in the industry and not making money at first, that was a critical and interesting piece in the story.
What was your favorite part about playing in “TLC biopic, Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story?” What other roles or business ventures do you have coming up?
I have many! But it was so much fun to imitate the music videos! It was surreal and we actually got to wear some of the same exact costumes they wore!
Next, I am auditioning for more roles and focusing on my non-profit organization Dreamakers, which is aimed at uplifting communities around the world, especially Chicago! I want to make an impact on young women. I’m also still writing music, and working with new talent that is up and coming! Also I’m working on some potential projects, as far as producing!
Is there anything else you would want to comment on?
Thank you for having me and go check out #CrazySexyCool if you haven’t already! Make sure you go to vh1.com and download the VH1 app to watch the full movie whenever you’d like!
Follow me on twitter at @DREWSIDORA and follow me on instagram at @DREWSIDORAOFFICIAL
by Christy E. Bruce