Monday, May 27, 2013

Q&A with actress Kendra C. Johnson

Actress Kendra C. Johnson
Kendra C. Johnson, 37, is a Hartford, CT native. She is part of an all-star cast in the new Tyler Perry show “Love Thy Neighbor” featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Johnson recently took some time with Inquiring News to speak directly to her Connecticut fans, friends and family.

Inquiring News: How did you make the leap from Hartford to Hollywood?
Kendra C. Johnson: I have had a couple of detours from Hartford to Hollywood. I’ve lived in Atlanta, North Carolina and Los Angeles. As much as I’ve traveled I feel like the foundation I was brought up with and who I am is rooted in CT. I’m happy and proud my life began where and when it did. Hartford birthed my love for the performing arts. I am a product of the Artists Collective. They have a lot to do with where I am today.

IN: Tell Inquiring News a bit about your new show Love Thy Neighbor?
KCJ: It’s a sitcom. Hattie Mae/Patrice Lovely plays my mother. Palmer Williams plays my uncle. They came together and run a diner. Love Thy Neighbor is about the every day trials and tribulations of life.  The happy times and the sad times. I also have a son on the show.

Cast of Tyler Perry's Love Thy Neighbor
IN: I have to ask, what was it like meeting and working with both Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry?
KCJ: I was comforted by Mr. Perry while on set. He made me feel very comfortable and very valuable on set.

IN: Did you get to meet Oprah Winfrey?
KCJ: I did! (Laughs) I’m still waiting to tell Oprah about the time I met Gayle King in Hartford. I think it was at AME Zion many years ago when I was a little girl.

IN: So many great credits in television and motion pictures. (Kendra’s acting credits include appearances on The Game, The Shield, Bones, and Phat Girlz among others) What do you see as the key to longevity for working in the business?
KCJ: First and foremost you have to make a decision. One of my network mates said it best, “Do you want to be famous or a working actor?” Fame is fleeting it can come and go; you’re hot today and not tomorrow. We’ve seen that over and over. If your desire is to be a working actor then you have to plan for and prepare for some longevity in this business. If that is your desire there are so many aspects of the art you can work in.

IN: Are you satisfied with the roles you have been given/chosen?
KCJ: Actually, you know, I am. Every time I think about a role that I’ve played there has been an interesting story there. The character that I play in Love thy Neighbor this is probably one of the characters I’ve been proudest to portray.

IN: If you were not acting what would you be doing?
KCJ: Well prior to moving to Los Angeles, I worked in Human Resources. So I can always go back to that. I also have a passion for working with children.

IN: What‘s next Kendra?
KCJ: Hopefully we have lots and lots of seasons of Love Thy Neighbor on OWN. We have been told over and over “this is just the beginning”. I excited, I’m grateful, I’m humbled. I feel extremely blessed to have been chosen for this journey.

In addition to film, television and theatre credits Ms. Johnson is the empowerment editor for Plus Model Magazine. Love Thy Neighbor premiers on Wednesday May 29th, on the OWN network at 9pm with a new episode following at 9:30pm.