Exclusive Interview : Kenya Moore On Her Journey As A Model, Actress and TV Personality.

by - 17:03:00

“Kenya Moore is the triple threat with beauty, brains, and talent. Originally from Detroit, the former psychology major left Michigan with fierce drive and determination to build her own unique brand. She is well-known for being crowned “Miss USA” and has also acted alongside many “A-list” celebrities.”

Ms. Kenya Moore, Taking you back in time – Tell us what inspired you to chase Modelling, the world of fashion & Entertainment as a career?
I started my career as a professional model at 14.  I studied dance from the age of six and attended a college preparatory high school and majored in performing arts. Once I started modeling it seemed like a natural progression into acting. I believe the world is my stage and I’m very comfortable in front of the camera as a result of my background.

Firstly - What made you want to go into beauty pageants?  - through RHOA you spoke about how you grew up in a rough area, Detroit. 
I entered my first beauty pageant at 14 called “Little Miss Black Star” because all of my friends were and it was something fun to do. It was actually a talent pageant and I performed a modern dance as I’m a trained dancer.  I placed 1st runner-up. It was a very positive experience. From there, I continued to enter pageants and won the very next one. It was great because the prizes often included college scholarships which paid for my education.

From winning Miss USA you went on to do appearances in TV shows, would you say this was a key phase in developing the Kenya Moore brand?
Absolutely! I was a professional model prior to winning Miss USA but the platform was so huge that it catapulted me to being a well-known personality and many acting offers kept coming my way. From there, I have worked and now understanding my brand has been crucial to my business.

You have worked with some great people; were there any moments that really stood out for you?
My first film role was “Waiting to Exhale” with the late Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, and Loretta Devine and directed by academy award winner Forest Whittaker. I was so excited to be there amongst all those great actors but intimidated as well that I hid in my trailer the entire time. I never came out to eat or anything. Finally, Terry McMillan came to visit me and pulled me out during lunch. Everyone was so nice to me, especially Whitney. She was very gracious and kind. I never forgot how kind she and everyone else was to me.

Who are some of your biggest influences in the Modelling & Entertainment industry today? 
In modeling, Iman, Tyra, and Naomi. In entertainment, I greatly respect Mara Brock Akil and Shonda Rhimes. They are talented writers and producers who have done amazing feats as women of color in this business. Tyra Banks and are have been friends a long time although we lose touch,  she is a very sweet and humble person with great business acumen.
Why RHOA? What made you want to get back on TV? 
 I never left TV per se, I have been consistently working as an actor for over two decades and Atlanta was becoming the Hollywood of the South. My family was there and I had been looking for a home to purchase for years. Lawrence Washington from the show told the producers that I was moving and the rest is history.  The RHOA brand and platform is globally reaching over 200 million viewers. I wanted to take a chance at doing something I had never done before and expand my brand at the same time. It’s been an amazing opportunity.
Before RHOA what were the projects you were involved in?
 In addition to being a working actor, I am also a film producer having produced more than 6 films to date. My last was The Confidant starring David Banner, Billy Zane, Boris Kodjoe, and Bai Ling, and Richard Roundtree. I have always enjoyed creating and making movies is one of the highlights in my life.
What do you think it is about you that people are connecting with? 
I am just myself. I am complicated and simple at the same time. I’m fabulous but humble, and I like to laugh and make others laugh with me.
What advice would you give to Aspiring male and female models, also people who would love to combine modelling and Acting as a career?
A stage is a stage but with acting, you must have talent. In modelling, it’s good to know the business of what you are endeavoring to do. Acting requires studying and preparation and you must take it seriously or no one will respect or take you seriously.

What are some of your Latest and Upcoming projects?
I am producing a TV pilot that I am starring in writing and producing called LIFE TWIRLS ON. It’s a half-hour comedy loosely based on my real life but it is scripted. I also have a haircare line I’m launching called Moore Hair that will also be available in the UK.  It’s designed to grow your hair longer and stronger with each use and proper maintenance.
Tell us what motivated you to create the “Kenya Moore Foundation”.
I came from an impoverished background and we didn’t have a lot. My grandmother raised me and found programs that enriched my education without costing a lot. I also found pageants to be a great source for financial assistance. The Kenya Moore Foundation will award young women college scholarships from my high school. Diana Ross, Lily Tomlin, David Allen Grier, and is the largest high school in Detroit for gifted children.  Cass Tech is also the first and only baccalaureate in the city. It’s just my way of honoring the educational foundation I was afforded by giving girls a resource for higher education.
What is your personal definition of “Women Empowerment”? 
My definition would be to afford women the same opportunities as men by supporting one another and encouraging us to make things happen for ourselves by believing in ourselves.
You were recently also on Celebrity Apprentice – which isn’t aired in the UK but from American news feeds we gathered that you and Vivica Fox didn’t get along. Could you give us some insight into that? – What happened? 
Since the show has not been announced I cannot speak about it legally. However, I can say that due to my growing popularity, many aging and irrelevant actresses and personalities use me to become relevant. This is my time and they can find another coat-tail to which to ride. Mine are full.
Your hair is always complimented, it’s gorgeous! Can you please confirm that this is all your hair? How do you keep it so healthy? 
Yes, it’s all my hair! You can check my Instagram and videos online where I post my hair. I have figured out how to keep it healthy and long and I am launching my own hair care line soon called Moore Hair. It’s designed to make your natural hair healthier, longer and stronger so that it grows longer if desired. I want women to feel good about the hair that is growing out of their heads and not feel as though they have to wear wigs, pieces, or extensions in order to look good. My hair care line has been my passion and I strongly believe hair is your crowning glory.
An ongoing debate within the black community is Natural hair Vs Permed/woven hair what do you think? Should women perm their hair or stay natural?
 I encourage women to grow their relaxers out but that is simply because chemicals weaken and permanently damage your hair. With that said, women should wear their hair how they see fit, but know that you do not have to wear extensions if you want beautiful hair that is all yours.
What are your biggest pet peeves?
Loud and rude people!
Not changing the trash bags or toilet paper roll when it’s out.
People that are not motivated or expect everything on a silver platter.
Women who use their bodies or looks instead of their brains.
In RHOA you had some of the funniest catchphrases we have ever heard e.g Twirl and dust – how do you come up with it? Are these phrases you use in everyday life? with friends/family?
No, it’s just my quick wit. I really don’t know where it all comes from I’m just a silly nerd who is fabulous, very oxymoronic I know….
What’s a catchphrase you’ve recently started using that you haven’t said on RHOA yet? 
I don’t know until it airs it just catches on. I say so many things. LOL
What are your top health and fitness tips that keep you looking Fabulous every day?
Healthy living is a lifestyle. You must dedicate yourself to health and fitness by exercising every day. Eating a low-fat diet but allowing yourself to eat the things you love in moderation. Move your body every day by walking, hiking, basketball, boxing, dancing, or anything you love to keep on course.
Walk around naked as often as you can. I think it motivates you to look as good as you can for yourself.
Do booty boot camp! Found on (amazon.com) I keep it in my bag when I’m traveling so I can work out in my room.
Remove all the bad snacks from your home.
Always eat 6 times a day every few hours and no more than a small plate of food.
Fashion changes now and again – what are some things that you’ve noticed in terms of trends that you’re really into?
I don’t really follow trends. I do like the bright colors and hats. I dress how I feel and mix high and low. I just have fun.
When will you be coming to the UK? 
Very soon!!!
Last words for your UK fans?
This has been an amazing season and I want to thank the UK fans for being so supportive of me and all of my endeavors. I often visit London and never want to leave. This has been an amazing ride and wants to thank them all for taking the ride with me. NOW TWIRL!
Follow Kenya On Her Social Media Network PAGES

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