This was a fun call. We all had a good time chatting with
Tamala. There were only three of us interviewers, plus Dee,
the Lifetime PR person, and Tamala's rep Darren.
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Here is the transcribed version by
Jamie Steinberg (from
Magazine): Tamala, what was it about "Megachurch Murder"
that really drew you to this role?
Tamala: It was like any other script I have ever read,
and it's a modern-day "Hamlet." So I thought that was very
clever. A clever way of telling "Hamlet," and also the way
the script was written kind of threw you off. 'Cause you're
reading it, and in the opening, it sounds like it's going to
be just another of those church movies, and it takes you for
a twist immediately. So, I was intrigued.
Jamie: Well, you have been starring in a lot of dramas
lately, and we know you have comedy chops as well. What is
it about dramatic roles that have been sucking you in
Tamala: I think in the beginning, my whole motivation for
doing more drama was to show the audience and the people of
Hollywood that I can do both. I know how to do dramatic
stuff. I know how to be funny. I'm silly, anyway, so doing a
comedy is like nothing for me. I just wanted to do something
a little more challenging. Although I'm loving the dramas, I
think it's time to be funny again.
Suzanne: I enjoyed the movie. It's very dramatic. Did
they give you any special notes about the acting. I mean,
the music and everything was very dramatic and the story.
Tamala: No, No. Darin Scott is a wonderful director, and
he just basically told you to go for it. Of course, in
rehearsal, we talk about what the scene is about and what he
would like to get from it, but there was only a couple of
times Darin stepped in and said, "Give me more." And you're
like, "More?" And he's like, "More. More." So, you gave him
Suzanne: Your character, in the beginning, is a little
bit meek, and we don't really know how much she knows, and
then she sort of evolves over time. Was there anything
special you did to sort of convey that?
Tamala: I wanted Martha to come off like she was Miss
Picture-perfect -- just very innocent and your regular first
lady of the church. Very poised, but I wanted to also show
that she's human, and there is no one perfect. Martha has
issues herself, and her issues are being connected to power.
She wanted power. I just deferred to him a lot in that
essence as far as giving him that. From me growing up in
churches, I saw how the first ladies of the church would sit
in the front row, their husbands would be at pew. A little
bit of reality and a little bit of history.
Suzanne: There was a lot of great music in the movie,
both singing and in the background. Did they tell you about
any of that ahead of time or did you just sort of see it
happen? And have you seen the movie yet?
Tamala: I have seen the movie, and the music is great,
but you got Romeo Miller in the movie, and he's been doing
music since he could talk, and Shanica Knowles, who is such
a great talent. Her voice -- I remember the first day I
heard her singing, and I was like, "What? Who is that?" I
walk around the corner, and I saw it was her. And I was
like, "Wow! Why don't you have a deal if you don't have a
deal." So, we had a lot of talent in the movie, and I know
Shanica did a few songs in the movie, and if Romeo had
anything to do with it, I think he did. I'm not really sure,
but I think he had a lot to do with producing some of the
music there, 'cause he stayed in the studio. Let me tell
you, I grew up watching Little Romeo, so yeah, he was in my
era, so -- let me ask you a question. What do you think of
Little Romeo now?
Dee: I was honestly in shock to see how grown up he is.
How old is he, honestly?
Tamala: I don't know, but I felt like a pervert looking
at him for like five seconds until I snapped out of it.
Dee: I did the exact same thing. I still, like, feel bad
for a minute, because I'm looking at him like a sex symbol,
and I'm like, "I knew you when you were a child.
Tamala: Ok, can we talk about, I don't know if you know
who Master P is, but that's his dad. He looks great. Yes!
So, Master P might have had something to do with the music,
as well. Yeah, Romeo, besides him being a sex symbol,
because that's exactly what he is, he's very intelligent and
he's very much a professional and a gentleman, when it comes
down to it. He had a late session, and it was running over,
and he showed up on the set late, and he brought something
for everyone, which I thought was so sweet. So, he's a
really good person to work with. Really great.
Jamie: Well, the cast had so much chemistry. Was there an
instant connection you all shared. Did you know each other
from other things in the past.
Tamala: I knew Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Michael Beach and
Dawnn Lewis. As far as Santana and Shanica, I knew Romeo,
too, 'cause I worked with his dad many years ago in small
projects that he was doing here and there. But, it was
instant. It was like everybody wanted this to be great. For
Shanica, this was something that was really big for her, and
she said that to be working alongside of all these people
that she grew up watching was really a great treat, and I
have to say, she kind of reminded me of myself when I did
"Booty Call" with Jamie Foxx, Vivica, and Tommy Davidson.
That energy of, "Oh, my god." I'm really doing something.
So, I'm really happy for all of them. It was definitely a
natural chemistry that we had.
Jamie: We recently saw Vivica on "Celebrity Apprentice."
Did you get to watch it at all while she's been on?
Tamala: Oh, yeah. She's had viewing parties for every
"Celebrity Apprentice" where all of her friends show up, and
we eat, we laugh, we watch. We're screaming at the TV like
it's a game going on. So, I'm definitely seeing Vivica being
Vivica A. Fox.
Jamie: Have you gotten to watch Vivica and root for her
during her time on "Celebrity Apprentice?"
Tamala: Oh yeah! She has had viewing parties for every
episode and all of her friends show up. We eat, we laugh, we
watch and we're screaming at the TV like a game. I'm
definitely Team Vivica!
Jamie: What did you think of cell phone incident with Vivica
and Kenya Moore?
Tamala: I know that phone was taken by Kenya. I can tell.
Everybody knows. Vivica would never, I'm telling you, ever
tweet something so personal and use it so recklessly. So, I
believe Kenya is by-any-means-necessary, while in
competition (you have to remember she was Miss USA for a
long time). You saw what happened with the Brazilian pageant
where the loser knocked the crown off! That's in her
bloodline. Everybody loves Kenya. Then, everybody hates
Kenya because she is a by-any-means-necessary kind of a
girl. You have to respect that. It's good entertainment. But
I do believe she stole Vivica's phone and tweeted that. So,
I told Ms. Vivica to put a lock on her phone. Put a lock on
your phone so that never happens again.
Bill Vaughan of
Tasty Clips -- L.A. Wave Newspapers:
First of all, about the reference to "Hamlet," I'm just
curious, in your career, have you performed Shakespeare?
Have you done that on stage? Are you familiar with his works
Tamala: I'm familiar with his works from reading. I love
playwright. I love how Shakespeare expressed himself, all of
the subliminal messages in between, and I love how some of
his stories have a lot to do with things going on in the
present day throughout history, though. Not just today but
throughout history, so it's just really entertaining to read
Shakespeare and then look at the past and the present and
see how many times you have seen this play out. So, I love
Bill: When you mention doing a church piece, is there
a point where you're reading or you're acting, and you say,
"Wait a minute. That's not going to play well in my
community." Does that moment come while making your movie or
was everything pretty close to script?
Tamala: We did everything in the script. Nothing was
switched up. I thought that the scene between Michael's
character and my character when Hannah see us in the
bathroom or in the bedroom getting ready to get busy, I
thought that was going to be a little too much, but the way
that they cut it was perfect. It let you know we were up to
no good, and we moved on from there. So, that was the only
thing that concerned me, but again I knew it was for
Lifetime television, so it wasn't going to be too crazy.
Bill: Okay. You were talking about Vivica Fox on that
show. Would you do a reality show like that? Is that
something you'd like to pursue?
Tamala: Eventually, one day I'm sure I will be asked to
do a reality show like that, and, if it's something like
"Celebrity Apprentice" where you can be on there and win
money for different charities that are important to you, I
would love to do something like that. I have a lot of
charities that I'm affiliated with, so if I can get on a
show that I can win some money for my charity, of course.
Bill: And would you stoop so low as to get down with
it to win?
Tamala: No, I would never steal anything from anyone.
Now, I feel like when I watch that show that Donald Trump
likes it to be real. He does not want any BS, wants the
truth, so he'll go around and be like, "Okay, I'm not
getting it out of you. What do you think, Geraldo?" I like
that. I like that he is -- so I would be the snitch on the
show. I definitely would be the snitch. I would tell and
tell and tell, tell, tell if that's going to keep me on
Bill: You were a TV wife on a sitcom, and I'm
wondering have you been in touch with Tracey Morgan? Is
there anything you can tell us about his current condition?
Tamala: I have not been in touch with Tracey Morgan. I
saw Tracey right before that incident occurred, and that was
it. I have not spoken to him. I have only reached out over
social media when he was in that accident, when it first
happened to tell him he's in my prayers, and I know he's
going to pull through because he's strong. That's a
strong-willed man right there, so I knew he was gonna live.
I heard that he suffered from some brain damage, which is a
major concern for me, but I don't have any way to contact
him other than through his agent, and I haven't done that
yet, though. Just wait. Like everyone else I wanna know
what's going on with Tracey.
Bill: Since you've been on "Castle" for so long, I'm
just curious do you have any say-so in the progression of
your character or twists or things that happen, or is it a
surprise as you enter each season?
Tamala: It's just a surprise. I mean, it's been like
secret ninjas in the night around there. We don't get the
script until the day before we start the new episode. If
we're lurking around the writers' room, you should see them.
We just pop up over there, knock on the door. They're all
talking, and then they see you, and it's like the record
stops. Everyone gets quiet, and I'm like, "Hey, how are you
doing? I just wanted to come by and pitch a couple of things
to you." They don't mind you pitching at all, but they never
let you know what is going on. You have no idea until you
get the script.
Bill: What's coming up next? Any movies coming up that
we should know about?
Tamala: I don't want to talk about it, because it's not
for sure, but there is something I'm trying to get started
right now. If it goes, I'll have Darren reach out to you
guys again, 'cause I will be so happy to talk about it, but
I don't want to jinx it, so --
Bill: Is there anybody famous you'd like to play in a
(At this point, her representative, Darren, ended the
interview before she had a chance to answer the question)
Video Clip of Tamala #1
Video Clip of Tamala #2
Our thanks to Jamie Steinberg for transcribing part of this!
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