Veteran Hollywood actor Tina Lifford (“Parenthood”) has hit her stride in the role of Aunt Vi on the critically-acclaimed OWN drama “Queen Sugar.”
After 30-plus years working in Hollywood, Tina (who also has a recurring role on Scandal as CIA Director Lowry) is being recognized for her pedigree, landing what she calls the role of a lifetime. And she’s staying in shape for those steamy love scenes with co-star Omar J. Dorsey (Hollywood). Tina is holding it down for sexy, mature women everywhere!
Women Fitness President Namita Nayyar recently caught up with her to talk TV, fitness & lots more!
You are best known for the leading role of Joan Mosley in the critically acclaimed Fox comedy-drama series, South Central (1994), and your recurring role on Scandal as CIA Director Lowry. In 2016, you began starring as Violet Bordelon (Aunt Vi) in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar. Tell us about your incredible acting journey and how it all began?
My love of acting and desire to become an actress began in middle school. I was always a standout in drama class. I was also a daddy’s girl. When I told my father I wanted to be an actress, he told me not to because they don’t make money and most of them are unhappy or on drugs. So I shifted my attention away from acting and began looking for something I could both love and earn a good living doing. After school, I worked at an advertising agency for a few years hoping to find passion for that world. The account executive I worked for introduced me to her partner who was a celebrity publicist. I later joined her firm as a secretary. I thought working for actors would serve the dual purpose of keeping me close to the field of acting while also maintaining a steady, growing income.
Then one day, while typing a letter and facing a blank white wall, I heard a voice clearly say, you must try this acting thing or you will be 40 and unhappy. I turned around to see who had just spoken. Then I remembered that I was the only person in the office at the time. Hearing that voice changed my life in two distinct ways. First, that day on my lunch hour, I went to the newsstand and purchased the Drama-Logue. It advertised audition opportunities for roles in community plays and student films. That weekend I went on two auditions and was offered both roles. I accepted one of them, and soon after, I was fired from the public relations job because my boss saw my interest shifting from being a publicist to becoming an actress. Within four years, I was in the Screen Actors Guild and earning $100,000 a year as a voice-over artist. The second way that my life changed was I became passionately committed to developing a spiritual practice.
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