BY SADÉ KELLY
SOUTHERN LACED had the opportunity to speak with actress Angela Robinson. You may know her as the vicious and wealthy character, Veronica, on Tyler Perry’s #1 rated series The Haves and the Have Nots but in real-life, Angela is quite the opposite.
During our interview, she gave heartfelt advice and encouragement to women who may be struggling with fertility issues. She also opened up about her transition from theatrical plays to the big screen and creativity flowing throughout the current pandemic.
Although Season 7 of The Haves and Have Nots has recently concluded, fans can catch Angela in Season 8 of this scandalous, gossipy and addictive series, which premeires on November 24, 2020.
Question: How have you been managing during this pandemic?
Angela: It’s been tough at times. The best part is I have more time with my son, husband and my mom. All of that has been really, really great.
Question: When did you decide you wanted to take the acting route?
Angela: I think when I was 10 years old. My mom taught English. She was over the high school senior productions every year. So, she had to direct them. I would go to her school and sit in on her rehearsals. Watching those rehearsals, I just fell so deep in love with theater.
So, I always knew that theater would be a part of my life. I would want to sing, dance and act. I just had no idea at that time that that would be a career choice. I don’t even think I thought that was an option. When I found out it was an option, I jumped at it.
Question: What was the transition like going from stage plays to the big screen?
Angela: It’s a huge transition. On stage, your job is to project to the audience. You have a LIVE audience. So, you get that immediate gratification. You know if they like you. You know if you suck. You know all of that in the moment. You don’t have to wait until your show comes out. You don’t have to wait to see if people come for you on Twitter. You just know in that LIVE theater situation in the moment.
On film and television, you don’t know for a while if the show is a hit… if people are liking it. You can’t really tell that for a while until the ratings start to come in. Also, as an actor, you don’t project. It’s not about reaching the balcony with your voice. It’s really about being as subtle as you can and having any type of loudness in your eyes as opposed to your volume.
Question: Tell us more about the character Veronica?
Angela: Veronica… I love Veronica! She is definitely interesting. Some people like to call her evil. I don’t think that she’s evil. I think Veronica is probably the most controlling perfectionist you ever want to meet. She came from a very poor background and she pulled herself out of that. She went to law school. She started drug rehab centers. She became a millionaire all on her own. People like that sometimes have that flip side. The same reason they’re able to be successful becomes the same reason they can’t keep love in their lives. We all have that quality that is great when it is great but when you flip it, t’s not so great. I think that’s Veronica. She has great qualities that’s made her a very successful woman but don’t cross her. Don’t disagree with her. She has to control it all. She has to control the people around her. That sort of drives her a little crazy and makes her do very crazy things but I would not say that she is evil.
Question: Let’s talk about fertility issue. What advice would you give women that are struggling to become parents?
Angela: The first thing I would say to women who are struggling to become moms is – listen to me clearly – you will become a mother. You will. There is no reason that you won’t.
Now, the way that happens for you may be different and that is something that you have to embrace. Once that happens, motherhood is there and waiting for you. So, while it is difficult and it makes you feel so inadequate at times, understand that God has a plan. If you can just hold on a little while, you will all of it! You will see why you had to go through all of it but you will indeed be a mother. It is a very, very difficult thing for a woman to go through but there is light on the other side. So, don’t give up.
Question: How is your character Veronica similar to you in real-life? Also, how is she different?
Angela: I think she is similar to me in real-life because we kind of look-alike. (laughs) I am driven. She is driven but in a different way. I love fashion, and so does she. Those are some things that are similar.
I think we are different because I really am extraordinarily picky about things for myself. I like my house to look a certain kind of way. I like to wear a certain type of clothing; I like my hair to look a certain kind of way. I am very picky but I am really not picky about what other people do. You can drive what you want, do whatever you want with your house. I don’t spend a whole lot of energy criticizing and picking apart other people. I think that’s the difference. Everyone has to line up with how she (Veronica) wants it done or else. For me, you just really don’t. I take you as you are. I love that I have an eclectic group of friends. I just like for people to be who they are.
Question: If someone were making a movie of your life, who would play you and why?
Angela: That’s a good question! You know people have said that Gabrielle Union and I favor and I really, really, really love her. We’ve never even met, but I have fallen in love with her activism on social media. For as long as I have been following her, I have enjoyed it. I enjoy the fact that she has a very seemingly stable and wonderful marriage. She is a mom that went through a hard time becoming a mom as well. So I feel a bit of a kinship with her. So, I would say Gabrielle Union.
Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?
Angela: I have so much in the works but I’m not gone tell you about it until I can sign somebody’s contract! (laughs)
Question: If you could play any other character on the show, who would it be and why?
Angela: Hannah. I think that would be the opposite of Veronica. So, it would be great to do something completely opposite. Hannah is also very strong and very powerful but in a different way. Hannah is probably closer to Angela… to me. I usually don’t enjoy playing characters that are close to me but I think that I would enjoy playing Hannah. But my first pick… I love playing Veronica.
Question: What have you done in your “creative space” during the pandemic?
Angela: I did several things. The first thing I did was try to create a space in my home where we could breathe. Where my son could have an area where he felt good about where he could read and play.
I created a studio space where I could do my work. My mom has her space. That was the first thing that I did since home was going to be office, playground and everything. I made sure the backyard felt good to my son.
The second thing was I created a space for my friends and artists to come and tell their stories. Many times, we are inspired and healed by other people’s stories. So, I created a Youtube channel called Artist Talk. Artists come on and spend about 45 minutes telling their message and how they got to where they are. It’s just helpful information for newcomers as well.
When George Floyd happened, I created another platform called Black Woke Business Highlight where I started to give 10 minute spotlights to small business owners who are Black or woke. They didn’t have to be black but they stole had to be woke. They had to understand where we were as a community and culture and be empathetic and compassionate towards that.
In creating all these different platforms, I have learned how to video edit. Everyday I learn something new. It really has been about creativity. Creativity is using your imagination to get back to your original ideas and to use those ideas to solve problems. A lot of people think of creativity as some type of dancing and singing but it really is not. It is coming up with imaginative ways to solve problems. If we all went back to our original ideas and dug deep into our creativity, we could really create our way out of the mess that we’re in. Because we’re all trying to go back to what we had before, nobody’s creating a way forward. If we all embrace the idea of creating, then I think we can all move forward and the vision forward would be much brighter and much better than even what we left.