Vivica Fox is back to reprise her role as Shante Smith in the 2001 Blockbuster film “Two Can Play That Game”, this time in the stage play adaption directed by Je’Caryous Johnson. The “Soulfood” actress will be starring alongside an all-star cast including Columbus Short, Porsha Williams, Carl Payne, Vivian Green, Gary Dourdan, Cocoa Brown and Ronreaco Lee. Recently, the Sentinel caught up with Fox to discuss the role and what keeps her busy these days.
Los Angeles Sentinel: What did you think when you were presented with the idea to do the stage play adaptation of “Two Can Play That Game”?
Vivica Fox: I thought it was fabulous because “Two Can Play That Game” the movie has literally become like a cult classic. I can’t tell you like how many different nationalities walk up to me like, ‘girl Two Can Play That Game it’s just my favorite. And so, when I agreed to do it, I thought it was an excellent idea, everyone was like oh my God yes, this is going to be awesome, so I’m glad that I can bring another adaption. It’ll be close to the film but not exactly like it.
LAS: What was it like working with Je’Caryous Johnson and this amazing cast of actors?
VF: Well this is the third stage production that I’ve actually co-produced with Je’Caryous. The very first one that I did was “Whatever She Wants” with Boris Kodjoe, Richard Roundtree and some other amazing young actors, and after that I did “Cheaper to Keep Her” with Brian McKnight, Christian Keys, G-Thang and that was amazing, I was on the road with [the play] for like a year and a half, and it kind of took me away from people like, ‘well where is Vivica, what’s she doing? But they didn’t realize with “Cheaper to Keep Her”, it was a way for me to kind of re-introduced myself and let people see me live. And I can trust Je’Caryous Johnson’s productions to always be classy, top of the line, with great music, funny moments and wonderful messages.
LAS: What do you enjoy most about putting on your producer hat?
VF: That’s the blessing of me doing the stage plays. For me, I’ve learned that versatility has equaled the key to my longevity, that if you do different things, especially going in to a new chapter as a producer and being able to star, you are in control of the product that you present to your audience, and that always feels really good.
LAS: Do you believe the 10-step plan featured in “Two Can Play That Game” the movie is something that can be executed in real life?
VF: Oh, absolutely. I had people coming up to me like girl, Shante, I mean Vivica, girl the rules work, they work honey, so yes, I definitely believe the plan works. Women, we’ve got to learn how to work it, we done forgot. Everybody’s showing to dang on much, giving to much up for free. We’ve got to let men be men and enjoy the whole game of courting and certain things you do and certain things you do not! There’s also an important lesson. You can have certain rules, but sometimes you gotta’ learn when not to keep on putting your man through it and for you all to then become partners, but he has to earn it.
LAS: What can couples in this generation do to avoid playing games in relationships?
VF: Take the time to get to know the person. Right now, everybody is just so instant fame, instant love, instant his and its like how they say, ‘Rome isn’t built in a day,’ a relationship isn’t built in a day. It can happen quickly, but you have to take the time to get to know a person. I believe that his agent shows up first, and then here he comes. And then you’re like who dat? Where’d he come from?
LAS: We know that you’re not only an amazing actress but an entrepreneur as well. Tell us about your recent business ventures.
VF: I’ve been so blessed, I’ve been planting seeds for the last two years that are all just blossoming. The Vivica Fox Hair Collection has just been extended for another four years. We are avid supporters of the WNBA, especially the LA Sparks. I’m going to have a book that’s coming out in 2018 in May, a motivational memoir and we’ll be releasing the title very soon. I also just co-produced a Christmas film for the ION Network where I was reunited with Kristoff St. John. I’m going back to “Empire” to play Candace, that bougie older sister. And I was just recently in the Bobby Kristina movie which did wonderful and finished number one it its time slot. And “True to the Game” is in theatres right now with the fabulous Columbus Short, who is also my leading man in “Two Can Play That Game” the stage play, so mommy is busy.
LAS: What truly makes you happy? What gives you peace?
VF: My Godchildren. I’ve been such a businesswoman, that I just didn’t have children, and so now I have five beautiful Godchildren and the time that I can spend with them, I can take off my wig, my lashes, and put on my warm up suit and go hang out and run behind them. I just enjoy that because I’ve been working so hard for like the last twenty, thirty years, that it’s like I’ve forgotten to take the time to enjoy the simple things in life. I’m always working, but I love what I do, so for me, right now, I get such happiness when I walk in the room and they’re like “GG,” which stands for Gorgeous Godmother. It’s just when I get to take off Vivica and go back to being “GG” or Auntie Fox from 38th and Emerson in Indianapolis, Indiana.