Robin Givens on OWN’s ‘Ambitions,’ TV Roles for Black Women and #MeToo

Variety | 7/19/2019 | Rachel Yang
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Robin Givens’ breakout role came in the 1986-91 sitcom “Head of the Class.” Since then, she’s established herself as one of the most prolific actresses on television. That trajectory has continued into this year, with Givens playing a slew of what she calls “badass women” in shows such as “Riverdale” and “The Fix,” including her role as ferocious lawyer Stephanie Carlisle Lancaster in OWN’s “Ambitions.” Givens has also declared herself “ground zero” of the #MeToo movement, having publicly revealed her experience with domestic violence at the hands of former husband and heavyweight champion Mike Tyson back in 1988.

What made you sign on to “Ambitions” while acting in two other projects?

Fix - Riverdale - Lines - Fix - Ambitions

I was doing “The Fix” and “Riverdale” when I got asked to read for this, and I was like, “No, I’m good. I’m trying to learn lines for ‘The Fix.’” And once I read “Ambitions,” I was like, “Oh, wow, no one can do this better than me.” At face value, Stephanie is incredibly powerful. But what I really wanted to do was create a character that lets you see different layers and different colors and shades and her imperfections, and give her a sense of humor. We can sometimes put black people in boxes. Sometimes you can have, “Oh, that’s an affluent black person; so that person behaves like this.” And I like tearing that up completely.

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How has it been juggling so much at once?

I really took some time away with my kids and concentrated on them, and being a mom. It’s interesting to come back to yourself and what you love, and I think a lot of women experience this. When we as women give...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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