The newest leading lady of VH1′s “Single Ladies”, Denise Vasi, recently spoke with the network about her new role, filming thus far, and a tad-bit of her personal life. Denise, who was brought on after Stacy Dash left the show, is no stranger to the big or small screen (she’s a former model, who used to act on All My Children). Peep some quotes.
How did the first week of filming go?
It went really well. The first week, we had a blast. We did a whole girls’ thing a night or two before we started shooting.
Was that you and LisaRaye and Charity [Shea]?
Yup, LisaRaye hosted an evening at her house. She cooked, I brought the wine, Charity brought these cute little cupcakes, and we just sat around and ate and got to know each other, I think it was super helpful going in, because we went in to a full week of work right after that. Nothing is moving slowly here. I think it really helped and you’ll see that in our first two episodes which we’re shooting right now, you’ll see some genuine friendships. Me and Travis Winfrey have become like, best friends in a week. He’s a super sweet guy. When the press release went out, we discovered we had a mutual friend who connected us via email and I was like, “Travis, your job is to find out where I get my hair done, where I get my nails done,” and he was like “Don’t worry, I got you!” and when we’re on set, we’re don’t make a move without each other.
Were you worried about being the new kid on an established show?
Were you just confident going in, or does it come with experience?
The audition process was a lot and I got to spend a good amount of time meeting my producers, my showrunner, my writer, my director, and everyone was just really nice, and everyone at VH1 was really nice, and we all spoke about our ideas and our wishes of how we’d like to see things go. I’m very much a team player and I just like to have fun, that’s why I do this, so no, I wasn’t worried, everyone had open arms. LisaRaye called me right before each of us went away for the holiday and she was super sweet, she said “Make sure you bring a heavy coat,” and thankfully she told me that because it’s absolutely freezing in Atlanta.
Can you tell me about the character you’ll be playing?
Her name is Raquel Lancaster and she comes from high society Atlanta, her family is pretty typical to that as well. What I think the audience will identify with is that Raquel doesn’t come with the pretentiousness that she could, and there’s this idea of what a woman coming from old money, Tuxedo Park Atlanta should be like and she’s not like that. Her journey is in finding herself again. She hasn’t taken a dime from her parents since college, she’s made a name for herself, but she’s going to ask herself, is this who I really am, and am I making decisions based on what I want, or on what’s expected of me?
There are a lot of hot men playing opposite you ladies. Let’s talk about the men who will be in your life.
There will be quite a few this season. [Laughs] I think people already know about William Levy, but people should tune in for a brothel of hot men. We will not be disappointing you on that level, that’s all I can tell you.
You’re very service-oriented, aren’t you? What are some of the charities you work with?
I produce a charity event with my friend Jackie every year, we do a big gala in New York for Caron Renaissance, they’re a rehabilitation facility with a unique program, and my friend Jackie went through the program and it saved her life. Because of that, I’ve given my time and we work on every single aspect of that event from seating to auction items and that takes up a good portion of my year. The first year, we were just two girls asking for a lot of favors, and our first year we did $100,000 and this past year we cleared, I think, $320,000, so that’s one organization I’m involved in. I also just came back from a trip to the Uganda with my boyfriend with an organization called Invisible Children, and it’s basically an immersion trip they do and we went out and worked on a project where my boyfriend photographed and I interviewed 31 individuals who were either survivors of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), who had either been captured by them or were child soldiers. It was absolutely life-changing. Invisible Children is an amazing organization, and this year I want to figure out how to work more closely with them and bring awareness to what they’re doing.
Do you think you have a pretty normal life despite having a glamorous job?
Yes, absolutely. I will continue to do everything I can to have that. My secret is keeping the same people who have always been in my life, keeping those relationships intact. I have about ten amazing girlfriends and if I ever got out of line, any one of them would smack me back into place. My team, my professional team is all people I genuinely care about, and I’ve been blessed to build those relationships over the years. My work relationships with my agent and my manager are not about money, yes, that’s their job, but it’s really important that you keep good people around you and you don’t let ego get in the way. But yeah, I live a very normal life, I drive a Prius, I was in Victoria’s Secret shopping for panties yesterday just like any other girl! They were having a sale!
Peep the full interview here.