Erica Pinkett On Leaving Reality TV & Landing “All Eyez On ME” Role
New to the big screen, actress Erica Pinkett embodies her role as Ayana Jackson in the much talked about Tupac Shakur biopic, “All Eyez On Me.” Playing alongside Demetrius Shipp Jr., Cory Hardrict and Kat Graham, Erica proves that she is ready to take on Hollywood at full speed. Moving far past her days on VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, Erica has focused on perfecting her craft and uses her previous experience to sustain a spot within the industry.
In a recent conversation with theJasmineBrand.com correspondent @MalikkaMichelle, Erica discusses her Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta stint, warding off the negative opinions plaguing “All Eyez On Me,” and gaining respect in Hollywood after appearing on reality TV. Peep the excerpts below.
On how she got into acting:
I moved to ATL in 2011 and when I moved I wasn’t even thinking about the entertainment industry at all. I had gone to Howard University for psychology so when I came down here, I was looking for non-profit work. Videos were an extra something on the side, and I fell in love with acting after my first few acting classes. I just did it just to do it. I fell in love with it.
Her experience on VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta:
One of the things I’m thankful for because the Love & Hip-Hop opportunity allowed certain people in the film industry to see me. I had to prove myself. A lot of people they say that they act, or they do music, but they’re not really skilled. I’ve taken years and years of classes and coaching and direction and taking direction and guidance from my mentor.
On her transition from reality TV to the big screen:
It’s funny because when I first was doing reality TV and I was telling people my plan the whole time like, “I want to act! I want to act! I want to act,” everyone was telling me that that might not be possible because of this, that, and the third.These people in film they know what it is. They can separate the people who are in reality TV as a platform and the people who are just playing out here. Hard work will separate that.
On the challenges in her role as Ayana Jackson in “All Eyez On Me”:
The biggest challenge was having to be in a state of hysteria for hours on set. This is not a normal human being. You and I cry in our daily lives, but we don’t cry for hours. We cry, and we keep it going. Maybe our head hurts after, but just imagine having to be in that state for hours.
On the rumors surrounding the film:
I remember going through some of my old paperwork the other day and seeing the original call sheet, and I had a moment because I was really honored to see Afeni Shakur’s name on there as an executive producer. It was a reminder of the integrity that this film really did have and no matter what anyone says, the fact of the matter is so many people had the opportunity to highlight Pac’s legacy over the years, but Benny Boom and L.T. Hutton got together and made it happen.
A lot of the nay-sayers when I talk to them they haven’t even seen the film because of what they think they’ve heard. I know because of experience that this was taken very seriously. No one had time to play with this project at all. I would just tell people that Pac wanted us all to think for ourselves and if you really want to judge this film, the first thing you have to do is go see it.
On Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s vintage t-shirt line featuring Tupac and Biggie:
I think we do a lot of things without thinking about how important something is. I think that both Pac and Biggie’s legacies are very important and anything that’s done around them should be done with love and respect and not just for money. I think that they apologized, but I think we need to put more thought in things that we say and put out into the world because there could be repercussions.
Listen to the complete interview below.