Interview by Paul Salfen
For Vivica A. Fox, this is a perfect weekend for Joy & Hope to be seen. The actress, who is known for her roles in films like Independence Day, Soul Food, and Kill Bill, has always been a positive force and exudes happiness and confidence whenever you see her, which may explain part of her appeal for so many years. Just in time for the Pureflix release, the country has turned around in a sense and viewers may be more open to the message. “I feel like things are moving in a more positive direction and we’re allowed to get back on track.
We’re talking Valentine’s Day weekend and rediscovering love and joy and hope – and bringing back hope,” she says.
The film follows two sisters, Joy and Hope, that run a ranch in upstate New York with their father and friend and find a new needed boost of excitement and energy when a romance writer comes to visit for some time away to overcome writer’s block. It’s a sweet and safe movie, but maybe that’s perfect for couples stuck at home over the weekend.
Fox says with a laugh, “If you’re somewhere cold this weekend, get yourself a warm, fuzzy drink and sit down and enjoy the movie. They’re saying there are all of these arctic blizzard-like conditions. I mean, we are in winter.”
Here’s more from Fox:
AMFM: This may be the perfect time for a movie like this to be seen. I think we’re now realizing how much our creatives mean to us that have given us the much-needed entertainment during this crazy time, so first of all, thank you for keeping us entertained when we needed it most.
Vivica: You’re welcome. I was very blessed during COVID last year. A lot of people weren’t working and I was working nonstop. I had five films for Lifetime, we had Joy & Hope, we had a show on every week called Queens on FOX SOUL TV, I started taping my podcast again, I had my hair collection for women that couldn’t go to the hair salon so they could get themselves some Vivica Fox wigs, so I think I’ve been doing pretty good. [Laughs]
AMFM: You’re always staying busy, but somehow you found time for this one, too.
VAF: It actually did work out perfectly for me because I was in New York and I was doing press and a gentleman by the name of Andrew Rogers, who I did several Lifetime movies with hit me up and said, “Hey Viv, can you do us a favor? There’s a female director by the name of Candy Cain that wants to know if you can stay a couple of days in New York and do a cameo in the film.” I said, “What’s it about?” And he said, “It’s a romantic comedy. I play a writer and you’d play my boss” and I said, “Well, hey yeah, I like that idea of playing a boss” so I signed up to play Amanda Parkington, COO and publisher of a publishing house and since I had just dropped a book, Every Day I’m Hustling, I thought, “Oh, this is pretty cool so here we go, we have Joy & Hope and it’s out now and it’s pretty cool.
AMFM: You’ve always been inspirational, so what do you say to those that look up to you and want to do what you do?
VAF: You know, I share the secrets of my success in my book, but I say here I am, a woman in my 50s, that’s having an amazing resurgence in my career and in my life, so never give up. If you’re doing something in your life that’s making you unhappy and something or someone is not treating you good, don’t be afraid to move on. Look in the mirror and don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself. Go back to the drawing board, create a new vision board, and have faith in yourself that life is good and don’t be afraid to start over but start over in a field doing something you’re comfortable with. Take baby steps and you can achieve success and happiness in every chapter of your life – but you have to open that door to go through it.
AMFM: Well said. And what was your Hail Mary Moment – the moment in your life or career where you just had to go for it and it worked out for you?
VAF: In my career, it would be leaving Indianapolis, Indiana at 17 years old one month after graduating high school in search of a dream that I’ve been able to live out beyond my wildest expectations. I left Indianapolis, Indiana and came to Los Angeles, California and here we are today, I’m Vivica A. Fox, so that worked for me.
AMFM: What is that thing that you keep in mind that keeps you in your positive mindset?
VAF: I always try to stay positive to be honest with you. I never considered myself a victim, I never let my mistakes- because I’m just like everyone else and sometimes I make mistakes and sometimes I fall down and I figure out how to pick myself back up, I always believe in myself and just keep trying to look forward to receive new blessings in new chapters. Things happen in life and it’s like, “OK, that happened” and I’m honest with myself about it and what was my contribution to it not working out, and then I just try to move forward.
AMFM: What can we look forward to next from you?
VAF: Well, I’m going to be making my directorial debut! I’m so excited! In a month, I’m heading to DC and I’m going to be doing a project with BET that we’re going to be announcing very soon and then we’ve got True To The Game 3 that’s going to be dropping at the end of March, and I’m going to be doing more So Wrong It’s Right movies for Lifetime, last night The Wrong Valentine premiered on the Lifetime movie network and everyone was blowing up Twitter and loving it, the Vivica Fox hair collection – I’m heading to Philly at the end of March where we’re also shooting a campaign for that, and I’m back in production on my podcast, Every Day I’m Hustling, so that will be dropping soon, too.
AMFM: In other words, you’re not busy at all.
VAF: [laughs and sings]“Every Day I’m Hustlin’” Hey!
AMFM: Why is this one important to see right now?
VAF: Joy & Hope is leading on PureFlix Lead With Love movies this Valentine’s Day weekend. It’s a romantic comedy so if you want something that’s gonna make you feel light and loved and even if you don’t have a Valentine, check out Joy & Hope so that you can get a warm, fuzzy hug from your girl Vivica Fox.
AMFM: We need it! Thank you again for hustling to keep us entertained and we’ll be sure to catch up with you again soon.
VAF: I’m sure you will be talking to me soon because I’ve got a lot of stuff coming up. Take care, darlin’.
Joy & Hope is now streaming on Pureflix.com.