Kym Whitley: Woman’s Work

She played Ice Cube’s freaky “Aunt”

Suga in Next Friday. It was her first

film role, and she made it memorable. “I licked his neck just to make him

laugh, but he didn’t break,” Kym Whitley recounts.

An actress, producer and

comedian, Kym Whitley is a native of Ohio and a graduate of Fisk University. She has been involved in various television projects including roles in Martin, The Parkers, My Wife and Kids

and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Her big screen characters run the comedic gamut in movies like Baby Boy, Deliver Us From Eva,

Along Came Polly and Fun With Dick and Jane.

Her newest role is in College

Road Trip alongside Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone as a caring mom and

real estate agent. We got in some good girl talk with Kym about her work, influences and even her favorite Hip-Hop artists. Kym, it’s so

nice to get the chance to talk to you. [College

Road Trip] is great! How did you like working with Martin and Raven?

Kym Whitley: I loved it.

Martin has such great comedic timing; he is such an old soul, he has done so

much and learned so many things. And Raven is so young and so funny. It was

awesome. It’s great to play a role like this. What were some

of your memorable moments during the filming of College Road Trip?

Kym Whitley: I think my most

memorable moments happened off-screen. I got the chance to go to Martin’s

trailer, which is just huge. It’s like a house on wheels…like an apartment

building on wheels, and I just sat with him and he gave me a lot of knowledge,

and told me that this film was going to be a great vehicle for me. Some of my

best moments with Raven were just when we would hang out, in the trailer or at

the mall. Those were some of the best times. You have

worked with a lot of kids? What is that like?

Kym Whitley: Oh, you know I

love the kids. Especially if they are brought up right and aren’t spoiled. If

they have a mom that is really working with them, it’s great. But, you know,

you have to be patient when you are working with children. You’ve done so

many great projects, from The Parkers to your film roles. Which do you prefer -

television or film?

Kym Whitley: I like TV for its

hours. But film has such a creative arc. It has a beginning, middle, and end. March is Women’s

History Month. In keeping in that spirit, do you have a female actress who is

[an inspiration] to you?

Kym Whitley: Of course,

Whoopi [Goldberg]. And Jenifer Lewis. Her timing is impeccable, especially [as Zelma Bullock] in What’s Love Got To Do With It? I really strive to be

as good as she is in delivery. She can deliver a line. What are some

of the challenges that you face in Hollywood?

Kym Whitley: You know, you

have to keep a passion. It’s easy to get a good role and just sit back. But I

am always on the job, looking for the next job. You have to stay humble, at the

end of the day, this is just a job. I’ve done good work, but not so enough to

make me too much of a diva. How do you

choose your projects?

Kym Whitley: I think you

should make sure that it’s something that represents you. Is it something that

you have done already? Also [judge] by who else is in the movie, that’s

definitely one way to choose a project. You were

co-producer of Love Chronicles (2003) and your BET series, Oh, Drama (2000).

If you could [create] a dream project what would it be?

Kym Whitley: Definitely a

dramatic role. Portraying a historical person such as Aretha [Franklin]. Also,

a one woman show, a stand up DVD. I love creating my own opportunities - you

have to create your own. Make it happen and make it happen big. That sounds

like Hip-Hop rhetoric. Who are some of your favorite rap artists?

Kym Whitley: Jay-Z. Jay-Z, I

like him as a person, as a man. When I see Jay-Z, I get warm and fuzzy.

[laughs] Nas, I think he is extremely intelligent and sexy. Oh, and Baby and

Lil’ Wayne, those are my boys. I was supposed to do Wayne’s new video, but I

missed it because I was filming another project. Anything else

you want to add?

Kym Whitley: Just thank you,

and you can check me out at