Tichina Arnold Tichina Arnold is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable actresses. From her lead role as Pamela on Martin, to her countless appearances on TV and movies, to her now current role as Chris Rock’s mother in “Everybody Hates Chris”, Pamela is sure to bring her top notch acting skills to any role that comes her way. Tichina talks to WHO?MAG about her latest show and her trials and tribulations in acting.
Interview by Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: What is going on with Tichina Arnold right now? TICHINA ARNOLD: I have a lot of things going on right now. I am a new
mom. I have a nineteen month old daughter. I am on a new show called “Everybody Hates Chris” which is on Thursday nights on UPN at 8:00. It’s Chris rock’s new show and it’s about his life growing up in Brooklyn.
WHO?MAG: What’s one of the biggest obstacles you had to get over in your acting career? TICHINA ARNOLD: My acting career (haha). You know with any career comes obstacles. I have been in the industry since I was eleven years old, so my story is kind of different. I started the business when I didn’t know any better. I did it for the love of it. I still do it for the love of it. I try to encourage people to understand it. A lot of people ask me “Oh, how do you get into show business?” Everyone sees the glitz and the glamour, but you need to pay the price. That is the hard work. If you want to be recognized for your talents, if you want to be good at what you
do, you have to work hard. You have to take lessons when you can. It’s also who you know too. I have seen the industry change. It has made a complete 180. What’s wonderful about it is it’s still an area of life where you can be creative and you can be who ever you want to be, not just who you are. It’s a lot of hard work. I had a lot of obstacles. There were a few roles that I wanted, but they were like “oh, well I know her work. We like her, but, nahh” There are a lot of roles I lose out on because I am not the sexy girl. Or because I am not on the A list, or because my teeth are not that straight, but which I got my top row fixed. There is always going to be something. You have to believe in yourself to know it’s not what anyone thinks. It’s what you know and believe what you
WHO?MAG: Being a black female actress, do you feel that it is getting more equal for getting roles for females as it is for males? TICHINA ARNOLD: That’s an interesting question. I don’t think things
will ever be equal. I think realistically that things have changed in
certain areas of the business that have gotten better. But now we are faced with something else. It’s not only just being a black female now. I’m losing out jobs to reality TV, so I am up against people who are not actors. There is always going to be something. I don’t think there will ever be balance. There will be times where things will be good and times where things will be bad. That is the nature of the business. If you have the character or strength to hang in there, and deal with the highs and the lows, then you will make it. Success is only where you judge it to be. I don’t really want to be a star, I just really want to just do good work. That’s what people should set out to be, just do good work.
You get back what you give in. If you have one person who believes in what you are doing, keep them in your right pocket because you are going to need it when you need to be encouraged.
WHO?MAG: How do you determine which role you want to play? TICHINA ARNOLD: After from reading a script. When you read a script and the role just jumps at you, then it’s a good script. I see a script as something that I have to bring to life. When I read scripts and the character or the story jumps out at me, then yeah. That’s when I get like “Oh, I want this role.” You can just taste it and feel it. It really depends on the script.
WHO?MAG: What’s next in store for Tichina Arnold? TICHINA ARNOLD: Everyone Hates Chris. I’m doing the new Chris Rock show. It comes on UPN at 8:00 on Thursdays so that’s my shameless plug. It’s a show about Chris Rock growing up in Brooklyn in 1982. Of course we love Chris Rock. No one really hates Chris Rock, but the show is called “Everyone Hates Chris Rock”.