Terri Vaughn decided to take a chance on love again and recently headed to Vegas to marry Karon Riley of the Cleveland Gladiators while awaiting the birth of her second baby boy. Plus, she talks about her upcoming docufilm on the plight of Black actresses.
Essence.com: Congrats on your documentary, Angels Can't Help But Laugh, which has been circulating the film festivals. What is the significance of the title?
Terri Vaughn: When I began filming the documentary I was in the midst of making a bold move—out of my [first] marriage. I was reading A Woman's Worth by Marianne Williamson, and there was a line I read that said, "angels can't help but laugh." Immediately, I knew that was the title for this project. For me, the title simply means that throughout all the trials and tribulations, we [as actresses] are still able to laugh and love what we do and stay motivated in the midst of it all.
Essence.com: In your docufilm, Regina King, Malinda Wiliiams, Tasha Smith and Sheryl Lee Ralph speak candidly about the struggle of Black actresses in Hollywood. Are you concerned that folks will perceive you all as ABWs (Angry Black Women)?
T.V.: I don't believe we came off as angry, but informative. Sometimes having a voice means that people are going to judge you. For once, I wasn't concerned about being judged by people because my focus was to create a forum to give voice to Black women and bring power and enlightenment. The film is proactive in creating dialogue and acknowledging the plight of Black actresses; its purpose is not to complain. If we just sit around and say nothing like we often do and no light is ever shed, then we're as much to blame for our position or lack thereof in Hollywood.
Essence.com: There were many older and younger actresses such as Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Nia Long and Sanaa Lathan who were not a part of that forum. Why?
T.V.: Honestly, I would just say they didn't get back to me. I know Gabrielle and Nia were out of town. I never heard back from Sanaa but did speak with Nia. A lot of it was scheduling because we only had two days to shoot it and then there were some who were afraid and didn't want to talk about it, and I understood that too. I still love them all and we're still friends because I do understand their positions of not being ready to voice their opinion on the matter.
You can read the entire interview and more about the project plus getting past her first marriage @ Essence.com