Hip Hop News
HHV Exclusive: Maia Campbell talks legendary acting career, “South Central,” and upcoming TV roles
It is hard to believe, it has been twenty years since Maia Campbell graced the world with her beauty on television. She has played countless roles over the years, but she won hearts over with her role as ‘Tiffany Warren’ on “In the House.” For four years, she co-starred with LL Cool J.
Along the way, Maia Campbell also did a memorable guest spot on “Moesha” and was a successful video vixen. In 2002, she co-starred in Fat Joe’s “What’s Luv?” music video, which was a breakout success. Maia Campbell continues to win fans over, as she begins the next level of her career.
Hip Hop Vibe caught up with Maia Campbell, who took time out of her schedule to talk to us about some projects. Maia Campbell spoke with us about her legendary career, which includes many big-time roles and she spoke on “South Central.” During the interview, she also teased her “Life After” appearance on TV and a new reality show.
Read the entire interview below:
As a twenty year veteran in show business, how has the game changed since you first started? There has been a lot of new faces and new career highlights for other people that have taken over the game. I would like to congratulate those people on their success and I would like to get back in the game with them and create my own success.
Last week, Hip Hop Vibe did a series called Hip Hop Approved TV and we spotlighted “In the House” and “Moesha,” both of which were shows you were involved in. Can you tell us what it was like being a part of those classic shows? It was epic, we had a lot of fun, it was really great to work with LL Cool J and Brandy, they are some really talented and professional people. Their careers have continued to soar in the entertainment business and I am proud of both of them. I hope they get the chance to see me do the same thing with my career when I get back out there with new shows.
Since you are best-known for your portrayal of Tiffany on “In the House,” can you tell us about that experience? I loved being Tiffany, she was very quirky, she was fun and exciting, and she was also intelligent, a lady, humorous, with a real funny streak. It was a blessing for me to get to play the character and have the chance to make her my own. She came from my heart and was my favorite character to play on television.
Do you still keep in contact with your co-stars from the series? Some of them, yes, like Ken Lawson, and Jeffrey Wood.
Before “In the House,” you co-starred with Larenz Tate in the short-lived “South Central,” can you elaborate on that series and acting opposite Tate? That show was experimental and it was about a young black man’s life in South Central Los Angeles, living in a violent community and it did not make fun of the lifestyle. It instead made a reality out of it and not everyone wanted to see that reality in their living room every week and that is why that show did not last past the first season. But, it was sad that people could not accept that this is what some lives are like and this is a lot of black men’s lives in that economic bracket and that was the community we were embracing and it was sad that people did not want to see that story from a young, black, man’s perspective and it was almost racist.
You have played a lot of roles over the years, both in television and film, which was your favorite to play and why? Tiffany was my favorite role to play because she was sexy, fun, humorous, and the apple of LL Cool J’s eye. She was a young teenager growing up and seeing things her way and she convinced LL Cool J and her mom, Debbie Allen, to see things her way, so she can get her own experience out of life from her perspective. She was just fun, she was a whole lot of fun.
Being away from acting for a while, were you surprised with how the landscape has changed? No, I am not surprised at all by the changes. This is evolution, this is how the world is, especially in this genre, this is how things progress and this is how things go when you are moving forward in a genre, especially one in the arts. There is always progress and change, so you expect these things, as an artist, especially from the people of that generation. So, you want to be a part of that change.
Do you have any acting roles coming up the people should know about? I recently did “Life After” with TV One that came out in September and I might be getting my own reality show being pitched to the networks, and the show will be called “The Twelve Flavors of Maia Campbell.
Was acting what you expected it to be when you first started? It was so much more than I expected, when I started doing videos and things like that. I branched off and it was a lot more than I expected. I did music videos for people, doing guest spots on TV shows like “Sister Sister,” “Moesha,” and doing movies like Envy with Ray J and LisaRaye, working with Tia and Tamera Mowry on Seventeen Again, I had to go all the way to Canada to do Seventeen Again and that was a great experience for me, working with Tyrese two times on his video shoots was also a great experience for me, it was almost like making a movie with him even though it wasn’t one. Tyrese is such a good actor that videos are like movies with him and I would love to do a movie with him. I went to New York to do the “What’s Luv” music video with Fat Joe and that work took me all over.
When your name comes up, people always have nothing but good words to say about you, how do you feel about the way the fans continue to support you? I am so blessed to have so many good people in my corner who want to see me succeed. They pray for me, keep me in the prayer circles and I love people who keep me in the loop and I continue to reap the benefits of positive reinforcements and I love the positive feedback. Without that, I could have fallen victim to negative backlash, but I did not, instead I had a lot of famous people rooting for me and a lot of regular people rooting for me. Every day people also helped me get through it with positive words and prayer, that helps a lot, emotionally and professionally because a foundation was built on a monument of positivity. It has been wonderful to fall back on this with these people believing in me, it is very easy for me to beleive in myself.
Can you give us your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles so fans can support you with a follow? My Twitter is @MaiaCampbell and my Instagram @MaiaCampbell76.