There is no custom code to display.

‘Sistas’ actress says she felt pride in being back on set during the pandemic

‘Sistas’ actress says she felt pride in being back on set during the pandemic

KJ Smith is a part of history.

That’s because the actress is one of the stars of Tyler Perry’s BET series “Sistas” and she is back at work in Atlanta. Perry has been at the forefront as Hollywood tiptoes back into production during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Smith spoke to CNN from the set of her show at Tyler Perry Studios where she said she felt fortunate to be working for Perry, who made history himself as the first African American to fully own a film production studio.

“It feels like an incredible blessing that I work for someone who made provisions and made sure that we were safe,” Smith said. “I feel pride in being part of history the second go around, because the first time was him opening the studio.”

Perry told Variety that he took special care with the cast and crew of “Sistas” as they shot the 22 episodes of the new season in two weeks. No cases of Covid-19 were reported during the filming, he said.

“I made sure that the cast and crew and everybody wore their masks when they weren’t on set because I do know for a fact that masks help stop the spread — scientifically, I know that,” he said. “And everybody adhered to that, even though we were all testing negative. I just didn’t want someone to be incubating with (Covid-19) for three to 12 days, and we not know it.”

Smith portrays Andrea “Andi” Barnes on the show and told CNN life was good on the set dubbed “Camp Quarantine.”

Those involved in the production were initially quarantined and tested. Perry housed and fed everyone, with frequent testing and adherence to CDC guidelines regarding sanitation and social distancing.

Smith told CNN the regular testing helped mitigate some of her anxiety about working during the pandemic.

An advocate for Black mental health, she said she’s been FaceTiming with her therapist, journaling and practicing yoga and mindfulness training to relax.

“There’s extra pressure for (the cast and crew) to take care of each other,” she said. “Extra pressure for us to hold each other accountable because we’re all in this together.”

Smith, who is the lead actress and producer on the forthcoming film, “The Available Wife,” said she feels an obligation beyond just the work she loves as an actress.

“I hate what’s going on,” she said. “I hate the reality that people are dying, but the people who are left have an obligation to this world to heal it. And that means we have to spread love.”

Recently Played

Entertainment News

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s new video stuns fans with a surprise appearance by Kylie Jenner

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s new video stuns fans with a surprise appearance by Kylie Jenner

When the music video for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s first collab dropped Friday, one revelation left fans stunned: Kylie Jenner.

The music video for “WAP” features the two rappers luxuriating in a huge, pastel-toned mansion — strutting down hallways and dancing with cheetahs.

About halfway in, the music stops and is replaced by the sound of clicking heels. The camera zooms in on the edge of a cheetah-print gown and slowly moves up. Anticipation is built. Then, it is revealed: Jenner, who says nothing in the video yet warrants a 25-second pause.

Many fans, it seems, were not exactly thrilled — so much so that a petition to remove Jenner from the video has already received more than 33,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

The description of the petition gets right to the point: “The video was perfect until we saw K and I wanted to throw my phone.”

On person took matters into her own hands, editing Jenner’s part out of the video and uploading it onto Twitter, where it has almost 300,000 views.

Jenner isn’t the only cameo in the “WAP” video. Artists like Normani, Mulatto, Sukihana and Rubi Rose are given cameos toward the end, in an effort to uplift fellow female musicians.

The problem many have with Jenner’s appearance is rooted in her history of what’s been coined as “blackfishing,” an attempt at mimicking the look and style of Black women. Just this year, Jenner posted a photo of herself on Twitter in a long, curly blonde wig with noticeably darker skin.

“When will your family be done cosplaying Black women?” one user bluntly asked.

Her appearance has become so denounced that Betty White began trending on Twitter in an effort to have White replace Jenner in the video.

But regardless of some fans’ opinion of Jenner, the video has been a hit, garnering 21 million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours.

Actor Leslie Jordan reveals details of his life in quarantine

Actor and comedian Leslie Jordan has been anything but idle during his stay at home. Known for his appearances in “Hearts Afire,” “Will & Grace” and “American Horror Story,” the 65-year-old hinted that he has much more in store when he spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “Anderson Cooper Full Circle” on Friday to discuss…Continue Reading

‘Surviving Jeffrey Epstein’ pivots toward the next phase of the story

‘Surviving Jeffrey Epstein’ pivots toward the next phase of the story

After a pair of Jeffrey Epstein docuseries aired in May, Lifetime seemingly weighs in late with “Surviving Jeffrey Epstein.” But this two-part production — which borrows its title from the network’s R. Kelly documentaries — takes on a new dimension with the July arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, the late financier’s alleged accomplice in his sex-trafficking…Continue Reading

Eurovision Song Contest is coming to America

Eurovision Song Contest is coming to America

One of the world’s most popular singing competitions is headed to the United States. The team behind the Eurovision Song Contest has announced “The American Song Contest,” scheduled to take place during the 2021 holiday season. “The American version of the Eurovision Song Contest will, as it is currently conceived, position the artists head to…Continue Reading

BTS announces US theater premiere of ‘Break the Silence’ film

BTS announces US theater premiere of ‘Break the Silence’ film

BTS is set to bring its latest film to movie theaters next month, a plan that will depend on which venues actually are open. The astronomically popular K-pop group announced Thursday that “Break the Silence: The Movie” will roll out to theaters in more than 70 countries beginning September 10. More countries, including the United…Continue Reading

‘Dirty Dancing’ is getting a sequel

‘Dirty Dancing’ is getting a sequel

Because nobody puts Baby in a corner. A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is indeed happening, courtesy of Lionsgate, Deadline reports. Studio CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed the news on an earnings call Thursday, referring to it as “one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood,” according to the publication. “It will be exactly the kind of romantic,…Continue Reading

There is no custom code to display.