Some of you may remember her character as Olivia (Imogene) Jones, and others may know her better as Merrick from the hit TV series Lie To Me. Or like me you saw her as the pretty girl who reminded you of R & B singer Tamia. Regardless of her many talents or how many times you’ve seen her face humble is the only way I could describe such an amazing actress. The naturally talented beauty Michole White had a few minutes to share with me to discuss her new project with an all-star cast in the moving story that is the movie, I Will Follow. Sharing a couple laughs and her views on life and the industry today was definitely a pleasure speaking with her.
Parlé Magazine: I must admit I’m a fan of your work, I remember growing up seeing you on several of my favorite shows such as Living Single and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to name a few, and even a few more recent projects. How long have you been acting?
Michole White: Foe a long time! Oh gosh, it’s been longer than I care to say, what are you trying to do to me. (Laughs) Hmmm it’s been about 20 years now which means I’ve been doing this since I was born. (Laughs)
Parlé: And I see you’ve never stopped LOL, seeing as how you’ve been acting since you were born, has it always been something you wanted to do?
Michole: Well as a child I was always acting and loved putting on my own plays and shows and my mother was a model. She enrolled my siblings and I into modeling and I remember it was one day, years ago, I saw a commercial for Barbizon School of Modeling and I asked my mother to send me. I was so excited and there I learned all about modeling and just enjoyed performing. Barbizon eventually opened an acting development branch and I HAD to join it. So I knew I always loved performing.
Parlé: In your career I’ve seen you perform as several different characters, do you have any favorites or favorite types of characters?
Michole: That’s a good question, I wouldn’t say I have a favorite type or look at it that way. I try and approach each character depending on who that person is and what they feel. As I said I LOVE to perform so I Try and give my all in each character. I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a better answer but I try and bring the best of each to life.
Parlé: Your new project I WIll Follow releases this Friday, March 11, can you tell us a little more about the character you’re portraying?
Michole: Her name is Fran and she is the daughter of one of the main characters who shares a strained relationship with her cousin who is the played by Salli Richardson-Whitfield who is just great. She is the strong tough woman, who has a sense of entitlement who feels she’s never gotten what she needed while her cousin who, was very close to her mother, shared the relationship she desires.
Parlé: It seems You, Salli, and I all share a common factor, we are all Chicago natives.
Michole: Really! Get out. That’s great.
Parlé: How was it working with Ms. Richardson? How did you two come together two make the best possible stage for your characters?
Michole: I believe we worked extremely well together; she was very supportive and so friendly. It was almost like working with a good friend, looking out for each other. She would pull my coat tail if she noticed something was wrong and would just be there for everyone.
Parlé: I understand that the director Ava DuVernay also created as well as was very personally connected to the story. How did that affect your performance as Fran? As a cast?
Michole: Ava is great. She was very inspiring and motivational, because the story was so close to her we all felt responsible for bringing the best out of it and doing her proud and she trusted us so much to create her vision, which made us want to rise to the occasion. Not only as a director but as a person as well. She was very successful publicist in this industry for over ten years and now she’s proving that you can follow your heart and try something new and do what you love.
Parlé: Among many accomplishments I’ve heard of that she has accomplished, I noticed that this film was wrapped in modest 15 day shoot. Do you think that you were able to pull the best character you could to the forefront in such a short amount of time?
Michole: I think so, as actors we all showed up and really connected to the story and to each other. Something great that Ava had allowed us to do was to practice, which is often unheard of when shooting a movie. She made sure we met each other and practiced on a set stage and it really helped feel more into character. That’s very uncommon as most of the time when shooting movies you may not meet your co-cast until you’re actually on the shoot. I think that helped a lot to bring out the best of the story.
Parlé: For someone like me, filming that quickly seems as if it would carry a lot of pressure, seeing as how you felt great about it, were there any other times in your career that you have had to convince yourself to keep going or try harder?
Michole: Hmmmm with the industry changing so much in just the last ten years it’s been harder to get jobs and with the decline of movies larger stars take roles that would normally go to unnamed actor. So keeping busy and working would be one of them.
Parlé: Now that this film has wrapped and the film is being released do you have another job lined up?
Michole: Well actually I’m currently working on a music project now, recording and getting things ready. I’ve always loved music and acting but when the decision came down to which one I would pursue I chose acting. Now I want to branch out.
Parlé: That’s great; I’m a big music buff myself. On a personal note, How do you keep going and reaching for your goals. What inspires you as industries change and things don’t seem as bright.
Michole: Well there are a few things, first you have to empower yourself every day and see that you have the power to create within yourself. I know in this profession it seems like you’re going and asking someone else for a job, but you have to realize that you have the talent and remind yourself that it’s your journey you’re walking. Another thing would be staying proactive in your own career. Years ago I used to wait for my agent to call me with a job now I go out there and audition and look for openings as well.
Parlé: As someone who wants to achieve his dreams I have to say I totally agree with you. I also want to thank you for speaking with me today, it’s been a pleasure.
Michole: No, thank you George and I wish you much success in the future!
Parlé: I wish you all the best too!
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