Ashanti makes her “Declaration”


Ashanti graced the cover of Rolling Out last week, with an interview and pretty, pretty pictures.

On the heels of Resident Evil: Extinction and anticipating the release of her first new album in a couple of years, The Declaration, Ashanti sounds like she’s just enjoying her current success. In the interview, she speaks to both projects. But first, let’s take another look at her Nurse Betty.

Now that’s what I call a quality caregiver. I’m hoping to catch the movie this weekend. It’s received rave reviews around here, and on the basis of this image alone, I think I can safely presume I will be a fan. You know, I see Malinda and Sarah’s point about fantasy military. I was a fan of Ashanti’s demonic turn on Buffy (so maybe it was a ratings ploy; seeing her truss Xander up like a pig was still one of the high points of that mostly miserable seventh season), but I can’t wait to see her wielding heavy artillery on the side of humanity.

Speaking of fantasies, Ashanti mentions in the interview how much she learned from working with Milla Jovovich: “We saw each other after the set and after wrap-up times, we went out a couple of times; I would see her in the gym. We were in there pumping iron!” Now that’s a sight that might actually get me to use my gym membership. Not in the least because Jovovich scares me a little — I always thought the true killer model look in Zoolander was hers. Here are Ashanti and Jovovich along with Ali Larter at the Resident Evil premiere.

On a slightly related note, when I was checking out Ashanti’s film career on IMDb, I saw that back in 2005 she played Dorothy Gale in The Muppets Wizard of Oz. Huh? How did I not know about this? It was a made-for-TV deal, not a big-screen release, but still, I must have been buried pretty deeply in the black pit of my master’s thesis to miss this one. Did anybody catch it?

On the musical side of her career, Ashanti hopes that her forthcoming album will mark a new moment in her maturity as a recording artist, musically and professionally: “With this , there [are] different producers that I’ve never worked with before. I’ve explored different things lyrically and vocally — just showing growth because it has been three years.” You can catch her new single “Hey Baby” over on her MySpace page.

The best part of the interview, though, is that Ashanti comes across as a young star who has her act together, especially for someone who does have the paparazzi stalking her and keeping tabs on her high-profile relationship:

“It’s a part of [fame]. You have to be an extremely tough person to be able to deal with it and it comes with the territory. I’ve learned to understand and accept it — [it] may not be right, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not reality. You just understand that it is what it is, and it’s a part of life and life isn’t going to be sweet all the time, but you have to be a strong enough person to keep it pushing and point out the positive things and be thankful. I’m just thankful to be able to do what I love and to get the love.”

Refreshing, yes?