The “Devine” Miss Loretta: Ain’t she cool?


Ain’t It Cool News is a great source

of movie news, rumors and gossip, and I usually find something interesting

when I check it out every week or so. Today, I stumbled across the unexpected

— an interview with Loretta Devine.

Loretta Devine is not a typical interview subject for a fanboy site. In fact, the interviewer, Capone, opens with this acknowledgment:

“Now before you start freaking

out on me, I’m well aware that Loretta Devine might seem like a strange

choice for an interview subject on this site, but quite frankly I don’t

care. I love this woman to death, and I’m not afraid to throw you guys

a curve ball every once and a while. There is something about Devine’s

presence in a film or TV show that just makes me feel good about life.

She’s a solid acting talent, she can sing like an angel, and just about

one of the sweetest people you could ever meet.”

And I agree with Capone. (Although

I don’t actually know if she’s sweet in person. But I’ll bet she is.)

Loretta Devine is one of those

actresses you may or may not know by name, but you’ve definitely

seen her somewhere. And probably a whole lot of somewheres. She’s rarely

the lead, but she has a prolific film, TV and stage résumé. Probably

her best known role is Glo in the movie Waiting to Exhale.

She’s the one on the far left.

Broadway fans, however, know

her best as the original “Lorell” in Dreamgirls.

But she’s really been all over

the place. She’s done an enormous amount of TV. You may have seen her

on Grey’s Anatomy, Boston

or Girlfriends.

Or perhaps you remember her as “Marla” on Boston Public.

Personally, I remember her

best as “Stevie” from Season 1 of A Different World.

(My college roommate and I used to watch that and marvel at how much

bigger the dorm rooms were at Hillman College than at UCLA.)

And she’s been in any number

of movies. Including Urban Legend,

I Am Sam and Crash.

And she had a cameo in the film version of Dreamgirls — although

she felt conflicted about being the only member of the

original cast to have one.

“At first, I had such mixed

feelings because they didn’t want to pay me anything. … And they weren’t

going to have all three women, and I really wanted all of us to be in

it. And Bill called and explained that he was doing the same thing that

he did in Chicago, that scene with Chita Rivera, where it was

like a simple scene where everybody could go, ‘Oh, my God.’ And he wanted

to get somebody from the original Dreamgirls, and I debated it,

but I really didn’t want to miss that part of history, the final chapter.”

(I had that “Oh, my God!”

reaction to the cameos in both movies.)

So take a moment to think about

all the little moments of happiness that Loretta Devine has brought

you over the years. And kudos to Capone at Ain’t It Cool News for sharing

a little sunshine.

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