Jun 30 2011

‘Under My Skin'; Exclusive Interview w/ Malika Haqq

STUNNING, is the word that instantly came to my mind when Malika Haqq walked into our recent interview casually dressed and wearing no makeup.

If you’ve caught any of the episodes of E! Network’s Khloe & Lamar (another new spin-off of the hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians), you already know how gorgeous she is, but believe me when I tell you that after the tv cameras stop rolling, and that on-set makeup artist is nowhere in sight, this Cali-born and bred looker is still a shining star.
For those of us who have enjoyed watching her act on the big screen with her sister Khadijah in films like Sky High, ATL and School for Scoundrels,  it takes a little getting used to to see Malika on any screen without her equally stunning identical twin. But, as the years progress, and the sisters mature and begin fulfilling the individual versions of their destinies, watching Malika branch out on her own is one of the many changes fans can expect from her in her personal life and her career.

One example of those grown woman changes involves Malika’s recent decision to terminate her employment as her best friend Khloe Kardashian’s personal assistant. Though the decision was a difficult one to make (the two have been best friends since high school and love spending so much time together), participating in and cheering for Khloe’s career success has helped Malika realize that the pursuit of her own dreams deserves her full attention.

My impression of Malika Haqq after interviewing her is that she is even more beautiful on the inside than her lovely outer .2mm:

KC: After watching the first season of Khloe and Lamar, everyone wants to know what’s really up with you and Rob Kardashian. What’s the real deal?

MH: There is a unique chemistry we have and people sense the love we have for each other, so they assume we’re supposed to hook up. But our friendship is special.

KC: So you’re not secretly in love with him and waiting for him to realize he loves you too?

MH: (Laughs.) No. I’m not waiting for Rob to love me because he already does, but neither of us is in love with the other. Rob will be seated front and center at my wedding someday, happy for me and proud of me.

KC: Who do you hope he marries?

MH: I hope Rob ends up with someone  he can admire. He has the example of Kris and his sisters, and he’s really proud of them. I think he’d do really well with a really driven, motivated woman.

KC: What is the best part of being on the show?

MH: Working together with Khloe in a more artistic way. Long hours with my best friend doing what we both love.

KC: There are a lot of not so positive opinions on the Internet about the interracial aspect of Khloe and Lamar’s relationship. What do you have to say about that?

MH: People love people. It doesn’t matter. I see two spirits that connect. Being around them makes it very clear to me that love really is possible. I look at them and say, that’s love and I’m going to have it one day.

KC: You’re stunning. How does it feel to walk through life looking like this?

MH: I don’t think that way about myself. I really don’t. I know the outer is the focus in this industry, so it’s important. But I really want to be known for who I am. My heart is what really matters the most.

KC: What are you looking forward to career-wise? Where are you headed?

MH: Right now I’m reading scripts and looking forward to more feature film projects. I’m looking for a really good commercial agent who can pursue product endorsements for me to take that aspect of my work to a new level.

KC: Is there anyone’s career you admire?

MH: I love the work Natalie Portman has done. I love the projects she’s picked and I love her reach.

KC: Who would you love to be in a movie with?

MH: I’d love to work with Denzel.

KC: What character from children’s literature would you like to play in a feature film?

MH: Beauty and the Beast’s Belle. I would die for that role. I loved the relationship she had with her father, and she is the princess I aspire to be. She brought out the best in everyone around her. Someone should write that script…and, call me (laughs).

KC: Did you have that kind of relationship with your father?

MH: I don’t see my father at all. When I was very little I did, but not since. Well, actually, I saw him at a family funeral once. It was awkward.

KC: What effect do you think that has on a woman when she doesn’t have that father figure in her life?

MH: Deep down she believes all men eventually leave. For me, it makes me distance myself as soon as I think a man is going to leave. I’m like let me leave you first.

KC: What is the hardest thing you’ve dealt with so far in your life?

MH: Losing my older sister when I was twelve. My mother had two sets of twins. One of my older twin sisters died at age eighteen and it profoundly affected me and Khadijah. We lived in fear that one of us was destined to die at eighteen.

KC: Is being a twin a blessing? Did you ever wonder what it would be like not to be one?

MH: I love being a twin. I never want to know what it’s like to not have my twin.

KC: There’s another acting duo that are identical twin sisters, Tia and Tamera Mowry–do you know each other?

MH: We absolutely love Tia and Tamera, and we actually worked with Tamera on Strong Medicine. We have a lot of respect for them and we really click with them.

KC: What do you admire most about your mother?

MH: Her strength. She’s emotional, but she’s 100% strong. I don’t think I could have gone through half the things she went through.

KC: What would people be surprised to learn about you.

MH: I love sky diving. I’ve always said that “the one,” if he loves me, he’ll jump with me.

KC: What three qualities do you want in your future husband?

MH: I want him to be my friend first and foremost. I’d love for him to be like my personal diary who I can share my innermost thoughts with. I want him to be a good listener, and a good lover.

KC: What three qualities are deal breakers?

MH: I will not be with an abuser. I will not be with an addict. I will not be with a liar.

KC: Are you single?

MH: I’m in a promising relationship. I hope he likes skydiving.

KC: If you wrote a memoir at this point in your life, what would its title be?

MH: I Loved That I Learned

Follow Malika on Twitter @ForeverMalika and Facebook at OfficialMalikaHaqq

Jun 2 2011

Lauren London Exclusive Interview: ‘Under My Skin” (Part 2)

After we got most of the serious topics out of the way last week in part one of this interview, the beautiful actress and model Lauren London responded candidly to my barrage of not-quite-so-deep questions:

You are stranded on an island for the weekend. Name three male and three female celebrities you hope are stranded there with you, and why.

Dr. Phil, so he can talk me off the ledge (laughs). Barack Obama, because you better believe Air Force One is coming to get him, and we won’t be stranded too long. And, Bobby Flay, because if we’re going to be stranded we might as well be enjoying some good food.

And the females?

Oprah, because… (pause) she’s Oprah. Barbara Streisand, because I’ve admired her since I was a little girl. And, Khloe (Kardashian) because she’s a real friend and she’s hilarious.

What would you name the street you’d like to build your home on?

Get Away Lane

Is that “Get Away” as in “this is my refuge” or “Get Away” as in “leave me alone?”

(Laughs) It could go either way, right?

You are rear ended at a traffic stoplight. What are you doing in the first ten seconds?


I’m a genie granting you one wish with the stipulation that you have to use it on yourself. What is your wish?

I wish you would give me the ability to get out of my own way.

Name a character in a book that forever changed you.

Dinah in The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. She lived through tough circumstance but she kept overcoming and getting stronger the more difficulties she faced. She knew more than she should have for her age, but it helped her survive and thrive.

If you could spend a day in any man’s skin, who would you want to be for 24 hours?

Will Smith. I think I could learn so much about this business being him.

What are three qualities you don’t want in a husband. Three deal breakers:

Someone who doesn’t believe in God.  A liar.  And, someone who’s been madly in love more than ten times.

You once told an interviewer that O-Dog from Menace to Society was your dream date.  Who’s your dream date now?

Okay, that was my first interview ever and I was being sarcastic. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in print, does it?

So, who’s your dream date now?

I haven’t met him. I’ll tell you what… He’s not a menace to me or society.

My last question is keeping in line with the theme of Skin Deep. How do you feel about being half Black and half Jewish. How has that impacted you?

Whatever your ethnicity is, in this life you are going to be on a journey to discover who you are and how you feel about yourself. I do remember being teased by my cousins on my mom’s side for not being black enough, and  then I’d spend the summer with my dad and be sent to all white summer camps where I was “that black girl.” I struggled for about a minute with that, then I figured it out for myself. What it has done for me is I don’t care what people think about my identity. If someone thinks I’m not black enough that’s their issue. I’m okay with who I am and it is what is. I’m a Black woman like my mother, and I love who my father is, and I love both sides of me.  Nobody makes a big deaI about it anymore because I won’t take that anymore.

This is an exclusive interview. All rights reserved. Excerpts of this article can be published with a link back to http://kathleencross.com. To use the article in its entirety, please contact the author:  email (at) kathleencross (dot com)