From the moment she hit the big screen starring opposite T.I. in the film ATL, Lauren London forever silenced those critics who said her early roles in music videos were anything less than saavy career moves.
If you’ve seen the way Lauren’s dimpled smile and girl-next-door demeanor can light up a screen, you know why her co-starring role with Hayden Panettiere in I Love You, Beth Cooper had fans heading back to the theater to see that more than once, why she was the actress Tyler Perry paired with Bow Wow in his film Madea’s Happy Family, why 90210 and Entourage fans are begging to see her in more episodes, and why nearly a million people are following her on Twitter just to see what she’ll be tweeting next.
When it comes to that .2mm covering all of us human beings have our own unique version of, Lauren London’s version is pretty damn pleasant to look at. But what is really going on underneath all that beauty? We’ve all read what the magazines and gossip blogs have written about her personal life and her career choices, but I recently met with Lauren London to really get under her skin.
The desire to attain “celebrity status” has driven many young people to pursue the elusive dream of stardom. Is that what made you want to be an actress?
I wish that was the case, because I’d be able to handle the attention a little better. No. I was an only child who spent a lot of time alone. Movies kept me company from a very young age, and starting from about seven years old, I wrote little plays and acted out all the parts by myself in my bedroom. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an actor. It’s crazy though, because I’m such a private person. I was never interested in becoming famous. I still struggle with that aspect of my work.
Doesn’t every celebrity say that after they become famous? “I love my craft, but I wish I could just have a normal life.”
(laughs) I’m not complaining and I’m not that famous. I do get recognized, but I’m not being hounded by paparazzi every day. I’m human, so of course I like getting special treatment at times. But deep down that girl from the neighborhood is still in here. She might shy away from having her picture taken, and would rather blend in with the scenery sometimes and just observe.
Have you ever walked away from an interaction with a fan that you wished you could do over?
Yes. Sometimes I say no to pictures because I feel like I’m looking crazy and I don’t always get a chance to really explain that I’m not feeling picture-worthy that day. Usually I’ll put on shades and do it anyway, but there have been a couple of times I’ve walked away and got to my car, then came back because I felt bad.
What about being famous has taken you by surprise? What did you not see coming?
The impostors. Really. Who are these people who have nothing better to do than spend hours and hours on the Internet pretending to be me? They send messages to fans pretending they are coming from me. That’s just sad. There are fake MySpace pages. Fake Facebooks. Fake Twitters. My verified Twitter is @MsLaurenLondon and my Facebook is brand new (Facebook.com/TheRealMsLaurenLondon). I don’t do Skype, and if I didn’t hand you my phone number face to face, you’re probably not talking to me on the phone either.
Do you think the public really believes these calls and messages are coming from you?
Definitely. Some really do. People have really been tricked.
What is the biggest misperception people have of you? What misperception bothers you most?
That my son is the result of some kind of one night stand or groupie encounter with his father. I struggle with deciding when to answer or ignore the constant speculation about my private life, because I feel like that doesn’t belong to anybody but me.
Do you want to go on to the next question, or clear up the speculation now?
I met Dwayne when I was 15 years old. I’ve known him a very long time, and we were in a relationship that didn’t make it. We tried more than once to revive it, and we were engaged briefly years ago, but we eventually parted ways. People see the “Lil’ Wayne” persona and think they know who he really is. My son’s father is an intelligent, loving and lovable person who will always be a dear friend. That is all.
If you don’t mind another personal question, there is a lot of talk about how well the mothers of his children get along. What’s the real deal?
We are all good-hearted women who love our children and we want them to know each other. Real friendships have grown from that foundation and the result has been more love, less drama and less trauma for our kids.
What is one thing your mother did with you that you want to be sure to do with your son?
To this day, my mother never lets a day go by without telling me she loves me.
KC: What is one quality about your mother that you really admire?
She’s so optimistic. Nothing can get her down. The whole world can come crashing down and she will still have the ability to laugh and have compassion for people.
What’s the best advice your father ever gave you?
He just recently said to me that people love you with what they have to give. Whatever they give to you is what they have to give to themselves, and the way they love you is the way they love themselves.
What three qualities do you hope your son will have at age 18 that will make you feel you’ve done a great job raising him?
I hope he has a strong relationship with God, that he respects himself and loves who he is, and that he has an idea of his purpose and wants to follow it.
Stay tuned for part two (the playful questions) of this interview…coming soon.