Many of us grew up in the 80’s and 90’s with Kim Fields playing the lovable Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsay and came to adulthood with the exotic Regine. Kim has set the pulse for many Black women as she gave us an image and inspiration to look to. If you have been reading the credits lately, you may have seen her listed as director on a few of your favorite shows. Her schedule is full but she is inspiring!
Ms. Fields took a moments out to talk about “A Cross To Bear”, her career, motherhood and life in this exclusive interview with Elev8.
Elev8: You have been directing for a little bit. Why did you choose to come out from behind the camera and in front for “A Cross To Bear”?
Kim Fields: Actually, I have been out in front of the camera. I was shooting “What To Expect When You Are Expecting”, when I was looking at this project. The character I play is called Joan. Joan was an uplifting, encouraging inspiring character to play. It was different than many of the roles out there. It was a great opportunity to play a character that I hadn’t played before, entering uncharted waters. It gave me the ability to stretch out a bit more.
Elev8: What is it like working with such a multi- talented woman as Terri J. Vaughn ?
Kim Fields: I’ve known Terri for years. She is a great woman, mother and solid person. She is a woman of integrity . She really works at her craft. She inspires you.
Elev8: What do you think the major differences between actresses and actors then and now? Do you see a change?
Kim Fields: The difference now is that these young people come prepared and are about getting it done. They are coming with chops, not just relying on bring whatever audience they came from. I am so impressed. They are working their craft and learning it well, not just walking on unprepared. I am in love with the young actors coming up now. They come with some chops.
Elev8: Do you think there are more opportunities now for actors of color? Is it easier or harder?
Kim Fields : I think it’s easier on many levels. They have so many avenues. There are few hundred channels on the dial and there are opportunities on the web. You can shoot easier now. You can do it with a phone camera. You can shoot a movie and put it up.There are just so many content areas to be able to act and have access to.
Elev8: As a parent,what do you think of parents and the challenges of raising a family in the new social media and Internet world?
Kim Fields: I think parents have to parent. You can’t just allow them free reign over anything. You still have to parent. You can not just let your child have no boundaries. My son has computer time and knows when it’s over that it’s just that time to end. Sometimes, he will even turn down his computer time and just pick up a book. The computer should not be the baby sitter. People said the the same thing about TV. You have to set a line. Computers are enhancement. The web is a blessing. You can learn about so may different things. The positive is that your child can now be a global citizen. It’s like anything else balance is needed.
Elev8: Has the enhancement taken over?
Kim Fields: I think without balance it’s not good. I think children need to learn the basic skills of conversation. Conversation needs to be key. You can’t just text through dinner. It’s still up to the parent to make sure that they are using it with a certain amount of balance. It’s still up to the parents to be in control.
Elev8: As a busy woman how do you manage a balanced prayer faith life?
Kim Fields: (Laughs) Keep getting tested! I’m not super faith woman, supermom or anything like that. I don’t balance it perfectly but , I try to make sure that I keep it going. I have my time where I sit down with my bible or my reflection online. Sometimes it’s not so organized or easy. That’s when you learn to always talk to the Lord. I always make sure that I talk with Him. I learned in an acting class that you need to give yourself permission to live imperfectly balanced. Once you embrace that… it is freeing. You use your opportunities. You learn.
On February 18, GMC will broadcast the world premiere of “A Cross to Bear”. The film will star veteran actresses Kim Fields, Malinda Williams as well as Jackie Long, LeCrae, Kenny Lattimore and others.
Watch the trailer below: