ATLANTA -- When it comes to keeping it real, LisaRaye McCoy (though let’s be honest, there’s no need for a last name here) has the game on lock. The actress stars in VH1’s hit scripted series Single Ladies —the show returns Memorial Day weekend—and much like her character, the former video vixen Keisha Greene, LisaRaye is a shoot-it-from-the-hip kind of woman. EBONY.com hung out with the actress on the set of the series and in her trailer, ate lunch and soaked up all the things happening in this single lady’s world.
For starters, she says the show, which premiered last season, was therapy post a very high profile divorce. The actress is the former First Lady of the Turks and Caicos Islands. And for about a year or so—her life was the stuff tabloid editors dream of. Her ex-husband Michael Misick, was the Premier of the British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean, and their post marital bliss was a tailspin of financial mismanagement, infidelity and any other news lines we like to sneak and read in the supermarket checkout line. Before she jumped back into doing scripted television, she had a departure in the reality world, with her show The Real McCoy, which aired on TV One for a few seasons. At the time, she wanted to tell her story on her own terms. Plus, she adds while munching on lunch, she needed the money.
Even though we tuned in for that reality show— it was one of the network’s highest rated shows at the time and with the VH1 scripted series, we saw what we have long imagined LisaRaye to be like in real life. Fiesty. Opinionated. And the kind of chick that doesn’t put up with any relationship tomfoolery. Turns out, we were right. Here’s what else the actress —and ahem, she’s single and knows exactly who she wants—shared with us:
EBONY.com: How close to LisaRaye is Keisha Greene?
LisaRaye: I actually see a little bit of myself in all the characters. As women we’re chameleons, so I can identify with all of them. Keisha and LisaRaye are very opinionated. I’m the mother hen of all my friends. She’s more out there. She has all these philosophies about love and she can’t get her own love life together. That’s like LisaRaye.
EBONY.com: What’s your philosophy on love? Any advice for other single ladies?
LR: For me, I intimidate a lot of men, because I’ve done a lot. I’m established. I’m successful. I’ve been a former first lady so a lot of men are like, ‘Oh my God, how can I step to her now? She was a wife of a president.’ I’m not looking to be filled, I’m looking to be fulfilled. I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t quite that in my marriage. There was not the love in which was for better or worse type of love in my marriage. This time around, if you ever hear that I’m getting married, which I hope will be soon —but doesn’t mean I’m dating anybody—I’ll be in love this time. I’m not going to do it unless it’s done right. I think Keisha hides a lot of her feelings but LisaRaye doesn’t. I’m a very upfront and honest person, especially now at my age. I don’t have time to waste. I want to really be happy.
EBONY.com: What really brought you to that point where you are comfortable to just tell it like it is?
LR: I’ve always been that way, but I think when a woman goes through such a tragedy like I did with my divorce, you kind of step back and reassess things and reflect. I learned from my mistakes, I was able to accept the things that were my fault and to be able to grow from that. You have to be able to see growth from your experiences and I’ve done that.
EBONY.com: Did going back to work—and on this show—help get you there quicker?
LR: Yeah. I was extremely busy last year. I was crazed. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about what I was actually going through. I was actually exceptionally ecstatic to get Single Ladies, because that made me be able to say, ‘I’m back to doing what I do.‘
EBONY.com: How has life changed for you since doing this show?
LR: I have now different nationalities that’s coming up to me more so now. I have a younger generation that’s also remembering who LisaRaye is, not just from Player’s Club. I have little boys that come up to me and go, ‘I seen Player’s Club!’ And I’m like, ‘How old are you?!’
EBONY.com: But you’re still a single lady ...
LR: I don’t have time. I like to vacation a lot. So when I go vacation, I normally go and just tell my girls to