Kyla Pratt doesn’t do drama in real life. The former One on One star managed to keep two pregnancies away from media scrutiny, and never reveals much about her personal life, but says she’s happy and in a loving relationship with herself, her daughters, their father and her career.
“I’m all about your mindset, being focused, staying positive, being optimistic, and knowing that these are all aspects of my life that I love and enjoy,” she says. “I have to nurture each of those relationships and give those relationships a great amount of time.”
When Pratt, who gave birth to her youngest daughter (whose name she has yet to reveal) last August, isn’t with her family, she’s working. She appears on BET’s Let’s Stay Together as Crystal, a woman in a fake relationship, and she’s building her own production company. With EBONY.com, Pratt dishes on what viewers can expect from Let’s Stay Together for the rest of the season, preparing her daughters for the future, work life balance and more.
EBONY: Talk about who Crystal is this season on Let’s Stay Together. Has she learned anything from some of her past craziness?
Kyla Pratt: I think my character has learned a lot, but I still think she’s still her crazy self. Right now during this season, we show her being a really good friend to someone in her life. And it’s a little extreme as far as marrying someone to help them keep their secret hidden, but even with that little scenario, you can’t say Crystal is not crazy anymore. She’s willing to do the most and of course she’s benefitting from it—because she gets to live this baller lifestyle, and having the blonde hair, and not having to be this starving college student anymore. So, I feel like she’s still the same person, she’s just got a little money to go along with it. [laughs]
EBONY: What have you learned about yourself as an actress from when you first started on Let’s Stay Together to where you are now?
KP: I think the main thing that I’ve learned while working on Let’s Stay Together is how to balance mommyhood and working. It’s the first job I had coming back after having my first daughter and it’s difficult. It’s really a struggle because I want to give my babies everything. I want to give all my energy, and I still do that after 13-, 14-hour days at work. Going back to the house and getting about four or five hours of sleep and then hopping up and then having to be this bubbly energy is a challenge. But I want to do both, so I can’t complain.
EBONY: Does a TV schedule suit you better as an actress and mom vs. doing movies?
KP: It used to be the schedule of TV was easier because you knew when you were shooting and you knew the hours of the day that you were gonna be there. But the sitcom world nowadays is a little bit different than back when I was shooting One on One. The schedule is not as tight as it used to be. So right about now, it’s just a crazy hectic schedule no matter what’s being shot. But I’m happy when I’m working.
EBONY: Is it a conscious decision on your part to do more TV than movies? Is there something that appeals to you more about TV?
KP: Not really. I just feel like when a good project comes along, I’m not going to discriminate against it because it’s television or because it’s a film. I never want to say no to something just because of the area that it’s in. If it’s a good story or I think it’s going to be exciting to play or exciting to be a part of, then I’m going to be a part of it.
EBONY: You have experience in an industry where beauty standards can be brutal toward women, especially women of color. So do you have a game plan for making sure your daughters feel that they are enough, even in the face of outside influences?
KP: I don’t really have a game plan right now. All I can do is remain myself and remain that positive, loving person that I can be. Because even though I’m their mother, I’m not gonna be able to protect them from everything. Growing up nowadays, I know teenagers who have to deal with social media and being bullied online, and that’s something I didn’t really have to deal with because we didn’t really have all the Myspaces, Facebooks, Instagrams and Twitters. It wasn’t as major, so I can imagine what it will be like when my babies get older.
All I can do is remind them every day that they are beautiful. And luckily, they have a father, a male figure in their lives, who will also remind them of that. So we’re just a team and we’re gonna do all that we can. All I can do is pray, stay positive and know that I’m gonna have my babies’ backs always. I know their father is gonna be there always, and with this little team we got going on, there’s no way we can fail.
EBONY: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
KP: Just working. I developed my own production company. I’m reading different books and writing, working on myself. I’m being focused on that, but also being focused on in front of the camera and balancing mommy life at the same time. I just want to continue to move forward. There are some days when I’m tired and I just wanna chill and stay home. I give myself those days, but it’s always having to learn when to get back up and jump out there and do things. I’ve been acting since I was 7, 8 years old, so it’s what I’m used to. And when I’m not doing it it’s like, “Help me!” So taking that break while being pregnant was a challenge. But enjoying myself while being pregnant was one of the best things ever.
EBONY: Finally, what can viewers expect for rest of this season on Let’s Stay Together?
KP: The rest of the season is just craziness, high-energy, fun loving and relationships. We have people in relationships, in marriage. My character is about to try to get into one that’s fake. [laughs] It’s just craziness—things you hear about in the news but you never really get to see it happening, so it’s fun. Watch it with your loved ones and laugh and enjoy.
Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junky who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine, and aspires to save the world from the impending #ZombieApocolypse… In reality she’s a freelance journalist who muses about pop culture at GangStarrGirl.com, and fitness, at GruntsandGlam.com. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl.