Kenya Moore is in a good place. She’s still on a high from her run on “Celebrity Apprentice”; loving life as the most talked about cast member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”; and is currently on set wowing a captive audience for her exclusive cover shoot with rolling out. That’s just the way that life works for Moore these days — always in front of a camera, and always the center of attention. And while it may have been easier to fixate on the drama that takes place on her shows, the fiery Moore was more subdued in her interview — contemplating her time in the entertainment industry, and how she’s evolved as a woman.
The following is an excerpt from that interview, and serves as an official glimpse at the softer side of Kenya Moore.
We’ve watched you navigate the entertainment industry across multiple platforms; whether it’s being a businesswoman, personality, model, actress or producer. How have you been able to juggle all of that?
Juggling is definitely not easy, but I think that I have a really busy mind so I’m always thinking about what is the next project, or what is the next venture that I want to explore. I’m always thinking about my future, and so for me it’s a part of just the way I think and the way I move. I just try to stay focused and see one thing through at a time, but always have things in development all the time. And as an independent film producer, I’m used to juggling a lot of different things. It’s just sort of natural for me, I think.
People don’t understand how difficult it is to get a movie made.
It’s very difficult.
As a producer, give us some insight as to what it takes to make a film.
Well, that’s a really loaded question. The hardest part if you’re doing an independent film is raising the money. If you’re doing a studio film, it’s to get a studio to want to buy it amongst thousands of scripts and producers and directors that they may already know or are already looking at. It’s nearly impossible. Only about 200 to 250 movies get made per year in the studio world. In terms of indies, with the new cameras that they have now, a lot of people will go out and make their own project but they are not really theater quality or they don’t have high production quality but they can be made. So there are other outlets for production now [as far as] distribution, I mean. The Internet is a great resource to get your product out there, but the hardest thing is to actually get someone to say yes or actually get someone to give you money for your film.
How do you use your celebrity to help support your other projects?
It’s an excellent question, actually. I think that whenever you are very visible and in high demand, everybody wants to work with you, so you can get into any door. You can make one phone call and people always return your call and people want to meet with you. They want to be in business with you because you’re already successful and they know that the more visible that you are, [the more likely it is that the] eyes on you are potential supporters of yours and of your products and of your projects, so it helps tremendously. It opens every door imaginable for you.
So do you also have to be careful with your visibility?
Any celebrity or any person that is known, you’re always going to be a target to a degree for people. Number one, your haters, they’ll come out in droves just to say I didn’t like that, which they probably never even saw it to begin with. … I’ve seen it all, and for me it’s just always [about] keeping your own integrity and that’s just the best you can do.
As a celebrity, how do you reconcile that there are some people that will love you, and some people who will hate you, no matter what you do?
You can’t obsess about it yourself either, that is just who those people are. You can’t obsess about people who obsess about you in a negative or a positive way. Of course, it feels good when people support you and they’re positive. When they are negative you just have to be of the mindset that you know what, those people have their own issues and they’re just looking for someone to lash out at and you just happen to be the one that they picked today or that year or that month. I don’t think there’s anything that you can do about it. You can’t change how other people behave, perceive, treat you. You just have to worry about yourself and that’s all I really do.
Has it ever gotten to you?
Oh, yeah. Of course. I mean you know I’m one of those people especially [before] I started “Real Housewives” I was never attacked, I was never attacked in the press or no one ever said negative things about me, I was just kind of like a version of America’s sweetheart. No one really bothered me and I never bothered anybody else, and then that changed when I came on board such a powerful machine like “Real Housewives.” There are people and our fans that are very invested in the show and they make up their mind about you right away, and unfortunately, it can go either way and I’ve been someone in the beginning that was very polarizing — either you love me or you hate me. … In the beginning, yeah, it did really bother me because I wasn’t used to it and I just had to stop reading the blogs, stop reading the comments, I just stopped all of that and it was a lot better for me. Now I feel like I’ve just come into my own and so many amazing things are happening for me. … I have all these calls from people who want to work with me who don’t care about all of that stuff that they read; they just know that I’m doing what I can do and that I’m a talented girl. That is what I focus on and that is what the really biggest reward has been in this whole process.
Talk about your future as you come into your own and work on the next stage of Kenya’s life. What are your next steps?
For me everything is about the future of my family. Every decision that I’m making right now is about securing my brand, parlaying that into what that means to family down the road. When “Real Housewives” is over … when the last show is over, what will I have left?
At the end of the day, I am an aspirational brand that people want to buy into. People want beautiful hair, beautiful skin and they want to feel good about themselves — you know, workout gear and workout videos and things that just make you feel good when you see more products, and that’s just what I’m building to — and that’s not only securing a future for myself but for my family and my kids.
Story by RO Staff
Images by DeWayne Rogers
Makeup by Kimaris Jones
Hair by Kristen White
Styled by Kris Cole