LisaRaye: The Single Lady Sets the Record Straight
Words by DeWayne Rogers
Images by Bobby Quillard for Steed Media Service
LisaRaye McCoy has had just about enough of the negativity. For a woman who has experienced both the euphoric highs and tumultuous lows of a life in the public eye, McCoy has grown to accept that people may not like every move that she makes.
And that’s OK with her.
But as the sexy diva continues to matriculate both in her career and in womanhood, what she’s not going to do is let the media tell her story for her. No, no … McCoy is going to tell it like it is, and make sure that you know how she feels on any given subject. That mind-set is refreshing in this day and age.
So as we brace ourselves for a second season of VH1′s hit show, “Single Ladies,” featuring McCoy, it only seemed right that we hear straight from McCoy.
Here is LisaRaye McCoy unplugged.
Your show, “Single Ladies,” is back with a bang. What can we expect from season two and your character, Keisha?
Well, we have a new addition to the cast, Denise Vasi, Stacey Dash is no longer with us. I don’t like to use the word “replace,” but we added a new character to our cast, who comes from the soap opera world. Her character comes in and becomes one of us, and then it just embarks on how we are we dating in this day and age.
As for my character, Keisha, she is a little bit more vulnerable and open this year. I think when you have a character so strong and opinionated as Keisha, you have to find faults and some weaknesses in her. You have to find those wrongdoings in her that will make you root for her. [She] and Malcolm get together, but then [she and] Malcolm also fall apart too. But her ex also comes back and adds some different spice into her life, which causes problems with Malcolm. She will also have a fling with a nice gentleman. Also, we have some great costars this year; we have La La, Chilli, Eve, Queen Latifah and Paula Patton. We got Lil’ Romeo, T.I., Tony Rock and William Levy. So we really have some people that we’re cranking out this season. And I’m really excited to see the numbers that we do, which lets us know how much the fans like it.
It sounds exciting, but some critics didn’t respond very well to the first season. How do you respond to those who killed the first season?
F— ’em! Let them write a show and come up with what they want to see. Until then, the people who love it, tune in.
There has been a lot of talk about Stacey Dash leaving the show. Why didn’t things work out?
Believe me I wish things had worked out, because I thought Stacey and I were great together. She was my age and we were working it. It was sex-symbol to sex-symbol. But she didn’t want to be there. I was disappointed about that. She had some issues … I’m not sure exactly what those issues were, but in the end, she and VH1 made a decision.
So there wasn’t a fight between the two of you?
Yes, there was a disagreement over a scene. And it really wasn’t with me. It was with the director. I think it was about 2 or 3 a.m and we’d been shooting all damn day. Stacey tried to argue with the director about a line. And I’m like: “Girl, if you don’t say what the director wants you to say.” It wasn’t that serious at first, but it went there.
[There are] a bunch of women on the set. We might all be on our damn period at any given point. I just wanted us to move forward. Then the argument took on a life of its own. The show decided to use it for publicity. They just ran with it.
While shooting this season, was there anything that you missed about Stacey Dash being involved with the show?
I miss my friend, because Stacey and I are friends as well … before we came to the show and after. So as a fellow actor, as an artist, of course I miss the chemistry that she and I have. But again, this is a job and this is my profession, so I have been hired to do my job and I’m committed to doing that. And, I believe that I do it well. I’m excited that the season is taking off the way that it is. I’m excited that Denise has joined the cast and I’m excited about the chemistry that all three of us have now. Everybody wants to be here. So that’s half the battle won right there — when you want to be here, then you get a better product. It’s not as heavy as it was last year, by no means. The synergy is there and we’re making a good product.
Have you reached out to Stacey since she left the show?
I did. We said Happy New Year’s to each other. And then I believe after that, I reached out to her one other time, but I want to say that I think she changed her number. But the last time that we actually communicated was New Year’s. One argument doesn’t break up a friendship, unless it was something that was so personal — and it wasn’t personal, it was work related. We were tired; it was what it was and we moved past that. So I think that if either one of us held [that] against each other, we both would be fools, it’s not that serious.
Will we see a third season of your reality show, “The Real McCoy?”
We’re in talks about it right now, so I think so. I just couldn’t get around to it this year because “Single Ladies” started a little bit earlier, and the season was little bit longer. I was so tired, but as you can tell, I’m not lacking any drama in my life, that’s for sure. TV One has been like family to me and I’ve been the darling of TV One. I raised their number[s] higher than any program in their history. So with that said, I think we form[ed], a great partnership. If there’s room and time for me to come back and we can come to some agreement, then I’m there. If you don’t see me, then you know damn well that they didn’t come with nothing.