Meagan Good: The Return of Happiness
Words by DeWayne Rogers
Photos by Michael BarR
for Steed Media Service
On Aug. 8, 2011, something happened. On that day that actress Meagan Good acknowledged that something had been taking shape in her life for close to a year. She experienced her epiphany, ironically, while blowing out the candles on her 30th birthday cake. Good looked up to the heavens and thanked God for something that had somehow been escaping her …
And I know what you’re thinking … how could someone who seemingly has it all be just arriving at a place of happiness? In fact, how could a woman just seen in the wildly popular Jumping the Broom, and with upcoming roles in “Californication” and Think Like A Man really be struggling with achieving and maintaining a consistent level of happiness?
The answer is simple enough.
Life is hard. And when the world is analyzing your every move, it makes it that much more difficult to stay happy. But that’s all a concern of the past now for Good. Armed with newfound joy, which comes from her keen understanding that no matter what life throws her way, that both God and her family have her back, Good is officially happy and ready for the world.
So now, as she readies herself for a new decade and a bright new chapter in her life, Good has decided to share it all — both the highs and lows of her ongoing commitment to continued peace — in this exclusive, and very candid interview with rolling out.
It’s been a busy year for you, and your visibility has increased as of late. How does it make you feel when you hear people say that it’s the return of Megan Good?
I don’t feel like I ever left. I just started dabbling in different genres, movies, and going after different audiences. So maybe this is a return to the people that supported me since day one. As you get older, you just like to approach things differently and look for different opportunities to play different characters and evolve as an artist.
So what were some of the things that you felt you had to explore creatively?
I wanted to look for roles that had nothing to do with me being sexy. And I’ve always wanted to do horror movies. It’s what inspired me as a kid, and when it’s done right, there’s a lot of dramatic acting in it. More than anything, I just wanted to play to a different audience, and do something different that had nothing to do with me playing a love interest or the girl next door. Even now, if I do play a love interest, it’s not your average role. I’m working hard to make her quirky and more interesting.
Is there a newfound freedom in going after these new roles, and not allowing yourself to be confined to certain types of characters? Has this approach helped to birth a new Meagan?
No, my freedom and renewal comes from finally being happy with who I am, and being comfortable with all of me — even my shortcomings. I have come to a place in my life where I don’t have a problem saying or doing what I feel publicly. The only thing that I do focus on is walking a spiritual line, and that means that I want to represent a woman of God. I want to be a virtuous woman of God, but by that same token, I’m very different in my approach. I’m not overly religious. I’m not judgmental. I don’t look down on people and I don’t try and force what I feel on them. But the truth is, I love Jesus Christ and I am a Christian.
Now, I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m improving daily. I have to, because I know that there [are] a lot of young girls watching me, and I do want to teach them and be a positive influence in their lives. I want them to know that they can go out and have fun, but you also have to be smart. And I want them to know that if they choose to have a boyfriend, they need to always respect themselves and know their worth, and demand that he do the same. I also want to encourage young girls to be abstinent … as you can see, I just really want to be a positive influence.
You mentioned wanting to teach young girls; what would you have taught a young, 21-year-old Meagan?
I would have told her how much the Lord loves her, and how perfect she is in the Lord’s eyes. And I would have just told her to have faith and know that God is going to make everything work out. I would have told her that she shouldn’t try so hard to control her own destiny, and that she shouldn’t let people’s opinions of her make her form an opinion of herself. And lastly, I would have told her that she shouldn’t let people who are still trying to figure out life themselves, hurt her by their judgments or opinions.
Who was more influential for you: was it friends, boyfriends or family when it came to developing your opinion of self?
My mom and my sister were very positive, and I had a lot of friends and family who were very positive influences. They would call me out when I was wrong, they always encouraged me, and [they] were my shoulder to cry on when I needed it. At the time, there were a lot of things that were negative, whether it be a boyfriend, the media, or just anyone. I was always being judged about my appearance or whether or not I was being hypocritical with my words and actions.
And it’s funny since I turned 30 about two weeks ago, all these lights clicked on, and I spent all of [my] 29th [year] preparing for it and not knowing it was happening. I was preparing for this moment, and it’s just a really great place to be now. When you surround yourself with happier people and disregard the negative, it’s a much happier place to be.
Does it make you realize that what you thought was happiness before wasn’t really happiness?
Yes, I’m definitely more content, more happy and satisfied than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m really comfortable with where I am, and I know that there is so much more out there for me.
Now that you’ve secured a sense of happiness, what else is there to work on?
I think the main thing is that I’m definitely a party animal. I love to go out, and have a great time. And I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with that whatsoever, I just have to make sure that I practice healthy habits when I do go out. I do like to drink, but for me it’s about making sure I stay in the pocket of what’s appropriate. That’s an area I’ve been working on and doing much better in … I’ve also focused on quitting smoking, working out more, and just living a healthier lifestyle. Outside of that, I’m pretty happy about everything else. I just want to improve my position and make better opportunities for girls coming behind me, and make sure that I stay in the pocket of what I need to be doing, so I can help young girls in juvenile jails and foster homes.
Tell us about your birthday wish when you blew out your candles.
I just wished that the people around me, and that people in general would know how valuable they are. No matter what their circumstances are, I wished for them to know that there is a better them on the other side. All they have to do is step out on faith and they can walk into it. That’s the nice thing about this last year … I discovered my faith in a major way. My world completely crumbled from every aspect you can possibly think of, but it was necessary in order for me to step into my new life. So I stepped into it and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I just thank God that he gave me the strength, and I’m proud of myself for actually stepping out on faith, and allowing myself to be as happy as I am right now.