Tika Sumpter: A Star Is Born
Words and Images: DeWayne Rogers
Makeup: Oslyn Holder
Hair: Annagjid Kee Taylor
Wardrobe Stylist: Micah McDonald
For many, the 17th of August will be a day to purchase a ticket, enter the movie theaters, and pay their last respects to musical legend Whitney Houston in her last movie role before her untimely death. For others, that ticket purchase for the movie Sparkle will serve as an opportunity to revisit a cinema classic from their childhood. But for stunning actress Tika Sumpter, Aug. 17 will signify another huge leap in her continued journey to superstardom.
It doesn’t take much time at all to understand that Sumpter possesses an “it” quality that many aspiring entertainers want, but few actually have. Her grace, her smile, her natural beauty (and let’s not forget about her sheer talent), all play a major factor in Hollywood’s continued interest in Sumpter.
Rolling out’s interests ranged far deeper than just those factors. For us, Sumpter represents the new wave of fresh black talent that is primed and ready to show the world that true talent comes in all colors, shapes and sizes. In Sumpter, we found both the present and the future — which made our photo shoot and interview with her that much more enjoyable.
One of our first encounters with you was on “Gossip Girls.” How different was the experience of Sparkle with its all-black cast?
First off, I just want to say that I am very thankful for the opportunity that I received with “Gossip Girls.” To me though, acting is just acting. I honestly don’t like saying a black film, because on the flip side, we don’t call then white films. At the end of the day, when they say action, we all have to do the same job.
How did you channel your character Delores in the movie Sparkle?
I’m grateful to [screenwriter] Mara Brock Akil, because she expanded the role of Delores. I definitely think there is some of me in the character … she is a protector and a strong person, which mirrors my own personality a lot. The great thing about the role, is that I was able to really take chances and expand upon who Delores was in the original.
Describe the experience on set, and the chemistry that you had with your castmates.
It was an amazing experience. It really felt like we were a family working toward a common goal. Every part of that experience is something that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.
After being in the industry for a few years now, what is the one thing that you know about yourself that you didn’t know before?
Well, I know that I’m enough, and that I have something to offer the world. I guess now that I’ve grown up and gotten a little older, I know what I want, and I know what I want in a mate and I’m able to say it. I’m not one to beat around the bush anymore. There was a time when I was so concerned about hurting people’s feelings, but it’s not that way anymore. While I still care about people’s feelings, I understand the importance of being able to express exactly what I want, and exactly how I’m feeling.
The entertainment industry can be extremely hectic. How do you block everything out, so that you can just focus on yourself?
Being that the industry is so crazy, some of the things that I do to just chill out and reflect. I’m kind of a loner… I love to be at home, where I can just shut everything out and either read or meditate. Sometimes, I just can’t be connected every minute and every second of the day, so I just turn off all of the electronics, and just focus on removing myself from the stress and the busyness of the world.
After seeing these pictures, and reading your spread, what do you hope that our readers walk away with?
I just hope that they are able to get the essence of who I am as a woman. I’ve worked really hard to be where I’m at today, and I still have a long way to go. But from this experience, I hope they see a person who works hard, but still appreciates the little things in life. I really enjoyed this experience, and I hope that comes across in this piece. I’m excited.
Rapid Fire with Tika Sumpter
Hollywood aside, we decided to delve a little deeper to find out more interested facts about Tika. Here’s what we found.
It’s no secret that people consider you one of Hollywood’s most beautiful talents. But what we don’t know is you relationship status. Are you currently involved with someone?
(smiles) I’m currently single.
Describe the perfect date for you.
My perfect date is just a guy that takes control and plans everything. I have to plan so much in my own life, so I wouldn’t want the responsibility of planning something fun. So I’m down for mostly anything, but a nice dinner or bowling would be great. I just like something fun that I don’t have to plan.
You’ve been dancing around this entire shoot. Do you have a favorite dance move?
I don’t know if I have a favorite dance move. I just like to dance. One that I do like a lot though is the dougie, because you can incorporate it into everything.
“This or That”
Our time with Tika Sumpter was so enjoyable that we decided to have a little fun by playing a game of “This or That.” Check out some of Sumpter’s preferences.
Cake or Ice Cream?
I like both. I like red velvet cake or vanilla ice cream. I’m a plain Jane kind of girl. So you won’t see me with syrup, sprinkles and all kinds of other things on top.
Dress or Jeans?
I’m a jeans kind of girl. If I could wear jeans everywhere that I went, then I would. We have to dress up all of time for red carpets and other events, so while it’s fun to play dress up, I prefer t-shirts and jeans.
Heels or Flats?
Heels make you feel taller and longer. They just stretch everything out and make you feel sexy. But flats are just easy breezy. Anything that is simple is alright in my book.