Angela Robinson stars on OWN’s hit series, the Tyler Perry-created “The Haves and the Have Nots” as “ice queen” Veronica Harrington and the Florida native enjoys playing a character that fans sometimes love to hate. “The fan reactions are up and down. It depends on the storyline,” she says with a laugh. “I’m one of those characters that will be loved and hated simultaneously in any given episode. That’s a lot of fun—to read the tweets about how much they love the character. Then after another scene, it’s ‘I can’t stand that character!’”
Robinson says that she’s excited about the fact that there are a growing number of primetime shows that feature diverse casts—as compared to years ago, when if you watched a show like “Dynasty” or “St. Elsewhere,” a black character was a unique, special occurrence. “I hope it’s something that will start a trend for TV because that’s how the world looks,” says Robinson. “It’s good to be able to see the real world and not some imaginary, one race type of world.”
“When ‘Dynasty’ was on it was a huge deal when Diahann Carroll came on the show. That was groundbreaking,” she adds. “I hope we can see African American characters as the diva, as the villain and also as the praying mother. We are all of those things. We tended to only be the best friend or the neighbor in everybody’s sitcom. I’m happy that our characters are at the forefront and these stories are real. They do happen in households.”
Robinson is a veteran of the stage, having played the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple on Broadway and on tour. She’s also appeared in Wonderful Town, Play On! and Bells Are Ringing among other projects and she says that nothing gives her more gratification than helping to inspire the next generation of creative talent. With that spirit in mind, she’s teamed up with the Kendrick Academy in Georgia to serve as a judge for the Academy’s upcoming talent and fashion show. The “K Factor Talent and Fashion Show Extravaganza” takes place on March 7th and this gives her yet another opportunity to motivate young actors, dancers and singers to believe in their gifts.
“I believe in artists. I’m an advocate for artists,” Robinson explains. “If you grow up saying ‘I want to be a lawyer,’ everyone says ‘Let’s give her everything she needs to be a lawyer.’ But if you say ‘I want to be an artist, or a dancer or a painter,’ it’s ‘Oh, she’ll grow out of it.’ I think it’s a huge responsibility. So any level that I can invest in artists and help young people to use their talents and gifts and really take them seriously, I’m all in. This is just an extension of that.”