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Tika Sumpter talks ‘Ride Along,’ tips and Kevin Hart

Ride Along

Tika Sumpter is known for her recent role as Angela in Ride Along, the sexy girlfriend of Kevin Hart and sister of Ice Cube Rolling Out was able to get a few minutes with Sumpter and she opened up about her working relationship with Hart, who she would like to work with again, and tips to up-and-coming actresses. Also check out ‘Ride Along’ in Blu-Ray/DVD in stores now. –Joi Pearson @joiapearson

How did you choose Ride Along?

I went out for it. I worked with Will Packer a long time ago in Stomp the Yard 2 and I read the script and thought, ‘Oh my God; this is hilarious.’ I found out who was attached to it and told my team I would love to do this. I tested with Kevin Hart and I guess the test went well.

How was it working with Kevin Hart? And being on the set?

It was absolutely fantastic! He is crazy; Kevin just never stops! It was just a great set to be on. I was the only girl on the set and so it was just simple. Over all, guys are just simple and pretty straight-forward. All they do is joke around all day, so it was amazing to be on the set.

Was it a lot of improv working with Kevin?

Yeah, on the DVD there are a lot of out takes, edited scenes, gag reels, alternative endings and so you will get to see a lot of his improv. Mainly, when dealing with Kevin you have to just stay on your toes because he might change something. With working with Kevin, he is such a professional, but he does not like to read the script over and over again so that it will be fresh, and I liked that so it was always exciting, like a roller coaster ride.

How was it working with Ice Cube?

Oh my goodness, he is such a sweetheart. I didn’t realize how quiet he was or he is, but once he opens up to you he is like a big teddy bear. He is a sweet, family guy and I love his transition in life; how he does all these great films that do really well and I’m just glad that I was able to be a part of something that he was a part of.

While filming in Atlanta, are there any restaurants that you frequented often?

Oh my God, I love Atlanta! Believe it or not, it is a chain but it is so good, the Houston’s on Peachtree is so good and they are always consistent. If I got steak or fish it was so good, it was like they were really cooking that food right on the spot. So my friends and I always wanted to go to Houston’s because it is always so good, I don’t know what they do.

Do you have any roles that you turned down that you regret?

No, I have turned down some stuff but I have never regretted it. It just has to be right; the script, the characters, and if it is not for me, then it is definitely for someone else.

How do you choose the roles that you are going to play?

Characters are everything for me, so the complexity and the surrounding people that are in it with you. You just try to do the best work possible and what other actors do for you is lift you up, so you must surround yourself with the best possible talent.

Any specific actors and actresses that you would like to work with next?

Denzel Washington; oh my goodness, there are just so many out there that I would love to work with and Denzel is definitely one of them. Mark Wahlberg is another that I would love to work with.

Any directors that you would love working with?

Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors — he did Batman. Lee Daniels, Steve McQueen; the list is endless. Steven Spielberg is every actresses or actors dream in general.

Any tips for up-and-coming actresses?

Figure out if you want to be famous or if you really want to act; and once you figure that out, then go study. Once you figure that out, then you will take the steps to live in New York, Chicago, L.A. You will do a lot of plays in New York and Chicago and start from there. Study your craft because preparation is everything and then go from there. I started looking for jobs in a newspaper called Backstage; open calls from there and then you will find your way. Every journey is different so I can’t give you one particular path but take some classes and find out if you really want to do this, because it is definitely a tough business and if there is no passion there, then it will not last.

Are you still singing or recording?

Oh no, no, no; that is old. I do sing but my focus right now is on the acting part; music is a whole other beast that I would have to master. I did get a chance to sing when I did Sparkle but right now I am focusing on the movies or TV.

Do you prefer TV over movies?

I prefer work so whatever packaging it comes in is fine with me! I love great characters that are complex and continuing to work with great people also. Acting is what I love to do, so whatever form it comes in, I am grateful.