Felicia Pearson, who is famously known as the character “Snoop” from “The Wire” has an amazing story to share with the world. The odds are stacked against her. She is an openly gay Black woman. In society that comes with its own challenges, in the entertainment industry those challenges can be amplified. We took some time to chop it up with Pearson about her life, “The Wire” and her character in Spike Lee’s latest movie Chi-Raq, and coming out of a dark place.
Tell us about your character in Chi-Raq, is she similar to you in any way?
Well, Dania is a tomboy-gay girl [and] that’s pretty much our similarity. In terms of our lives, she is all the way different than who I am.
How was your time in Chicago?
Chicago was amazing; it was a wonderful experience to work with legendary people and the ‘hood loved me.
Your past is well reported on the Internet, interestingly enough, it seems like it was all preparation for what you are doing today. How has your past developed you into the person you are today?
My past is a real deep and dark place. It prepared me for the world. I gotta stop reflecting on my past sometimes. It can be overwhelming sometimes. My past has made me a stronger person. The trials and tribulations that I went through have made me stronger.
How does the industry treat you as an openly gay Black actress?
When I first got on “The Wire” everyone just opened their arms and accepted me. Back then, everybody was still wondering who is gay, but once they see a person who doesn’t really care about it, they have to respect it.
Your character on “The Wire” is a specific type of character. Do you feel like you get typecast?
Well, I did another movie with Spike Lee called The Sweet Blood of Jesus and I played a prostitute. I did that so I wouldn’t get typecast.
I was listening to WNPR recently and it was reported that in Baltimore, your hometown, the homicide rate hit a new high with 305 homicides reported, the most since 1993. This is no different than what is going on in Chicago. Why do you think this is so prevalent in urban areas, and how do you think it can be solved?
I think the whole world is trying to find a solution right now. I don’t really try to highlight the violence in Chicago and Baltimore. It shows you that it’s the same everywhere. No matter where you go. This is why Spike brought the film, to propose some type of solution. No peace, no nookie.
What do you think we can expect from Chi-Raq?
I think we can expect a message of stopping the violence. The women in the movie are tired of seeing their, sons, husbands, boyfriends, fathers and nephews die from the violence. We know that bullets don’t have a name on [them]. Lysistrata feels very strongly about it and wanted to do something. The punnany is a powerful thing.
I know this movie is at the top of your mind right now, but what’s going on with you with regard to your personal and professional life?
I have a few new movies in the works. I’m in the process of writing my second book. My first book is called Grace After Midnight. Me and my fiancé have a reality show coming up. I have a lot of things coming up. Hopefully, you will see my face everywhere. Maybe one day you’ll wake up and see me on a Colgate commercial or something..
Why did you title your first book Grace After Midnight?
Well, I come from a dark place, you know. It’s kind of deep. Getting on shows like “Wire” and doing the things that I’m doing is that grace after the midnight. I still go through my trials and tribulations, but I find my way out.
You have touched on that dark place a few times. From the outside looking in, it looks like you are making it out of that dark place. What kind of encouraging words do you have for our readers that will keep them going?
Keep pushing! I don’t care if it’s your mother, father, teacher or whoever that says that you can’t do it. Keep pushing. Look at me, look at my testimony. I’m still pushing, you know. I’m still going trough trials; it don’t stop. You just gotta pray, keep pushing and keep moving. Once you have faith, there is nothing that can take that dream away. As long as you have faith, you can conquer anything.