Kym Whitley first hit the scene in the wildly popular national play “Beauty Shop” in 1989. Since then, she has appeared in over 100 movies, plays, and television shows. Additionally, she has a thriving career as a comedienne and stars in the OWN docu-series “Raising Whitley.” Her show boasts 1.5 million viewers and allows them to get a glimpse into her life as she raises her adopted son.
Rolling out caught up with Whitley at the 2016 Black Women’s Expo after her “Blacks in Hollywood” panel to find out more about her show, motherhood, and upcoming projects.
Congratulations on the success of “Raising Whitley.” How have you enjoyed the experience?
I have loved it. It is a great reality docu-series. It’s not like other shows. I love the fact that it feels like we are giving back.
How has it been raising your son on national television?
It has been cool because he doesn’t know any better so he is just being him. When I made the decision to do the show, I wanted to take the stigma off of adoption and help other people adopt children.
What has been your biggest lesson on the show?
Trying to keep the show based in reality and making it real, not produced or fake, has been a big lesson and a challenge. The audience has gotten very sophisticated and they can see through fake. Also, managing your emotions is a big one. You have to catch yourself because TV will make you go crazy and people sometimes show out for the camera.
What has the show done for your career?
This show has done wonders for my career. Oprah Winfrey and OWN have given me a platform for people to know my name again and to really know me. It has opened up doors for other opportunities.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I have a movie coming out with Ice Cube called Fist Fight. It should be out by late summer or early fall. I am also on a show called “Young & Hungry” and it is on ABC Family, which is now FreeForm. I’m just trying to make it.
You look fabulous and you always do. Tell us a little about your new look.
I have been juicing and following elements of J.J. Smith’s books. I do smoothies – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I do a meal from My Fit Foods. I also have a lot of nuts and drink a lot of water. God is good.
What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to get a talk show – whether it is by myself or with other people. I love to talk to people so I am looking for something like that.
Right after this interview, OWN did not renew another season of “Raising Whitley”. Whitley shared that it was her desire to raise adoption awareness and she was confident that the show had done just that.
Follow Kym Whitley on Twitter and Instagram @kymwhitley.