Kendra C. Johnson (Linda) and Patrice Lovely (Hattie) in “Love Thy Neighbor”
Photo courtesy of OWN
Patrice Lovely embodies her last name as she is enchanting and immensely talented. As the hilarious Hattie on Tyler Perry’s “Love Thy Neighbor,” her inimitable style and captivating antics charm audiences across the nation. The Alabama native has a knack for delivering distinctive character portrayals. Although well-accomplished in almost every facet of the entertainment industry, she is no stranger to the stage. She has starred in numerous productions including Good Man is Hard to Find, When a Woman’s Fed Up The Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice, Where Have all the Good Men Gone?, Lord, Why Do I Keep Choosing the Wrong Man? Stranger in My House, Confessions, Marriage Material, Tyler Perry’s I Don’t Want to Do Wrong, Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and The Have Nots,” and Madea Gets a Job.
This fall, Lovely returns as the nutty Hattie in Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, but first she will finish up the fifth and final season of Love Thy Neighbor. Catch a glimpse of her lovely spirit as she discusses the show, working with Perry and more.
“Love Thy Neighbor” has made history as the first scripted comedy on OWN. After over a hundred episodes, it’s coming to an end. How are you feeling now that it’s coming to an end?
Well, of course, my heart is sad, but I’m still smiling because I know that Tyler Perry is a genius. When I tell you, he has so much in store for us and the TPS family, everybody’s still smiling. That’s what you have to do. Be happy and content wherever God has you right now, you’re there for a reason.
I’m sure Tyler already has his next five movies planned out. Boo 2! is coming out in October and you’re in that, right?
Yes! Yes! And when I tell you funny — he outdid himself once again. I thought Boo! 1 was crazy, but Boo 2!, baby when I tell you that man, it’s really something wrong with him — something’s wrong with us too, ’cause we fall right into the groove with him. Ooh, Tyler should be ashamed of himself with the stuff he comes up with and puts down on paper. And we be looking at him like, really? really, Tyler?
Madea’s Family Funeral is coming out next year and Hattie in also in that. Tell us about it.
He’s been keeping us busy. Again, Tyler is just a genius. He’s so far ahead it’s just ridiculous. God uses him to bless the Earth. The Bible says that “laughter is good like a medicine,” and there’s so much going on and so many reasons you have not to smile. But God uses this man, I honestly believe it’s like four or five of him with all the stuff that he does and the energy it takes to do all of that. I have worked with Tyler for years now, and the writing just keeps getting funnier and funnier. I definitely know it’s gonna be something for the family to go see.
Palmer Williams (Uncle Floyd); Patrice Lovely (Hattie); Kendra C. Johnson (Linda); Andre Hall (Danny) in “Love Thy Neighbor”
Photo Courtesy of OWN
You have a long history on stage. Which do you prefer — the stage or screen?
My first love is theater. I just love the live audience, the live reaction. No ‘take one, take 10,’ you only got one time to slam it. I love theater. We were just talking the other day and he [Perry] misses it and he loves it too, but he’s so busy, he just doesn’t have time right now to do a show. That’ll always be our first love.
There’s been an emergence of quality Black entertainment on television such as “Greenleaf,” “Queen Sugar,” “Atlanta” and “black-ish.” What are your thoughts about that and how it reflects our community?
I think it’s excellent. Sometimes people don’t want to give you your just due. But the bottom line is, your gift will make room for you. When it’s your time and it’s your season, there’s nothing nobody can do to stop that. God is gonna place you and elevate you, and we are talented people. It’s our time to rise and it’s our time to shine. God’s gonna make sure that happens. I thank God for people like Tyler that are giving our people platforms to be great and to walk in our greatness.
Is there any tea you can spill for the fans, about this final season of “Love Thy Neighbor”? We see Linda finally had her baby.
Yes, she finally had the baby, after five years. I ain’t never known nobody to carry a baby for five years. When I tell you it’s gonna be a whole lot of casket bringin’ and blade slangin’. Hattie nuts up because she thinks her man is creepin’ on her. She is nuttin’ up something kinda terrible. And still, on top of her trying to get Linda to relax and learn to love and learn to allow someone to love you. She’s been through so many different relationships and has the assumption that every man is the same.
Sometimes God bless[es] you and sends you a good thing, and you don’t even know. By you nuttin’ up and going crazy, you miss the blessing that God has for you. She’s constantly being reminded that all men aren’t the same and God does have some good men. Even after her being married, she still has doubts that he really loves her. Hattie ain’t even trying to hear that she’s moving back in.
It sounds like Tyler is the best to work with. Is there anyone else you want to work with?
A lot of people, but right now I’m planted. I’m planted and I’m allowing God to just move and elevate me, and wherever I’m supposed to be, he’s going to open that door and I’m gonna walk straight through it.
“Love Thy Neighbor’s” final season returns July 29, 9 p.m. on OWN. Peep how Hattie “loves” her family in the clips below.