Before the ole pandemic surfaced and changed our lives as we knew them, Kierra Sheard was thriving and in the midst of perhaps the biggest challenge of her young existence. Tasked with playing the role of her mother, Karen Clark Sheard, in Lifetime’s now highest-rated movie of 2020 – The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel – she knocked it out the park. In the same time frame, Sheard wrote a poignant book entitled Big, Bold and Beautiful: Owning the Woman God Made You to Be, which she says, was an exercise in complete therapy. She gave us more insight during our recent, exclusive interview on rolling out TV.
So I have to ask you off top, what was it like playing your mother in a movie?
It was really special. It wasn’t just a resume builder. For me, it was really special because it was as if I was performing for my mother as a way of appreciation to say, “Thank you for what you have done.” It was also a good and healthy challenge and my respect level was already high for my mom. But it went to a different place with me trying to sing her notes, because she is a true soprano. She knows how to play. So when you talk about being a musical genius, she is one of those. It was really special for sure.
I’m sure you had the benefit of leaning on your personal experiences with her…
It wasn’t easy because it was my mom. I am more loud and bold, and my mom is far more gracious and soft than I am. It was a challenge to scale back. It really had to become an art for me. And then the singing piece, in the studio, I was trying to sing a note [on] a couple of the songs where I would get lightheaded [trying to] sing so high like her. Just cause you can sing, doesn’t mean you can sing like Karen Clark Sheard.
Tell us about that book and what inspired you to write it?
So, the book actually wasn’t intentional. This was really a divine moment for me. … It was me browsing my email that I hadn’t been checking, and something told me to check it. … They said, “Do you have a book?” And I wasn’t gonna say no. So I said, I did have a book. And this book was … me journaling through life experiences and it was my form of therapy. I talked about the toxic relationships that I was in. I talked about my challenges with my weight. I talked about me trying to be a young woman finding her balance with faith or spirituality, but still trying to do [my] thing and live [my] life. So that’s really the basis of the book and then just learning to own who I am.
To watch the entire interview click here.