Life has a funny way of revealing what you’re made of. For some, the tiniest bit of adversity will cause them to wither and wilt, erasing any of life’s forward progress. We all know that person. Hell, some of us are that person. But then there are people who are just built different. Whenever life throws them a monkey wrench, they consider it as nothing more than a temporary speed bump because they came into this world armed with a tenacity and a resilience capable of weathering any storm.
For the past 15 years, Eva Marcille has consistently shown that she is a card-carrying member of the latter group. The talented actress and entrepreneur recently sat down with rolling out to discuss her resilience in the face of a changing industry, her evolution as a woman, and a sweet new TV gig that she couldn’t be more excited about.
So much has changed with you since our last sit-down in 2015. At the time, you were a single mother of one and now you’re a married mother of three. Take us back to that time just so we can add a little more context to where you are now.
In 2015, I feel like I was in the middle of a major transition and rolling out actually captured some of that. It was an inward transition that was happening because I did become a mom, and my life was no longer my life. It became our life, and so everything that I did was so much more intentioned. And so even though I’ve always been a big dreamer, and had aspirations, there is something about really putting them on their feet when you have a child. So I was going through a transition trying to figure out what kind of mom I wanted to be, what type of woman I wanted to be, and who I wanted to be in this same industry that I’ve been in. So that was a time that was definitely full of transition.
So let’s explore those pathways. In that moment, what type of woman did you decide that you wanted to be?
I wanted to be a woman of intention. I had already decided that I was going to be a woman of freedom and of liberation who lived the life that I wanted to live. I had already gotten there. But, I wanted to be more intentional about everything that I did. Not from a perspective of what the world thought, but more so from what my world thought, which was my child, because she is my world. Everything that I do to move life forward is what she will remember. So I became extremely intentional about every move I made, every job I took, because, at the end of the day, that was the legacy I was going to be leaving for my child. Even now, as a mother of three, I continue to strive to live every single day with intention. I know that my kids are watching me, and I want them to see a woman who was always striving to be her best.
When trying to leave a legacy, there are going to be setbacks and mistakes. How do you deal with the imperfections of life?
When I look at my life, it wouldn’t exist without the ebb and the flow — the good and the bad. I use the lessons of everything that I have been through, and the truth that can be found in it. I guess that’s why I don’t run away from it, because the truth is in there. The truth is always there. It’s a matter of being OK with the truth. The truth is that I started in a business that is amazing, and had an amazing leg up thanks to Tyra Banks, and have [had] a great career. But life also happened, and I did go through domestic violence, and I went through ups and downs, and losing friends and deaths … I went through it all, still in the public eye, still caring for a child, and still being the face of aesthetics. So when I finally fell into my truth — if I’ve got stretch marks, I’ve got stretch marks, if I’m postpartum and still have that extra 40 pounds, then I just have 40 pounds — but when I surrendered to the truth, I truly found happiness.
Speaking of happiness, you seem happy when you are talking about your new show “All the Queen’s Men” that’s premiering on BET+. What is it about this show that makes you so happy?
Well, first of all, it’s an amazing show. I mean, it is really well done. We poured our hearts into this project and I think that you can see that. And secondly, I believe this role was meant for me. Marilyn is a boss and a powerful woman in every way and I try to embody that in my own life … well, not [in] the ways she accomplishes her goals, but in the way that she has this undeniable strength. She is me. The story itself is the brainchild of Christian Keyes, and it is just a fantastic piece of art that I can’t wait for the world to see.
Would you consider this show one of those legacy moments that you want your kids to look fondly at?
Absolutely. Now, they definitely aren’t old enough to watch the show, but I know they see how hard I work and how I strive every day to walk in my purpose and create a beautiful life for them. One day, I hope they can understand just how much this is all for them.
Interview and images by DeWayne Rogers