Actress Golden Brooks Talks New Movie 'The Inheritance,' Life After 'Girlfriends'

Most people know Golden Brooks as the feisty Maya Wilkes from Girlfriends, which had an eight-year run on UPN. However, shortly after the popular show ended, Brooks discovered she was pregnant and decided to take a break from the acting world. Now learning how to balance motherhood with her career, Brooks is back at it. Her latest film, The Inheritance, is out on DVD but she's also reading scripts and even wrote one of her own. VIBE Vixen caught up with the busy mom to chat about what life is like these days. ⎯Starrene Rhett

The Inheritance got a lot of critical acclaim at various film festivals but it’s still obscure to a lot of people. What’s it about?

It’s about five friends, play cousins, if you will, that actually go back to their home in Minnesota for a family reunion, and actually, they are going back to get this inheritance that one of the elders had left but in the interim they go back to learn. Their big uncle, which is played by Keith David is there to hold a ritual with all the elders who are much older and they’re there to teach us about our past lineage, about our African lineage and to learn something. It’s not to just go back there to get this inheritance, it’s about learning about our past and our roots and they have this whole ritual kind of performance that they’re putting on⎯a whole weekend of this to sort of educate us and of course all the other cousins are like I don’t want to do this, this is crazy, this is ridiculous we just want the money. My character is probably the only one there that really wants to learn something from the elders and learn about our past history and lineage and it kind of turns out to be Rosemary’s baby. My character becomes the host and because she’s the good girl and rigid and the doctor and very a emotional she kind of turns in and pretty much becomes like one of them what happens is this spirit this slave called Chakabazz from the slavery time has come back and haunts this generation and it’s very scary and very spooky but it taps into our African lineage which is what makes the story far more layered than just your typical horror film or thriller film.

Sounds fascinating.

It is it really is. It has a completely different twist and tone than most horror films. When my manager at the time sent me the script she said it’s a horror film and I was like, “Whoa, black folks, I’m thinking we’re gonna die in the first 5 minutes, I’m like “I’m not trying to do that.” [Laughs] But I knew the producer, Effie Brown, who did stranger inside she has such amazing taste. And she did such a great job with this. And when I read it I was really intrigued and impressed.

It also seems like based on your theater background you might be slightly more picky about the roles that you choose. But with that how has it been for you finding work as a black actress in Hollywood, especially post Girlfriends?

It’s not easy. I’m not gonna sit up here and glamorize anything. I am very picky but I’m also like open too. I come from a world of academia. My father was a professor, my uncle was a professor, I was raised in Berkley so I was raised in a very political environment in a world that had to do with education and then I was also thrown into the arts. So, I love the black culture. I loved playing that role of Maya on Girlfriends, because it was so opposite of me and I loved going to work and playing a character that was gonna make people laugh, make people cry, make people think, and I want to continue on with that. There aren’t a lot of roles for African American women. I think things are changing. I think TV is really opening up and broadening the spectrum for the African American actress. I’ve been picky because doing a show like Girlfriends⎯it was on for almost 10 years and I loved it but after it was over I wanted to do something completely different. I wanted to just go into the world of independent film. You don’t do an independent film because you know you’re gonna make a lot of money, you go into it because you know that you’re gonna get your creative palate satisfied and that’s what it is for me. I love the work. I love doing the work, I come from theater, I love the journey of independent films and of playing characters that are flawed and not perfect. It’s challenging finding those kinds of roles and not just reinventing the character that you been playing and sometimes you have to be patient and wait but I think it’s opening up it’s getting better. I’m writing. I have a script that’s making the studio rounds and I think TV is really producing some great stuff for the woman of color and not just African American, but Asian and Indian and Latin too. It’s a road that is long, there’s a lot of work to do but things are getting better.

What’s the script you wrote about?

I wrote it a while ago but now I’m just starting to really get it out there but it’s called Summer’s Moon and it’s about a 13-year-old girl growing up in San Francisco during the 70s and she’s basically trying to catch up to her older self so it kind of plays with time like in the Memento, so she’s basically running to catch her older self. It deals with the Jim Jones situation in the 70s. I had a friend a best friend growing up where she and her mother passed away in that so that’s something that’s really heavy in this film and it’s a coming of age story and it’s a touching story. There’s so many stories that I want to tell, that I feel like need to get out there in regard to the African American woman and our voice and what that means. We’re more than just being funny, we’re more than the sassy girl we’re more than all of that so and in the world of film I just feel like there’s a lot to do.

Speaking of work to do, what else are you working on?

Well, movies right now. I’ve wrote that screenplay that I’m shopping around, I just finished another independent movie called the The Mudman and also one called Polish Bar, which is opening in Berlin and then TV-wise, I did a new show for TV Land called⎯we keep playing with the title but right now it’s called The Exes, and I’m guest starring, recurring on that with Donald Faison from Scrubs. I play a sportscaster and Donald Faison’s on off again girlfriend. I’ve taken a good year and a half off with the baby and now I’m just reading scripts and getting my feet whet again. It’s exciting.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Lizzo Will Appear In 'Hustlers' Alongside Cardi B And Jennifer Lopez

Lizzo continues to make waves as a musician, instrumentalist, body-positivity icon and booty-shaker extraordinaire. The artist– whose major-label debut Cuz I Love You is receiving praise from listeners and critics alike– will have a chance to put her twerking skills to the test.

According to reports, the Minnesota transplant is set to join the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Keke Palmer in the already-stacked lineup for the upcoming film, Hustlers. Deadline reports that this is Lizzo’s first live-action film, and her second film overall. She’ll be voicing a character in the upcoming animated musical film, Uglydolls.

Hustlers, which is set to be released by September 2019, is inspired by an article published in New York Magazine in 2016, which “follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.”

Additional actresses set to appear in the film include Fresh Off The Boat’s Constance Wu, Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Transparent’s Trace Lysette, Mercedes Ruehl, dancer Mette Towley and Orange Is The New Black’s Madeline Brewer.

Continue Reading

Lee Daniels Details 'Empire' Cast's Feelings About Jussie Smollett Case

The cast of Empire is currently in the process of healing in the aftermath of Jussie Smollet's hate crime scandal. In a new interview with Extra, series creator, Lee Daniels detailed how the actors and crew feel about Jussie and the whole debacle.

"The cast is upset," he admitted. "It is a sad time and we are slowly healing."

Daniels did not reveal whether the cast believes Smollett staged his alleged hate crime earlier this year, but he said that he will not judge him. "What I am learning right now is that I can’t judge," he explained. "That that judgment is for that man wearing that black coat with a gavel and God. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, so I am with him. I can only support him and I can only give him compassion."

As previously reported, the actor, who stars as Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox drama, told Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on Jan. 29. As the investigation continued, the attention turned to Smollett. He was arrested on Feb. 20, and indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report and allegedly staging the incident. Those charges were subsequently dropped, but the city of Chicago is suing the actor for $130,000 for the time spent investigating the matter.

Check out Lee Daniels interview with Extra in the video above.

Continue Reading
Paras Griffin

Police Conducted Welfare Check On Wendy Williams Over Alleged Poisoning

Police reportedly conducted a wellness check on Wendy Williams at her New Jersey home earlier this year after an anonymous caller claimed the TV personality's husband, Kevin Winter was poisoning her, People reports.

The incident reportedly occurred during Williams' television hiatus in Jan. 2019. According to the police report obtained by People, police arrived at Williams' residence shortly after the call was made. Hunter reportedly answered the door, claiming his wife was recovering from an illness.

Authorities noted that Hunter was "hesitant" to let the police inside the house but eventually did. There, they found Williams in bed with a "blanket covering her from neck to toe." Williams told the cops she was recovering from a broken shoulder.

Williams reportedly "became tearful" when they asked if there was any truth to the poisoning allegation, but she ultimately denied that any wrongdoing was taking place. Police said Hunter "then responded saying something to the effect of there had never been any calls to his house regarding domestic violence."

While the couple might not have received calls to the house, there have been rumors of domestic abuse. Many assumed that was one of many reasons why Williams filed for divorce against Hunter earlier this month. Even so, the Williams maintained that she was leaving on good terms.

"I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs,” he said a recent episode of her self-titled show. "No matter what the outcome is or what the future holds, we are still The Hunter Family and I will continue to work with and fully support my wife in this business and through any and all obstacles she may face living her new life of sobriety, while I also work on mine."

Continue Reading

Top Stories