Cover Reveal: Tika Sumpter Dishes On Her Trek From Hollis To Hollywood
TIKA ON GROWING UP IN A SINGLE-PARENT HOME AND SEXUALITY
VV: Growing up in a single-parent home, were there any struggles that molded you?
TIKA: Not growing up with a dad was really hard, but my mom was so on point. She was a lover and the authority that basically gave us whoopings. If you missed that bus to school, you were walking. I saw my mom struggle a lot which made me not want to do the things normal teenagers do. I was super prude in junior high and high school; the prudest person in the pack. I was so active in school that I wasn’t even thinking about sex. Even my girlfriend and I, who are best friends since junior high, we were talking and she was like, ‘Tika, nobody knows what they’re doing in junior high, middle school or high school with sex, so why is everybody in a rush?’
VV: [Laughs] Would you say that you were shy or just conservative about those activities?
TIKA: I think I’m both. People might think I’m not shy, because when you see me, I talk, but I was kind of shy. I was shy, I was scared, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t wanna get pregnant; I have too much to do in life right now.’ It scared me a little bit.
TIKA ON THE PRESSURE OF ENTERTAINMENT
VV: Like you said, your character Jenna Rice had a lot to live up to. Do you feel that you have a lot to live up to in the acting world? Do you feel like you have to maintain a standard?
TIKA: I think there’s pressure on everybody; let’s not deceive ourselves. It’s definitely a beauty business. It [matters] how your face looks, how your body looks, how everything looks. All the blogs talk about it, and they pick on people. The blogs and magazines will be quick to show what’s wrong with a person, so I think there’ s a lot of pressure to try to maintain themselves as much as possible.
VV: So you do bend to the pressures and standards?
TIKA: Of course, of course. People don’t go to see George Clooney because he’s ugly. They don’t go see Michael Ealy because he’s not the cutest guy on the block. They go to see a beautiful, strong-looking man. Of course you go see them because they’re acting and everything, but it’s a fantasy. You want to take people out of their world for a little bit if you can. I feel like everybody has some kind of beauty in them, regardless if they look like Halle Berry or they don’t. I don’t believe that everybody has to live up to this Hollywood beauty standard, because everybody’s not that.
TIKA ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GAME’S JENNA RICE AND MALIK WRIGHT
VV: Well give us another scoop: What are your hopes for Jenna and Malik’s relationship during the next season of The Game?
TIKA: I don’t know anything yet. They haven’t told me. I would hope that they explore the world of being in a functioning, viable relationship. I think there’s a lot to write about, especially with two addicts and two people in the entertainment business. I think that there would be a lot of hurdles, a lot of successes, but a lot of drama. I think she has insecurities, obviously, so it’s going to be interesting with her being in this world of football now. From groupies to thinking he needs to pay for everything, just so many different aspects of that life. It’ll be interesting seeing how his mother gets along with Jenna and how she feels about that whole situation. Also being in a circle of women who are married and she’s not married. I hope they explore that world. I think people like them together, and I’m so grateful girls and guys like Jenna Rice. I think it could be a fun situation this season.