Tika Sumpter Dishes On Her Trek From Hollis To Hollywood


Tika SumpterLike 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?
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 on everybody to try to maintain themselves as much as possible.

So you do bend to the pressures and standards?
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.

Are you in a relationship yourself?
[Laughs] As of right now, I am not in a relationship. Right now I’m scared to death of marriage, because there are so many divorces. I know I want to get married, I know I want to have children, I want to do all the great things, but how am I going to make it work for my life? I think right now I am a little boy crazy. I’m just having a good time, enjoying dating and that’s it.

Any scoop on who’ve you been dating?
[Laughs] No, there is no scoop.

[Laughs] Well give us another scoop: What are your hopes for Jenna and Malik’s relationship during the next season of The Game?
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 [that] girls and guys like Jenna Rice. I think it could be a fun situation this season.

Tell me about your personal style and how you brought that to the set of Gossip Girl  for Raina?

Honestly, they don’t need any of my help. They have that down pat. They get the best of the best, so everything fit perfectly, and was tailored to me. It just felt good. They opened up my world up to fashion, because before Gossip Girl, I kinda cared about fashion, but they definitely educated me fashion wise.