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LisaRaye Dishes on the Women and Second Season of 'Single Ladies'

To celebrate the return of VH1's hit series "Single Ladies" produced by Queen Latifah, VIBE caught up with one of the show's leading ladies LisaRaye McCoy, otherwise known as Keisha. She dabbles in her relationship with Malcolm, the new girl (Denise Vasi as Raquel) and what viewers can expect this season.

VIBE: The last time we saw your character Keisha, she was torn between so many different things. What does the second season hold for her?
LisaRaye: I think that Keisha is a bit more vulnerable. When we left off, she was torn between this man that she loves, and says loves her, has left her. She doesn’t know where he is. The FBI has been uncovering all this stuff that she knows nothing about from one of these pictures so it’s kinda like well did he play me? Keisha’s not the type of character to get played you know. So she feels torn: does she give him up? Does she get revenge? And you know the trials and tribulations that her and Malcolm go through this season is an up-and-down rollercoaster as it is very real in real life about relationships. So I think the real the stories are, the better they are for teaching viewers because then you can relate to them much easier.

Somebody said that there is one guy who can have your heart and come back at any time, all the time and that’s my Malcolm for me. Keisha gets a job. Besides playing the high stakes of poker and making her money that way, she gets a job. She wants to be more like in the norm of doing something and making money and I think that comes from Malcolm. He’s an entrepreneur and he starts his business with the family. She’s like ok I want more stability for my life. The relationship with the new character, Raquel, introducing her and where she comes from and how our relationship is and what she brings to the table and how Keisha helps her fit in with the other two characters, which is Omar and April, showing that friendship can supercede a lot when you have a support team and that’s what I really like a lot about it because it really bridges the gap between showing that you go through hard times, but you just can’t do it alone. So when you have close-knit friends that know you and have some things to bring to the table as far as helping you out with your ups and downs, it just makes it more easy to find the comedy in that, the funny in that and the real in that.

Right and that’s why so many viewers tune in because they can find a piece of themselves in each of the characters and storylines. But going back to Malcolm, how has working with D.B. really helped your character develop?
He is the best costar male that I ever worked with. Our chemistry is just undeniable. It’s easy and he said to me that I can bring out this quality in him that makes him feel very relaxed and for me, it’s just, you think about what type of man Malcolm is and you think who wouldn’t want that type of man? That’s also half of the battle won right there. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a nice, attractive brother too.

You also said that Keisha’s gonna be more vulnerable but also more focused in the sense that she has a new job. Is there anything else that’s gonna really add to her character that we didn’t see in the first season?
Well she’s dating. There’s some back and forth with her and Malcolm so she’s trying to, let’s see how I wanna say it, mask the pain of not having Malcolm or him playing games so I try to forget him but do you ever really forget them?

Now that’s the question. And you also mentioned a little bit about the new character Raquel that Denise (Vasi) will be playing. What else can you tell us about her character and what she’ll be bringing to the table now that Val (as played by Stacey Dash) is gone?
Raquel comes from a well to-do family that has always wanted her to marry the guy that is in the socialite kind of world, the predictable guy, the guy you’re supposed to be with and she’s just like I don’t want you to pick who I’m supposed to marry. I want to marry someone because he has my heart, not because he has a great job, we grew up together, not because he’s going to be well to-do, but because I love him. And she’s the kind of girl who grew up with the silver spoon so she knows how to horseback riding, she’s used to going out of town, she’s very cultured and she’s not too much of a hustler. She’s not that street girl so she wants to kind of get out and kind of feel like am I single too? So we introduce her with having a fiancée and getting married. So you have to see how long that’s gonna last, haha.

It always seems like as soon as someone’s about to have a happy ending, something twists and turns in the plot that makes you requestion everything and what’s been going on.
And I tell ya she has a lot of happy endings!

So basically the second season is going to show Raquel looking for “the one?”
I think the whole show is about dating and feeling free, the whole taboo saying that men can sleep with five different women and they’re still a man. A woman does it and we’re a whore so it’s a stereotype. It’s like when you’re dating, you’re going to go through a couple guys to find Mr. Right so do you let yourself feel bad about that because you met a guy you thought you were going to be with, in three weeks it’s over and you’re on to the next guy? Hell no! You keep going till you find him.

Amen to that and similarly, we found your co-star Charity who plays April at a turning point in her love life as well. What does the second season hold for her?
In the first season, April was married we saw that she had an affair and that tore her marriage up. And so now how does she reclaim and rebuild her life and that’s what she shows and she hasn’t been single since she was 18 years old. Very very new thing for her so I think that story lends to people who have been married and probably divorced at such an age that they thought they would never be alone at. So that’s a lot of demographic of people. So for her, it’s her getting her silliness on, her girlyness on, her high school on, she don’t know how to date really so she really leans on the other characters to say “Am I doing this right? Is he supposed to be saying these things to me? Am I supposed to be feeling this already?” And there’s no perfect man but there’s perfect attributes in every one.

And on the professional side, she’s an aspiring music executive. Will we see a promotion in her near future?
Yes because she takes over her life. When you become single, you have to assess where you are and where you wanna go and that’s what she’s done. She’s like you know what? I’ve had some dreams on my own that I’ve put on hold because I was married. Now I can explore all of those possibilities and so she really branches out, she really turns up the heat. And she’s so beautiful on-screen and she’s such a natural.

I feel that all of you have that something that you bring on the screen and are very natural at doing it. You each represent like a different phase of love but what do you think each character stands for in terms of being a strong, single woman?
I think what it brings everything that we’re looking for and trying to date in this day and age, in this generation. We deal with the cougar phase, like which one of us is going to be a cougar, like which one is going to date the younger guy and how young is he going to be? How young is too young then it’s like we deal with the married man situation. What if it’s a married man that’s separated or how about going through a divorce? Is he ready to commit again while he’s going through this divorce? What about that one night stand? What about that long-time love? What about that past love that comes back into your life? Hmmm. There’s so many ways to really twist the story of dating till the writer Stacy A. Littlejohn, she does an incredible job with the way that she writes these scripts. I don’t know how she holds all of that shit inside of her head. We do have a team of writers but she’s the show runner and it’s a bit of everybody’s life combined into this show that I think makes it that more exciting, to know what’s going to happen or how you’re going to handle certain situations.

Do you think, that with the movie “Think Like A Man" out in theatres that the men can find something valuable in this show too?
Absolutely. You know why? Because it’s an educating show as well with the process of dating. They need to get inside of our heads. You know the saying men are from Mars and women are from Venus? It’s true. We don’t think like they do and they don’t think. If we’re going to be as one, you got to know what I’m thinking. So when you watch this show, it shows you how each character deals with each situation separately. Maybe the way that you do it is the way that your boy does it. Maybe that’s how your father dealt with it back in the ‘80s but this is a current show, a hot, sexy show now so we’re showing you how we’re dealing with things now.

Do you think that younger, college girls can find something in this as well or is it more for the mature audiences only?
Ooooh. I’m a little biased because I am a mother. I’m the oldest one on the set and I’m the mother hen. So I have a daughter that’s in college and it came into mind that she could be doing all the things that we’re doing on the show, I wanna say oh my god. I don’t even want her to go through all the things these ladies are going through. I think this is something for them to look out for: for the guy that’s in the club, for the baller that’s in the club, the wall street guy that’s in the club. How will he approach them? How will she approach them? What’s appropriate – if he buys you a drink or if you buy dinner the first time. There’s a lot of qualities that show perhaps this is a different way of doing things in life.

Do you allow your daughter to watch the show at all?
Oh yeah, she loves it because mommy’s on the show. She says that I’m a MILF. She was like, “Mom, I think you’re hot.” And I was like oh you think I’m hot? You think I’m cool? And I love it because she keeps me current, keeps me fresh ‘cause I’m from another generation, haha.

Anything else we should look out for in the second season?
Fine, sexy co-stars! Eye candy!

The new season of "Single Ladies" will premiere on Memorial Day, May 28 on VH1, 9/8C.

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