Meagan Good: More Than Just Hollywood’s Siren

VIBE VIXEN: How was Sundance?
MEAGAN GOOD: It was really good. I mean, I didn’t get a chance to see a whole lot of movies or do a whole lot ’cause Learning Uncle Vernon had me pretty tied up, but it was great. The movie turned out excellent. I’m even hearing conversations about Common and the younger boy, Michael [Rainey Jr.], for Oscar buzz.

Nice! Now, last year word was buzzing about the girl group H.E.L.L.O Girls. Fast forward and tell me how the music coming along now.
I always said that I didn’t want to sing because I wanted to be considered a very serious actress, not an entertainer, but singing is a passion of mine, rapping is a passion of mine, and in the way that we decided to do it, it’s very fun. We’re not taking ourselves too seriously, and our vibe is kind of like Beastie Boys mixed with Gwen Stefani. We kind of just do what we want to do; that’s what I love about it. The music is fun, and I think that the audience that we’re trying to reach will definitely be receptive to it. It’s not negative; it’s not saying ‘Boy, you want me’ and all this other crazy stuff. It’s about girls having fun and respecting themselves and being fly, doing their thing.

Your character on Showtime’s Californication is a singer as well. Did you identify with this role more because of that?
Well, she’s a very different girl in a different place than I am at. This young woman, Kali, she basically wants to pursue her dreams and her goals, but she’s had a rough time and now she’s determined to make it. I didn’t focus so much on the singing as much as I focused on trying to bring the truth of who this character is and not trying to judge her.

How was it starring in eight episodes alongside David Duchovny?
Awesome. Our birthdays are actually two days apart, and we get along famously. I mean, just good chemistry. He’s a really good guy, really funny and quirky. He just made it very easy and made me very comfortable.

It’s no surprise that you’re so grounded in your faith. With this show being so wildly open and sexual, especially between you and Duchovny, how do you prepare for the intimate scenes to balance your strong morals off camera?
I think that they’re natural things. I think that, for me, it’s about portraying a character creatively and artistically as an actress. I believe that God has gifted me as an actress and intends for me to use that gift, but He also intends for me to use it to glorify him. So, if I’m playing the most perfect, religious girl then nobody gets anything out of it. It’s like being a Christian and only hanging out in church. When I play a character, I try not to judge her because ultimately it’s about where she ends up and what she learns from the journey, no matter what happens along the journey. Does she become a better person?

Jumping into a bit of Oscar talk, what role would you want to play in the future to gain Oscar-worthy attention?
I want to do Whitney Houston’s life story. I think that would be an incredible story to do. I talked to Whitney a little bit about it, and she’s open to it, so I want to see what happens with that. Hopefully, in the very, very near future. She has Sparkle coming out, and I’ve heard good things about it already. I heard she looks beautiful, she sounds beautiful, she looks healthy and she’s the Whitney that we know and love. And so I think that would be a great place for her story to end and really just be beginning, if they were to do her life story right now.

Playing Whitney would be a heavy task. If you do get the role, how would you prepare for something so major?
I’m definitely a Whitney fan, and I have been since I was a little girl. Me and her are both Leos, so we very much vibe out the same way; we understand the same things. You know, I’m a Christian first above everything. I don’t believe in basing my life on the stars because it says in the Bible not to do that, but I do believe that characteristics of different signs are very true to the person’s personality. I think me and her are very similar in that way. I definitely understand her.

Nice. Well, you know Brandy made a statement recently expressing that nobody could play Whitney like she could play Whitney. Would there be a competition between you two for this role?
No, I love Brandy. I’ve known Brandy since I was 10 years old, and it’s kind of one of those things. When they did the Dorothy Dandridge story, Janet [Jackson] wanted to do it, Halle [Berry] wanted to do it and I think Whitney might’ve wanted to do it too. There were quite a few people, and I really think it’s just about getting it done. Hopefully, whoever does end up doing it, people will be receptive to that person.

Out of all the roles that you’ve played, which character do you identify with the most?
I identify, to a certain degree, with almost every character that I’ve played. I think I’ve felt the most connected to is this character that I’m playing in Think Like A Man because she’s so optimistic and so hopeful for the best. She’s a little bit naive and very much close to who I was at 22.

So you feel that she’s learning those same lessons that you’ve already learned?
Um, yeah. I’m not as naive as the character is and, with guys, I’ve always been extremely cautious. My father and my mom separated when I was four and, of course you always have a lot of residue over that when you’re a young woman, so I was always on the defense. I was never as naive as her, but I was equally optimistic.

Alongside this particular cast, what are some of the things you took away from any of the other women on set?
Well, the reason I love Gabby [Union] so much is because we did Deliver Us From Eva together almost 10 years ago, and she really took me under her wing. She went to the head of Sony/Screen Gem and she said to him, ‘Clint, this girl is really talented. I really want you to start working with her. I really want you to help her out.’ In this industry, especially in this industry with Black folk regarding Black women, it’s very rare where another Black woman will go to bat for you and want you to get a job knowing that you guys could possibly be going up for the same role. And that’s the type of person that Gabrielle is. She’s an honest and genuine person, a real lover and she went to bat for me. All those [Screen Gem] movies kind of came from that one relationship that Gabrielle introduced me to. It’s not that she taught me something in particular, but she showed me that there are good women out there that are not catty and that actually want to see you succeed.

Sticking with the theme of the film, when did you get to a place where you were fed up with men and their games?
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play the game like the boys do. By the grace of God, I haven’t had a whole lot of bad luck, but it’s because I’ve been so guarded. I really just try to keep God first, so that’s kept me out of a lot of pit holes. There’s nothing that I’ve really done that I regret. I’ve made maybe one mistake that I could [handled] differently, but that’s pretty good for being 30 years old and I lost my virginity when I was 19, so I feel pretty confident that I’ve done well in my relationships. I really haven’t had to play the games because, with the guys, my mom made me so abreast to what’s going on that I was able to bypass a lot of BS.