bianca lawson bianca lawson

Vixen Chat: Bianca Lawson on ‘Teen Wolf’, Longevity, and Beauty Secrets That Keep Her Looking Ageless

If you look up the definition of “longevity,” a picture of Bianca Lawson should be next to it. She’s been in the acting game for 20 years and her resume includes roles in Saved by the Bell, Save the Last Dance and more recently, The Vampire Diaries. She’s the actress everybody knows, but can’t quite name; the supporting player that completes the story.

Today, she assumes the role of Ms. Morrell on MTV hit Teen Wolf, where she is finally the adult and not the teenager. During our Vixen Chat, we talked about what role she still wants to play, working on (another) hit show and why she doesn’t seem to age.

bianca lawson on teen wolf

Has acting always been your dream?

Acting has always been my number one dream. When I was younger, I did it more just as a personal passion and school was my career. I always thought this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, but I always left the door open in case I wanted to do other things. But it’s pretty much been my number one forever.

What’s one role that you’re still dreaming of doing?

I’ve always wanted to play Cleopatra. I’m a huge Elizabeth Taylor fan and I loved her Cleopatra. I love playing strong, powerful women who own their sexuality. I’ve never played an addict and I would love to do that.

Who’s been your favorite character to play so far?

I enjoyed them all for different reasons. I have to say I loved this miniseries for Showtime called Feasts of All Saints. That’s probably one of my favorites because it was so different from anything I’d gotten to do and I got to spend time with Anne Rice which was like a dream.

If you could spend a day with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’ve always been fascinated with Einstein, so I’d love to chat with him and pick his brain. The one person if I could spend time with would probably be my grandmother who passed when I was one.

For those who don’t watch, what is the premise of Teen Wolf?

The story of Teen Wolf is about owning your own power and coming into yourself. We all have these callings where we have to step up and be a larger version of ourselves. Scott (Tyler Posey) has to make that transition from a boy to a man who has great responsibility. I think it’s a really powerful message. My character is the guidance counselor and a lot of other things that are going to be revealed. Her and a couple of other characters are keeping the balance between good and evil.

What are your thoughts on the supernatural?

I feel there is so much more going on beyond our senses. I don’t know if anyone knows for sure, but I definitely feel like there’s much more to this existence that we encounter in a human way. Nature itself is so miraculous. Birth is miraculous—a human being grows inside your stomach. That’s magical to me!

What is it like working behind the scenes on Teen Wolf?

Every set is different, but this particular set is fantastic. Not that I have been on any bad sets, but there’s always a different vibe because people have different energies. It just seems like everyone is so excited and believes in what they’re doing. I’m not there everyday and I’m not someone who puts myself in the position to give advice, but if anyone were to ever come to me, I’d happily do that.

bianca lawson

You’ve been acting for over twenty years. What’s the key to longevity?

I don’t know if there’s a key to it. I just felt like I had no other choice. There was never any other options for me. There was never a plan B. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t do it. I never had a master plan. You have little goals along the way, but I think longevity in anything requires endurance.

When you’re not on TV, what are you watching?

I just did a binge of Orange is the New Black. When it was the last episode, I was like “Noooo!” (laughs). I’m also a big fan of Homeland and House of Cards.  It’s easier for me to catch up on things on Netflix or On Demand. Some much time passes where I can’t watch TV, so I have to catch it on an off day.

We’re convinced you don’t age. What’s you’re secret?

That’s very sweet! I definitely think genetics play a huge factor. I don’t really have a routine or regimen and I think that’s the secret—the simpler, the better. I’ve been using the same products since high school. I feel like the more you leave yourself alone, the better. When people are constantly changing products and doing what the ‘new’ thing is—it drives your skin, hair and body crazy. Stick with what’s working and listen to your body. I’ve always been a water drinker. My mom never had soda and stuff in the house. I’m allergic to sunscreen so I don’t avoid the sun, but I don’t dwell in it.

What are some of those products you use?

I have really sensitive and dry skin, so I use Cetaphil cream cleanser. I’m a big fan of aloe vera. My mom had an aloe plant when I was younger and we used that for everything.

Have you had a set of actor friends throughout your career?

I’m definitely someone who isn’t on the scene. I have the same friends I’ve had for years. I have a couple of friends in the industry, but not a ton of actor friends. I go to work, I do my job and if a relationship develops organically, those are the longer lasting ones. I’ve got my same little group that I’ve had for 20+ years.

What’s coming up next for you?

I have a film I produced that’s going to air on Lifetime. I’m excited because that was the first time I was the lead where you’re in every scene and it was so rewarding. And as a producer, I got to be involved with decisions in a way that I had never been before.

Will it be your typical Lifetime-type of movie?

It was written specifically for Lifetime, so it’s definitely got that tone. It’s about domestic violence, and being a young woman. I would love to do more producing. It gives you a little more control. It’s a really fulfilling creative experience for me.

What advice can you give to brown girls looking to join the acting world?

Absolutely believe in yourself. In all situations, nothing is perfect. I wouldn’t focus anything that’s perceived as lack or how many roles don’t go to black actresses. Have tunnel vision. Don’t think of what’s wrong. Think how can I change this? How can I create something for myself? Don’t try to meld yourself into what’s ‘successful.’ Know what’s interesting or different about you and own that. Eventually, people will come around. Surround yourself with supportive people who will remind you what you’re original goal was. It’s easy to get caught up and frustrated.

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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