Vixen Chat: Kyla Pratt on Maturing, Motherhood, and Managing Hollywood
Kyla Pratt has made the tricky transition from childhood star to business-savvy actress—a rarity in hallowed Hollywood Hills. In addition to starring on BET hit Let's Stay Together, the former Proud Family star is also a proud mommy and loving girlfriend hoping to propel her career to new heights.
The brown-eyed bombshell recently took a break from watching her little one to talk to us about being Hollywood's baby-faced sweetheart, conquering with confidence and not getting caught up in labels.
Photo Credits: Getty Images
VIBE Vixen: What should the fans expect from the new season of Let’s Stay Together?
Kyla Pratt: I’m really excited about it. I think this season for Let’s Stay Together has gotten a little more risqué and a just lot of fun. My character is still crazy, but she switches things up a little bit. She’s still young and doing whatever she wants to do. She has a lot of crazy things going on this season. Ms. Kyla goes blonde. That was actually my first time really dying my hair.
Does traveling for the job affect your family?
Not really. I’m a mom, so traveling with children is kind of crazy, but I’ve gotten used to it now. I’m ready for the craziness.
How do you juggle acting and Hollywood?
It’s not really difficult for me to juggle. Don’t get me wrong, it is difficult, but I have to maintain a positive attitude. I always wanted to be a mother. I love being a mother. It’s the best thing that I’ve ever done in my life and I also enjoy my career, so if I want to do both, I got to make it happen. Me wanting to do both, of course, I have my complaints because I have my days, but I want to do it all, so if that means that I have to get four hours of sleep a night then that’s what happens.
Are you still working towards your psychology degree and where do you want it to take you?
I am not in school right now, but whenever I’m not working I take the time out to take a couple of classes. I have to remind people that I have a full time job and I am a mom. I can’t just drop all my classes when a job shows up, so I take semesters off. I’m slowly working towards a degree. I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I guarantee it’s going to happen one day.
I’m one of those people that want to do everything. I’m like, “Oh, I want to do nursing because I want to be able to help people.” I’m not going to say what my major is because I keep changing it. I think that going to school is never a bad thing. I feel like you can never learn too much. And I even try to incorporate something that I learned in class in like a role or something. I like to write as well, so if I can incorporate something into writing a character or writing a story then I’m doing something that’s good and productive in my life. I don’t’ know if it (the degree) will necessarily lead me to being a teacher, or a psychologist, or psychiatrist or a nurse, but I know that I will have the knowledge of these different professions or these different people in the world. That’s what keeps me going back; you can never learn too much and it’s not bad to do something hands on. It’s exciting for me because I was homeschooled for the majority of my high school years, so it’s fun for me to walk into a class and learn something new and to be able to understand it and if I don’t understand it; to get pissed off to the point where I make myself understand it. It’s a challenge and I love to constantly challenge myself.
Why did you want to be an actress?
Growing up, my mother was an actress. She did a lot of theater when I was younger, so I used to watch her do a lot of shows. And when opportunity came about, I figured “why not?” I want to be like mommy. I started in the business when I was 7-years-old, so to me it was a hobby. It was like my afterschool thing that I got to do. Everybody else did like cheerleading or drill team or playing an instrument and I got to go on auditions. It wasn’t a job. It was fun. As I got older, I started looking at it differently. But I guess ever since then, I just knew that this is what I wanted to do. I just fell in love with it.
Are you more comfortable doing shows like One on One and Let’s Stay Together? Do you see yourself trying to take on more serious roles in the future?
I am comfortable doing things like that, but I’m always up for a challenge. I like the roles and I know the roles are somewhat similar. I grew up acting in sitcoms and being that somewhat goofy, funny girl that’s always saying something crazy, but I like to be challenged, I like to do other things as well. For me, this is what’s going on right now, this is what I’m enjoying right now, so hopefully in the future I can do other things as well.
What was your favorite role?
That’s hard, what stuck out for me in my childhood, I would have to say, I did an episode of Walker Texas Ranger when I was 10-years-old and I got to do karate. It was my first time doing my own stunt, so I think that’s probably sticks out the most right now.
I like to do crazy stuff that I’ve never done before and being able to do my own stunts and getting shot in the episode and stuff like that, that was fun. I’ve been very fortunate to work with great actors who are also great people, so I have a lot of great experiences from movies like Dr. Dolittle, Fat Albert, Proud Family and One on One. Luckily, I didn’t deal with a lot of crazy people at a young age. I think I remember the fun that I was having on set rather then actually shooting.
What is the child to adult actress transition like?
I feel like I’m still in that transition. Like they say “black don’t crack,” I just ran into somebody today and they asked me “how old are you?” and when I told them, they were like “What?” The years go by and I guess everybody still looks at me like I’m between the ages of 20 and 22. There’s nothing wrong with that because my momma looks good, so I think that’s going to be me.
I think I’m still transitioning and still reaching out for those adult roles and to be believable as an adult because everybody still sees me as what they grew up watching, but I’m so much more than that. We've got some things peeking out and slowly coming through for y’all in some new projects.
Have you done any stage acting or theater acting?
I have not and that’s one thing that I can’t wait to do because that’s what my mom did. For me to do that would be like the greatest accomplishment. I like to be challenged. I think Taraji P. Henson posted something recently saying, “Theater is an actors’ boot camp.” I just can’t wait to be a part of something like that. Hopefully the right project comes along and I can make it happen. I’m never opposed to it because that’s what my momma used to do.
What would you say is you ultimate professional goal?
My ultimate goal would be to raise my babies successfully and have a successful relationship while maintaining my professional career. For me to be able to do it all and be wonder woman and make it happen, because I want to do a little bit of everything. For me not to give up on one part of my life and strive in every part. I want to be a great mother, a great wife, a great actress and I feel like I should be able to do it all. I shouldn’t have to give one thing up for the other. That’s my goal, in theory.
What is a normal day for you like?
It really depends on the day. I’m always moving because I’m a mom and no matter what, we don’t have days off. Even when my babies are with my mom, I can’t get anything done because I’m always calling and making sure they have this and that.
A typical day for me would be getting up early, making sure my babies are good. I might have an audition here or there. If I’m working, making sure I’m up before dawn and making sure I’m out of the house and making sure my babies are taken care of. Every day is different. I kind of create my schedule myself. I try to take care of the kids, and work out and audition and once a week acting class. That’s my crazy life—something exciting and new everyday.
Ever get attacked by stans?
It’s funny because a lot of people ask me that, but I be chilling. Don’t nobody bother me. I go wherever I feel, especially at home in LA because there’s so many different people out her who are in the industry, so it’ s not really that exciting when you run into somebody. Every once in a while I’ll get stopped for a picture or someone just talking to me about enjoying my work and I really appreciate it. When I’m in a small town, I tend to get a lot more attention.
Working in Atlanta is kind of crazy. Like out here in L.A. nobody cares but in Atlanta people are like “Oh! Oh!” and I’m like “Oh, danm.” I’m not one of those people who are good at camouflaging because if I put on glasses or something people will look over me, but as soon as I start talking, it’s a rap. People recognize my voice and I don’t even realize how recognizable my voice is. And I don’t know how to shut up, so yeah I’m not a good hider, but most of the time people don’t bother me. It depends on the day and where I am.
Do you have childhood friends that you’ve had for years?
Of course. I have a friend and my mom was her second grade teacher. I have a friend that I went to middle school with. Most of us have kids now, so it’s like I’ll see you when I see you, but I’ll try to plan a girls day or we’ll do girls night out. We do regular things. I let people know that I’m a normal person with an extraordinary job. I love what I do. When I get a sitter I’m like “Let’s go get drinks,” you know? Or we can just chill in the house and watch a movie or get together and watch Scandal.
What would you say is a fact about you that is un-googleable?
I don’t know, I’m pretty open. I would just say that I’m a cool person. Just don't mess with me and we cool.
If you're a fan of the Let's Stay Together, stay tuned as Kyla Pratt takes over our Twitter on Tuesday April 1 at 10:30pm EST.