Shanola Hampton by Ben Miller Shanola Hampton by Ben Miller

Pizza, Locs And Hollywood: A Conversation With 'Shameless' Star Shanola Hampton

Shanola Hampton, star of Showtime's 'Shameless,' talks Hollywood, philanthropy and natural hair.

Shanola Hampton has been a regular on our television screens for some time now, having starred in hit series such as Reba, Scrubs, Criminal Minds, and Miami Medical.

Most recently, Shanola has been playing the role of sexy, charismatic (and slightly kleptomaniac) Veronica Fisher on the Showtime dramedy Shameless, placing her sassy stamp on the show for its now five-season run. Last month, the actress also teamed up with the "Saving Our Daughters" foundation to mentorship to young acting hopefuls.

VIBE Vixen caught up with Shanola to get her take on everything from natural hair to the importance of empowering young women. – Samantha Callendar

You’re known to bring the energy to the set of ‘Shameless’. Are there any ways in which you and your character Veronica are similar?
Veronica and I are similar in spirit, but different in hustle. We both have a passion for life and love fiercely. We are also tell-it-like-it-is friends, but always from a place of genuine love.

Love the locs! What’s your hair journey been like? Any encouraging words for women embarking on their hair journey (natural or otherwise)?
Thanks! I've been on the locs journey for over 15 years. I must say I’ve enjoyed my hair short, but really love it long because I can experiment with so many different styles. I would say to anyone choosing to embark on something new with their hair- just do it, it's just hair! Have fun and sometimes it works, sometimes it won't.

What was your experience growing up in the South, then transitioning into Hollywood?
Growing up in the South we say "yes Ma'am" and "no Ma'am." Here in Hollywood, people get offended. When I first moved, I would say hello to everyone and people would look at me like I was crazy. In the South everyone speaks, if you know each other or not. I'm raising my daughter more Southern, like how her father and I were raised.

What women in the industry inspire you to do what you do on a daily basis?
I am inspired by many, any woman I see not afraid to take risks and to hustle past adversity. Oprah inspires me, as does Angela Basset, Cicely Tyson, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, I could go on and on.

How has your involvement with "Saving Our Cinderellas” impacted you, and what do you hope others get from the initiative?
I am so excited about being a part of "Saving Our Cinderellas." I'm hoping when I am speaking with the young women they will see, I'm just a little country girl, from a small town who dared to dream, who worked and educated herself to make those dreams a reality. I want them to know and understand that when you follow your passion, no matter what it is, you will reap great benefits! I hope to evoke a confidence, to further fuel whatever fire has been ignited in them.

What’s your favorite?
Food: Food is Lasagna, Pizza, anything Italian! OH and CUPCAKES! I live to eat!
Hobby: Hobby is clearing off my dvr! I love television. Binge watching is also one of my favorite things.
Book: Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. I have a 13 month old!

What you do you see and hope for yourself in the future?
In the future I hope to continue acting on television and movies, but I'm really looking forward to the day I open a Performing Arts school.

Photo Credit: Ben Miller

From the Web

More on Vibe

50 Cent offers his condolences to a deceased member of the 'Power' crew.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Rest In 'Power': Crew Member For 50 Cent's Show Killed On Set

50 Cent offered his condolences to the loved ones of Pedro Jimenez, a crew member who was killed on the set of his hit STARZ show, Power, earlier this morning. (Monday, Dec. 10).

"I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning," wrote the media mogul in an Instagram post, which accompanied a black screen. "My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family."

According to TMZ, "Pedro Jimenez was setting up parking cones for a location shoot in Brooklyn around 4:20 AM when he was struck by a 2006 Ford Explorer. Police responded and Pedro was transported to a Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Jimenez was just 63 years old, and had reportedly worked on the series since its debut in 2014. Reports state that investigators have spoken with the 64-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Mr. Jimenez, who is also a crew member on the show. No arrests have been made.


View this post on Instagram


I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning. My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family.

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:29am PST

READ MORE: 50 Cent Reportedly Has A ‘Power’ Prequel In The Works

Continue Reading
Jemal Countess

'Queen Sono' Will Be The First African Original Series To Stream On Netflix

Netflix caught some flack over the weekend after it was reported the streaming behemoth shelled out a smooth $100 million to keep the 90s sitcom Friends. However, staying committed to original content IOL Entertainment reports Netflix will take on it first African series.

Titled Queen Sono, actress Pearl Thusi (pictured above at the 2019 Global Citizens festival) will star in the dramedy which finds Thusi portraying a spy motivated to help the lives of her South Africans, while dealing with highs and lows of a personal relationship.

Netflix's Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl who's in charge of content in Europe and Africa expressed excitement over Queen Sono.

"We love the team behind the show, [and] we're passionate about coming in and doing something that feels fresh and different. It's really exciting for us," she said. "Their point of view and creating a strong female character was really something that also really drew us to it.

Erik Barmack, also with Netflix, said Queen Sono is just the first of many to depict life in Africa.

"Over time our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we're moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content," he said.

READ MORE: Africa's Rising Youth Population Might Face A Job Crisis

Continue Reading

Cardi B Talks Stripping, Nicki Minaj, And Fame On 'CBS Sunday Morning'

Nothing was off limits during Cardi B's recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning. During the special, which aired on Sunday, Dec. 9, Cardi got candid with interviewer Maurice DuBois about her humble beginnings in the strip club, her beef with Nicki Minaj, and how she's been handling mega-stardom.

In case you missed it, check out a list we compiled of the Grammy-nominee's statements below, and watch the interview in the video above.

She called her beef with Nicki Minaj "unnecessary"

Cardi and Nicki Minaj have been at war for most of the year. The beef may have started following their collaboration on Migos' "Motorsport." Over the course of the year, it escalated to a physical altercation during a New York Fashion Week event, as well as many public jabs over social media. While both rappers previously agreed to turn their attention elsewhere, Cardi reflected on how the entire situation was "bad for business."

"A lot of people like to say all publicity is good publicity. To me it's not. That takes away [from] people paying attention to your craft," she said of her feud with Minaj.

Working at the strip club gave her power and a passion for performing

As you may know, Cardi B was previously a stripper before she gained mega-stardom. While she has shared mixed reviews about her past in various interviews, she told CBS that she thought stripping had a positive impact on her life.

"A lot of women here, they taught me to be more powerful," she said. "I did gain, like, a passion and love [for] performing. It made me feel pretty... I'm glad for this chapter in my life. A lot of people always want to make fun of me -- 'Oh, you used to be a stripper!' -- I don't ever regret it, because I learned a lot. I feel like it matured me. My biggest ambition was money. That's what these women put in my head: nothing is important but the money."

Her ability to connect with her fans stems from her accessibility 

Cardi undoubtedly understands how to connect with her fans and followers better than many of her counterparts. After all, the rapper built up her network in such a short amount of time. She attributes her likability to being "reachable."

"When I talk, I make a lot of mistakes," she continued. "Like, I might say words, and the words are not even in the dictionary. But people still like it because you can tell that I'm saying it from the heart."

She never imagined that she could make it this far

Before she made it big, Cardi admitted that she didn't expect her music to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. When reflecting on her first hit single "Bodak Yellow," she stated that she had low expectations at first.

"It hit at 85, and I just felt like, alright, I already did enough," she said. "Then when people was telling me, like, there's a possibility of going No. 1, I was like, 'Oh my gosh -- if I go No. 1, this is going to be crazy... and then it did. I just felt like I was on top of the world."

Continue Reading

Top Stories