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Robert Ri'Chard Talks Sexy Stripper Flick 'Chocolate City' And His Type Of Woman

Just call him Pretty Boy Richard.

The reformed gang banger, hailing from Los Angeles, California, is a familiar face in Hollywood, ever since his innocent 1998 Cousin Skeeter Nickelodeon role and goofy Arnez character on One on One. The 32-year-old's latest film, Chocolate City, has the ladies everywhere feenin' in anticipation for its May 22 release.

Upping his game to the extreme, Ri'Chard is ditching his straight-laced demeanor and taking his talents to the pole as a struggling stripper in Paramount's latest sensual feature flick alongside fellow eye candies, Tyson Beckford, Ginuwine, Darrin Henson and Michael Jai White.

Vixen caught up with the actor as he dished on what fans can expect from the movie, what makes it different from Magic Mike and what he looks for in a woman.

What can fans expect from Chocolate City?

Robert Ri'Chard: The movie is amazing. It's the most entertaining film; it's so clean, fun and sexy. It's got great comedy to fights with something for everybody. I'm so honored to be on the film. It's going to be everyone's favorite movie.

What was it like playing a stripper?

To be honest, it was a little nerve wrecking because I was on stage with Tyson Beckford, the most famous international model and other real talent. It was a bit of a gut check because there was 400 women screaming on the other side of the curtain and I had to go out there and perform for them. It wasn't a joke.

How does it compare to Magic Mike?

It's like Magic Mike at Disneyland- we're on the same boulevard. I'm a big fan of Channing [Tatum] because we worked together before on Coach Carter together. The same fans who enjoyed that movie will enjoy this movie. It has a different flavor and different taste but equally, if not more, entertaining. We keep raising the bar. Magic Mike XXL is coming out this summer and they'll try to raise the bar and when our sequel comes out we'll try to raise the bar. Then they're be a Magic Mike vs Chocolate City super movie! Like Chocolate Magic!

What are the qualities you look for in a woman?

The three most important qualities are the three S's; smart, sweet and sexy. You've got to have a good head on your shoulders.

What is your biggest turn on?

Confidence. We all come in different shapes and sizes- I'm not 6'7 foot tall, although sometimes I feel like it walking through the mall, but you just got to wear whatever you got the best you can. Some girls have curves, some have big heads, but whatever you got, you got to embrace yourself and be confident. It's something you can't wash off. That and class, because you can pay for school but you can't buy class.

What is your biggest turnoff?

My biggest turnoff is everybody's biggest turnoff, no matter who it is, you can't smell bad. You got to maintain proper hygiene across the board.

What game show would you be really good at?

I'd probably be good at Jeopardy and Family Feud. Because everybody thinks I'm dumb, and they're right, but being dumb has it's advantages because you don't over think things. Being ignorant does have its advantages.

Many fans know you best from our role as Arnez on "One on One." Do you still talk to your former co-star Kyla Pratt?

Of course I do, I still talk to everybody. I stay in the zone. I love to go to work. I'm passionate about my craft. I love what I do and I want to have excellence because you get immortalized at the office. What I do at the office, people will see forever, so if I don't bring it, I'm never going to be able to live that down. I take my work super seriously and I uphold everyone around me to the highest standards.

But as far as off the clock, I grew up being silly, never took myself too seriously and I love people so much. And that's always been me.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow your career path?

Preparation is everything. You have to be the monster when nobody is looking. Look at Stephan Curry in the playoffs, who's just murdering the game. What that comes from is being in the gym when nobody is watching with intensity. I go to work with that same mentality; if you're sleeping, I'm working. If you're eating, I'm working. I'm going for the top.

What else can we expect from you this year?

The Man in 3B, based on the Carl Weber's New York Times best selling book, with Lamman Rucker, comes out this fall.

Another movie, titled Bolden, who invented jazz He was like R.Kelly, 100 years ago. He's a schziospenzic, but he's an amazing trumpet player who invented a genre of music. I play George vacay - a French clarinet player for a New Orleans orchestra, who's invited by Bolden to join the band but ends up hating me because I'm better than him. But it's a great movie that's going to push technology like never before, like Avatar. The way they manifest his scho is out of this world.

Photo credit: Paramount

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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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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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