Singer/actress Letoya Luckett is back on the move, and this time she’s tapping back into her acting bug with her latest role as Selena Jackson for the movie Lucky Girl, which made its December debut on BET Networks. The songstress shares the on-set experience alongside the company of actors Malik Yoba, Columbus Short, Empire star Serayah McNeil, and many more as she explores the growth of her acting skills taking form through her character in the film.
Luckett opens up about what she’s learned throughout her latest ventures, moments of reflection and moving forward to what the future has to offer. But as the Lady of Luck takes us back to reminisce about some of her most favorite moments while filming Lucky Girl, she also reveals what is to come for her on both the music and acting fronts. In her recent chat with VIBE, Luckett gives new meaning to “woman on a mission,” destined to start her new year off just right.
How was it to work alongside people such as Malik Yoba, Columbus Short, Serayah McNeil and many more for Lucky Girl?
I was super, duper excited to work with the cast especially Malik Yoba, actors who I’ve admired for a very, very long time. I’m the type of actress that when I’m on set, I like to flourish. I like to endure and I admired their work for that for a very, very long time. So it was privilege to work with those two. It’s crazy because Malik and I had the last scene in the movie and I learned so much in that scene with him and I was like: ‘Man! I could’ve used that technique in the beginning.’ But I’m so happy that I got the chance to work alongside them.
What about this script stuck out to you the most when you took on the role of Selena Jackson?
I think the plot twist at the end, I wasn’t expecting that. I think that the whole basis of the movie is to let go of your past and to deal with things in your past. I could relate to that and I think that other people could relate to that but I think that the plot twist at the end was what threw me. Plus I thought Selena was just a different character for me to play. I had to play the delusional girl, someone that was kind of like all over the place when it came to her marriage and love life as well.
Tell us how it was to work under the creative eye of Lucky Girl executive producer, Jackie Christie.
I feel like she has such a great spirit. When I first met her on set, I felt like: ‘Wow, she has great energy.’ She was really nice to me. She was really cool, real cool.
If you could describe your best memory from working on the set of the movie with the rest of the cast, what would it be?
There was this scene where Billy Sorrells, who is a comedian, sets up the wedding dinner and our director, Greg, just let Billy go. When I tell you that we laughed so much because every time he was in scene, he did something different, he said something different and he was being so out of line that it was crazy. But he was so funny and it was the scene that all of us were a part of so I would have to say that was probably my favorite. Definitely one of my favorite times on set.
Being that you’re so experienced when it comes to music and you’re transitioning over to being an actress as you take on more roles, how do you see yourself growing more as an actress?
I think that’s it right there. The more experience I have, the better. I’m a learner and I love learning. I love to try new characters. That’s why I chose to play the role of Selena Jackson because I never played a role like that before. So I am definitely a fan of the arts and I am very passionate about acting and singing so a lot of people ask me: ‘Which one do you prefer? Which one has your heart?’ And I’m just like, I can do both! Whatever I’m passionate about, I spend time with it so I think that the more time that I spend with it, the more I’m comfortable, the more I grow in it. I really learn something from each character so it also helps LeToya too at the end of the day. But yeah, the more experience, the better.
What did you love most about playing Selena?
That’s a great question and as simple as it might be, I think it might be that the thing that I loved most about playing Selena was that I got to deal with LeToya stuff. I got the chance to learn a few lessons which, like I said, she was kind of stuck in her past and it prevented her from moving on to her better life ahead. She was scared to take that leap. That’s what stuck out to me in the script and that’s exactly what I wanted to take away from it. You can’t be afraid to take that step. You have to have that faith to try something different. So I think that was the biggest thing I loved about playing her is that to see her go through that process but to find my life as well.
On the flip side, what did you find the most challenging about playing Selena?
I think going in between the delusional part, her trying to figure out her crazy. I didn’t want her to be so ill that nobody couldn’t relate to her. So balancing that was something new for me because I had never played a delusional person who had to be on medication and deal with depression. Plus she was running away from taking her medication, so she was hiding the fact that she winging herself off of that. But yeah, I just never a played a character like that before.
Since Lucky Girl is a romantic comedy, who would you say was the funniest off set and behind the cameras?
Billy Sorrells! He is crazy! He is out of his mind! He’s from my hometown of Houston so he’s funny off screen but what he did with that scene…oh my gosh, he sold it with that.
Were there any characteristics that you felt that you identified with while playing the role of Selena Jackson?
I’ve been through Serayah’s character, the young girl who just wanted to be on Snapchat and be on the Internet, hang out with her friends, hanging out with her big sister, being cool so I’m sure I went through that at some point. I can’t picture it now. [laughs]
Ella Joyce, who you have worked alongside in the movie Preacher’s Kid, and plays the role of Melanie Jackson in Lucky Girl. Talk about how it was to reconnect with her for another film project.
It was awesome! Because I hadn’t seen her since then and the Preacher’s Kid was the first movie that I had ever done. and I remember her telling me on the first day on set, when I am freaked out and I didn’t know anything that was going to happen to me, since I had the lead role, she says: ‘You know you have to carry this movie? You have the lead role. You’re a lead actress in this movie. So everything really falls on your shoulders.’ I said, ‘Huhhhh?! What?! Thank you for saying that to add stress to my life!’ But you know what, it put fire in me to go hard and I thank her for that. On the set where she does the scenes of giving me advice, she does the same thing off screen. She’ll pull me aside to just be like: ‘If you need to talk, let me know!’ She’ll talk to me about real life stuff, she’s just like my mother. She has such good energy, I learn a lot from her every time I work with her and she was just so excited to see me and proud of me of the work that I’ve done since she had last seen me. So that was really cool.
What can we expect next from LeToya Luckett?
I have a television show coming on TV One, Here We Go Again. I star in that with Wendy Raquel and it is airing on February 9th. And also my album so I will be dropping my single in February so I talked with my label and it is happening.