Interview: Kim Coles Talks New Web Series 'Faux Show', Finding Love Again And 'Living Single' Secrets
So this is what having the best year ever looks like. Actress Kim Coles is basking on Cloud 9, fresh off a breathtaking tropical Dominican Republic wedding and debuting two new comedy series, the Faux Show (which premieres July 29) to The BFF Chronicles on YouTube. Coles, an undeniable embodiment of positive black women in Hollywood, is keeping it real "fake" in a new web series alongside real-life bestie and Living Single alumna Erika Alexander as Dusty, a talk-show host on the brink on getting the boot for being “more Bougie than Black."
Viewers first fell in love with Coles as the quirky, goofy, troll-loving Synclare James on the 90s classic Living Single, in addition to her stint on In Living Color and other notable projects like her touring one-woman shows and books.
Aside from cracking up audiences with her boisterous sense of humor and endearing personality, the TV comedienne and auntie in your head destroyed all statistics, proving true love's relentless persistence despite age or season. No longer "living single," the 53-year-old jumped the broom earlier this year to Reggie McKiver, after sparks instantly flew when he worked as her security detail at a natural hair expo.
Vixen caught up with Ms. Kim as she dished on finding love again, her new projects and Living Single secrets fans would be surprised to know. - Angela Wilson
VIBE Vixen: How did the new web series Faux Show come about?
Kim Coles: This is what happens when friends decide to work with friends. My good friend and spiritual brother Scotch Ellis and I had done a lot of stuff together, from a play I wrote and produced years ago, we became best friends. Over the years we kept saying we need to work together and he said he wanted to create a show and play with me to create something where you're going to shine and we did it! I had nothing to do with the creation or writing I just showed up. He knows me well; he knows my strengths and he created this so we could have a way to play together, which is marvelous.
You can tell from the trailer you two are genuinely having fun on set.
We are! And he wrote it beautifully, but left room to play, what actors really want to be able to do- or some actors- who want the room to grow and stretch. But it read well on the page and it became magical.
We love seeing you and your real-life bestie Erika Alexander working together again, how did that come about?
Again, from friendship and everybody just coming together. But Erika and I have our own series as well called The BFF Chronicles, on YouTube. So she and I always look for ways to play together and Scotch knows how much we love each other and he loves her and together they represent my two best friends. So I guess he figured she's talented and she's going to come here and add something. So it was all just a phone call, it was easy.
Can you relate to your character Dusty in any way?
I can relate to Dusty in that she is a woman who I grew up watching a lot of TV, talk shows and variety shows. She's a host whose been at the top of her game but also could use an understanding on how to become relevant in today's market. And I had to figure that out awhile ago as a performer to stay relevant.
You constantly need to reinvent yourself. And I don't think your audience necessarily requires you to- if you have an audience of fans they come with you, but you have to take them on a journey. And Dusty is about to embark on a journey and I can relate because I had to jump on that journey myself.
We cant go any further without saying congratulations on getting married!
Thank you! I represent the fact that you can find love at any age and any time. I'm 53 and my husband is almost 42. I love to tell people I'm not a cougar, mostly because I can't run that fast, I'm more like a prairie dog or a meerkat, something that runs a whole lot slower! But I'm really delighted, he's a truly awesome man. I found my soul mate and I'm happy.
What advice would you give to the woman who wants to give up on love, feeling like it'll never be her turn?
You have to keep your heart open, you just have to. No matter how much bitterness has happened or pain or how many "lovable losers" you've dated, the truth is you have to look at yourself and explore what it is about you that has drawn these people into your life to teach you those lessons. It's not a blaming type thing because people show up and you have to look at the lesson they bring with them and evolve. Resolve to evolve pass the lesson and move on.
I've been doing a lot of work on myself, and I'm not saying I'm perfect by a long shot, but it's interesting I drew in a different quality of man this time and the lessons I'm learning from him is not the same as before. I feel like I've completed those lessons so the lessons we go through together are brand new. And the truth is you have to stay open and not blame every past relationship on them, you also have to take responsibility. And be open to what the universe has for you. And I had just broken up with someone before I met him and I'm so proud I was able to stay open to let him in and he had done the work on himself so he was ready too.
Many know you as Synclare from Living Single fame, what is something about the show fans would be surprised to know?
I don't think fans would be surprised to know how much fun we had on set because you can see it. I think a lot of people are unaware that the show was created around me and Queen Latifah. Because she has gone on to mega success, people have said to me, 'Oh you were on Queen Latifah's show Living Single and I'm like no- we were equals on show.
I also didn't have to audition for the show, it was created for me. It was a blessing because the truth is there's a lot of girls that could've played Synclare, I know that, there's a lot of talented people, but I was given an opportunity of a lifetime and I'm so grateful for it. I like to believe if I would've auditioned I would've still gotten it, but you know how it goes.
The other thing is we worked really hard to have a show our community would be proud of. As I look back on the show, I'm so proud of it. And we worked for that to be the case. We talked to the writers- even fought with the writers- saying, 'No, Kyle wouldn't say that, he's an educated man.' Or with Overton, who may be your everyday man, but he's actually not stupid, he's very smart in his own way. So we fought to make these characters rich and something you can be proud of. We worked hard, it wasn't just a place where we just went to go play, we were very aware we were speaking to a community that wanted to be heard in a classy way.
Do you still talk to your cast mates?
I do! I spoke to TC yesterday. I talked to John a few weeks ago to invite him to my wedding. Kim Fields and I just tweeted each other back and forth congratulations and love. I saw Queen Latifah at my bridal shower comedy show and Erika and I are best friends so we talk every week. I speak to all of them but in varying degrees, but I'm closest to Erika and TC. And the friendships happened right away on set.
What else can fans expect from you this year?
I have a one-woman show, "Oh, But Wait... There's More,' that I'm semi-touring, sometimes I tour or I leave it in LA. My husband and I are working to build a brand together. He's the most interesting man I've ever met; he's a holistic intuitive, a former pastor, former police officer and he has a unique way of working with people on raising your vibrations and energy. I'm already a speaker, and he and I have begun combining forces.
We do online events and live events all about transformation and inspiration. I provide the inspiration and he talks to folks about transformation. We're going to be helping people in our own fun way to envision their dreams in a big way.
I have also gone behind the scenes co-producing a show that just got optioned for eight episodes on WeTV. It's a reality show about black female attorneys based in Houston, and it's called, wait for it, Sisters in Law! So I'm super excited about that I get to effect change from a different perspective.
What something about you that can't be Googled?
I know how to twirl a baton. It's a hidden talent, it's people who know I can do it because I've done it on talk shows but I don't think a lot of people know I can do that.
Also, I'm not a good cook. Wait, let me take that back, when I do cook, I cook very well and it's tasty, but I'm not someone who can just go in the kitchen and throw down!
The Faux Show premieres on Facebook and YouTube on July 29.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Faux Show stills