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Tika Sumpter Talks Sex, Lies, Deceit & The Art Of Seduction On “The Haves & Have Nots”

I had a chance to sit and chat with the cast of Tyler Perry’s new scripted series “The Haves & Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor,” premiers on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network on May 28-29.  I just love the very charismatic, CocoaFab and one of my favorite actresses, Tika Sumpter, on get her insights on working with Tyler Perry and why we will be hooked on “The Haves & Have Nots” sex, lies and deceit!

Click on the links if you haven’t seen the sneak peek of The Haves & Have Nots and “Love Thy Neighbor”

John Schneider, who plays Mr. Cryer a powerful judge (The Haves) who leads a double life and has an affair with Tika’s character Candace, speaks on the on-set Tyler Perry experience:

“It’s not a soap opera.  Like Renée said we shot sixteen episodes in twenty-two days and several of those were because of the flow and the dialogue was so wonderful that we were doing that should’ve been 48 minute shows That was actually timing out of 46. So Tyler had to write additional scenes and I wasn’t in them but some of them he was writing in handing out and saying here the show’s a little short so we have to do it right now.  So it’s a scripted show but in a very real way I think from our standpoint it was damn near like reality. The arguments were real.  The problems were real. Much of it I don’t remember doing. Because we did it once and it was done and as an actor what a wonderful experience that is ’cause usually you just beat things to death so that you do things that you hope are kind of okay that talented people can fix (editing) once you’re done. That’s not the case here it was stellar from the very beginning and I can’t wait to see it. I really can’t wait to see it!”

Tika on adapting to her sexy sultry character opposite of her characters in movies such as Sparkle:

“It’s fun to play sexy and sultry and not give a damn what people think to say yeah here it is, here you go and that was my thing with Tyler (Perry).  And that was my thing with Tyler I was like Tyler I don’t think she would take this off.  And he (Tyler Perry) was like ‘she would she would totally take it off’.  And you know her body is just part of who she is and she’s comfortable with it and so accepting that you know every woman has sometimes certain parts like Joy have to show, Do you really think that they want to see this again? You know but that’s just who Candace is.  She loves herself, for the most part, I mean she has issues but her body is just a part of who… It’s like what! I love how comfortable she is and sexy and sultry and bad girl is fun to play.”

Tika on relating her experience from her soap opera days on One Life To Live with The Have And Have Nots”

“Well the crazy thing about soaps is, almost every superstar has been on a soap just so you know!  But no the crazy thing is that it moves so fast. And I was on One Life To Live like eight years ago and when I came here I didn’t realize how fast it was going to be. Literally I called the night before and like wait really doing this script like in a day and they were like well, yeah! And I was like oh my God.  Everything is it moves really quick and that’s what I remember doing in the soaps we did a script a day. And that’s just what I shows a week a script today that was it.  So I kind of pulled from that.  The thing is you have to get into character quickly you have to be prepared fast. So I guess that’s what I pulled from that situation.  But when you working with really talented people you know and I work with John a lot and just a lot of times I just looked at him and took his cue and just excited to work with everybody on our show and when you’re working with talented people they kind of help lift you up so I just feel like that’s what happened.”

Rita: We all know that Tyler Perry is quite the Comedian.  How was it filming a sex scene with Mr. Perry in the room?

John: I’ve never seen anybody so protective of someone as I saw of Tyler with Tika.  As far as making sure that…. I mean It’s an odd thing, we say okay I want to clear the set because we don’t want anybody looking at this but it’s going on television.

Tika: (Jokingly) They cleared the set? When?

John: They cleared the room. But it was wonderful to see because he is goofy. He’s goofy.  He’s a big goofy guy. And it’s wonderful to see that because there’s an atmosphere of professionalism that I’ve never really seen. But there’s also light atmosphere going on within it that makes you very comfortable.  But he was so protective like you were his little sister and it was a delight as a father, it was a delight to see.

On another interracial dating story line being as successful as Kerry Washington’s experience on Scandal.

Tika: First of all I love Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes I think they’re genius I think Kerry and Shonda kicked down and open the door for so many other opportunities especially for black women and women of color to lead shows whether it’s Lucy Liu or Kerry or whomever it just opened the door.  You know Tyler created the show on stage first so the internship dating is just a progressive part of life.  I don’t know if we’re dating (referring to her character on the show who is actually having an affair) I hope the excitement carries over.  Good TV is good TV.  Great writing is great writing and fun shows are just fun shows.  So hopefully they watch it and they want to tune in to the next week. It’s a two-hour show. It’s two episodes actually on the 28th so hopefully they’ll stay tuned!… It’s cliffhangers it’s the fun it’s the juiciness so hopefully all of that will play into people wanting to watch.

On her advice to young girls chasing fame and celebrity vs. striving to work as a professional actress.

“You got to decide if you want to be famous or if you want to work as an actor.  If you want to be famous you can totally get there a certain way as we know now but if you actually want to work as an actor you have to hone your craft, study in high school do something every day to build.  Read a play.  Read Mark Twain.  Read something if you really want to do it (acting).  But the first decision is do I really just want to be what I see magazines every day because it takes 10 years to make an overnight success…”

I know I will be tuning in!  Will you?

Tika Sumpter Stars in Tyler Perry's "The Haves And The Have Nots"
Tika Sumpter Stars in Tyler Perry’s “The Haves And The Have Nots”

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