When your ex-husband is arguably the biggest comedienne on the planet, you know that any distress in the relationship is going to be headline news. Following her high profile divorce and subsequent residual drama, Torrei was thrust into the often times harsh limelight.
Never one to be content with settling for what’s easy, Torrei has plunged headlong into forging her own career and creating her own brand. The vibrant mother, actress, producer & television personality boasts a veracious independent streak and hunger for success that has gained her throngs of fans and an impressive resume of her own.
Ashley: Since your high profile divorce, a lot of women look up to you as role model because you didn’t let it stop, you persevered. How do you handle that responsibility?
Torrei: I don’t take it for granted and I want to be the best woman I can be and show women that one monkey don’t stop no show. My mother used to always tell that to me and she’d say “if things happen to you in life you gotta keep pushing, you gotta keep going.” Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. It has taken me a while to get to this point where I’m at right now. It’s taken God, it’s taken some soul searching to really understand why it happened but I like it because honestly its helped me become a better woman. I feel like now I do have a story that women can relate to. I’ve shared my story very openly and if me talking out and being transparent can help then I’m all for that.
One woman reached out to me on social media and basically said that she was going to commit suicide because her husband had left her. She was with her husband for a long time, they started a business together, they had 2 beautiful children and he left her for his assistant. She thought her world was done, she thought her world was over. I told her to call me. I sat with this young lady, I prayed with her for almost an hour, we talked. I encouraged her and I just kind of gave her an inside glimpse into parts of my life that I didn’t put out into the public and let her know that I had those moments too but I kept pushing on and to this day we still communicate with each other.
Ashley: Who has been a surprise supporter of your movement?
Torrei: The one person who reached out to me via social media and has been like a mentor to me is motivational speaker, life coach and author, Tony Gaskins. He’s been on everything from Oprah to Dr. Phil. He’s definitely been a supporter of mine and spoken life into me and helped me with a lot of things that go on in my life. I would also have to say my manager, he’s not famous but he should be, Reno Rankin. He’s been awesome, he supports me one hundred percent and works very hard for me. I thank God for placing him in my life and for having him in my corner.
I would also have to say my ex-husband (Comedienne, Kevin Hart). He still does things for me, supports me and encourages me. The good thing about that is we’re on the same page when it comes to co-parenting so if I have an audition, or if I have to fly and travel he’s like if you need me to take the kids or if you need help with this or that let me know; whatever I can do to make it easier for you. So I have a great support system.
No Peace, No Piece ! That’s the premise in the new Spike Lee joint, “Chi-Raq,” set in the modern day American warzone known as Southside Chicago where the women have gone on a sex strike to force their men to end the killings and gang wars.
Ashley: You’re in Spike Lee’s new movie Chi-Raq, tell me about your character and one of your favorite scenes.
Nick: My character is a young man who is troubled and goes on a passionate journey to learn what manhood is all about through the tale that Aristophanes wrote over two thousand years ago called Lysistrata, about how a young woman stopped a war with a sex strike but its put in modern day Southside Chicago, since its being perceived as a warzone.
Ashley: how do you think you’ve matured as an actor and about life?
Nick: understanding spirituality and what it contributes to your art and your passion and your soul. To be able to bring that across is not a performance, but you’re awakening a lot of spirits that you have within you to bring things across.
Ashley: My favorite thing about my life is________
Nick: My journey
Ashley: _________is of great value to me, but maybe not to you.
Ashley: the last sexual gift I received was __________
Nick: (Grab the New Issue to find out the answer to this + you won’t believe what else we asked Nick!)
We caught up with Orlando in the middle of another busy day in sunny California. Despite all that he has going on, we were able to catch him in a particularly talkative and candid mood as we asked about everything from how he has manages to stay positive and working in the industry to what he thinks about Raven Symone being in the hot seat.
The actor/artist is best known for his role as Eddie Thomas on the sitcom That’s So Raven and guest starring in several sitcoms, including his early roles as 3J in Family Matters, Tiger in Major Payne, and Nelson in The Jamie Foxx Show. He was also the voice of Sticky Webb on the animated TV series The Proud Family.
Ashley: Do you think being in the industry from such an early age has helped you or hurt you in your personal life?
Orlando: I think it helped tremendously. It paved the way for me to be a household name and not be a one hitta quitta type of artist. My fan base has grown up with me my Major Payne days to the Jamie Foxx Show. Its really blessing and I’m grateful for having that background and its only made me stronger.
Ashley: After “That’s So Raven” you hit quite a rough patch, which we won’t go into (you had a lil’ legal trouble), but how have you managed to stay positive and continue working?
Orlando: First of all, let’s get into the shit if we gon’ get into it…You’re right, it was definitely a rough patch based off of the fact that a lot of people didn’t know that I loss a very near and dear person to me, Chad Butler (Pimp C). He had passed away and I didn’t deal with that too well, so I took some time away from the industry, maybe 3 years, to get my mind right. I bought a new house, relaxed and took some time to really figure out what this industry meant to me, what my gift meant to me and what I really wanted to do. It catapulted me to want to get up off the couch and stop crying or whatever the case may be and It turned into something beautiful and I’ve been busy and working ever since.
Ashley: I gotta ask you, your former co-star Raven (Symone) has been in the hot seat about comments she made about she wouldn’t hire people because of their name. Did you see any of the meme’s, what do you think?
Orlando: yeah, I aint gon’ say nothing…I aint got nothing to say…I Looooove Raven….lol, ok but here’s the thing, how you gon talk about all this ghetto stuff and ghetto names but you wearin’ ghetto hairstyles every damn show!? She got dreads wrapped up on top of her head, and rainbow colored hair like her name is Angeliqua, lol. She wearing the boots and stuff like her name is Concretetia. But hey, to each his own. I love her; that’s family. I think she was just voicing her opinion and I definitely stand behind her 100%.
Ashley: Ok, first things first, why is your Instagram page private!?
RD: because people follow you for the wrong reasons sometimes. And I just really want to monitor who’s following me. I saw this post one time that said 90% of the people that follow you aren’t even your supporters and when they broke it down it was like only 10% of them support you…and it makes sense, because if you do the percentage on the amount of albums I’ve sold and the digital copies it breaks down to the number of people that follow me. You’ll probably realize this one day, that the majority of the people that follow you are just there to be nosey, there not there to support your movement, your goals, or anything. I’ve been blessed to be one of those artists that had a cult following way before social media and they followed me onto social media.
The fact that you’re asking means that you probably don’t follow me and you was trying to snoop around on my page, lol…
Ashley: ______is the perfect part of a woman that I like exploring.
RD: The black ice cream.
Ashley: What’s the black Ice cream?
RD: looks like you have some research to do.