Cheetah Girl To ‘Church Girl’: Exclusive Interview w/ Adrienne Bailon
Adrienne Bailon is one of the few triple threats left in the entertainment world. She’s a singer, reality star and co-host of a highly successful daytime talk show. But now she’s getting back to one of her first loves, by starring in the new inspirational film “I’m In Love With A Church Girl”, in theaters this Friday. Having gotten her start singing in her church choir, the role had a sense of homecoming for the 29 year old star. Adrienne got her big break singing backup for Ricky Martin after she was spotted singing in her choir at Madison Square Garden, and she hasn’t slowed down since. Heed sat down with the accomplished star to chat about her new film, her journey to success, and what truly means the most to her in life–family.
Heed: Whats going on Ms. Adrienne!
Adrienne Bailon: Im good, its an easy Monday so I’m happy. Thank you for having me.
Heed: Our pleasure, so “I’m In Love With a Church Girl” tell me a little about your role in the film.
AB: I am the church girl in the film, Vanessa Leon. I was so excited about playing this role because I related to it a lot because I grew up in the church. My mother was a superintendent of children’s ministries and my dad was a worship leader. So I spent 8 days in church a week (laughs), and I loved it because it gave [me] the foundation for everything. Thats where I got my love for the arts by singing in the children’s choir, the mass choir and joining worship teams. I love that I was raised in church and have that to carry with me, even if I’m in the club and something goes wrong those bible verses still come to mind.
Heed: So what aspect of your character did you enjoy the most?
AB: I loved that she was fun and happy! I loved that she was grown, which was important for me to play an adult character at this point in my career. I’m going to be 30! I love that she was insightful, thoughtful and very nurturing. And those are things that I don’t believe people have seen me portray in a role yet.
Heed: So you say that you used to sing in church. Will we get to hear you sing in the film?
AB: I don’t get to sing in this movie, because the character isn’t a singer (laughs).
AB: But we’re obviously doing a lot of the promotional stuff with Israel Houghton who is an incredible singer, so you might catch me breaking out in song in some of the promotional stuff!
Heed: What was the most rewarding part of filming this movie?
AB: The most rewarding aspect of doing this film is messages like this from my mother. (Adrienne pulls out her phone). Literally I just checked my phone and this is what I get. My mom said: “ I am so excited about this movie I’m so proud of you!”. I literally received that message fifteen minutes ago, so for me that means the most. My parents came out to support the movie and that truly means the most to me. My dad took a photo outside the church with a flyer for the film, and he is just so proud. In their eyes, my parents feel like I’ve come full circle. Because this is what I grew up doing and began singing in church and my talent comes from God. To be able to use what he gave me and send a positive message is so fulfilling.
Heed: And with that, what would you like viewers to take from the film?
AB: I hope that people who are believers watch the movie not thinking, “this is Adrienne Bailon and Ja Rule”, and that they actually receive the message. And then I hope others see Adrienne Bailon and Ja Rule are drawn to this movie even if they wouldn’t naturally go to church. I hope this film touches the masses and helps them by touching their lives.
Heed: Awesome. Now switching gears a little bit, The Real was very successful. Are their plans for it to come back permanently?
AB: They make the announcement this month. And thank you I had such a great time filming that show. For the first time I feel like people really got to know me, because I actually got to say what I think and feel. It was a great opportunity for my fans to really get to know me and its opened doors.
Heed: Are you planning to release a new album soon?
AB: I am. I actually head to Atlanta next week and I’m going back to the studio with Ne-yo. In transitioning from a Cheetah Girl, where I played a character who was 16 when I was actually 26. I think when I started making solo music which I made for a 26 year old audience, it was hard for people to believe it and connect. People were like “what does this girl know about being in a relationship”. So when they saw me on The Real, they realized that I actually have lived life and been through stuff. I’ve lived with a boyfriend, had to kick out a boyfriend. I’ve been cheated on and [had] my heart broken. I’ve been in love, and had great relationships. All those things that I’m singing about in my music will make sense now and connect with the audience. Timing is everything. And Gods timing is so perfect because I actually shot this movie almost three years ago. So to have The Real and this movie and now new music, everything has worked out perfect for me in the timing aspect.
Heed: Now the name of our magazine is heed and we like to definitely keep all of our interviews positive and shine light on all the positive things that our features are involved in. So what are some things that you take heed to in your everyday life?
AB: I take heed to my mother. It is because of her and her prayers that I am where I am today. Now that I’m older I appreciate her messages of encouragement and reminders to be who I am. Parents are wise and know a lot more than us. And I think because my mom is spiritual that she has insight. So yeah I take heed to my mom. Also, to say that I don’t listen to what people say on blogs and things would be a lie, because I do read and pay attention to them. But maybe a year or two ago, I would read the comments on a blog and they would hurt me so much. But at the same time I had to say, “what am I doing wrong that people are getting the wrong perception of me?” Somehow I was sending a message that was not who I really am. And I had to take heed to the perception that I was giving off, and take control of that. Some of the stories are absolutely ridiculous, last week Media Takeout posted that I have a secret baby somewhere and that I have a c section scar that is horrible. Those are things that I can laugh at now! You have to take the good with the bad and assess why you are giving off a certain perception.
Heed: Thats very mature and refreshing that you say that. Because most times people don’t look introspectively at their self. Is there anything else you would like to say or share with our readers?
AB: Go see the movie! I really think it’s important for people to go out and support movies like this, because of all the movies out there that are majority negative and violent. Balance it out and watch a movie that feels good and is positive. Lets show film studios that we do want to see these types of movies in theaters. There are millions and millions of people who claim to be believers, and yet we don’t really see those numbers show up at the box office for faith based films!
Be sure to check out Adrienne Bailon in “I’m In Love With a Church Girl”, in theaters THIS FRIDAY, October 18th! Check out the official trailer for the film!
All Photos © 2013 Brian Luman for Heed Magazine Inc. & www.iminlovewithachurchgirl.com