Hometown Girl

"Let me see. I'm a big fan of Lexington Market. Them fried chicken wings?! Yes ma'am!"



August 07, 2005|By Tanika White | Tanika White,SUN STAFF

You know her best as the bubbly Nikki Parker on The Parkers. Or maybe you learned to love her when she tore up the crowds on the Queens of Comedy tour.

She's been on Showtime at the Apollo, Def Comedy Jam -- and recently, she nailed the role of a quick-witted hairstylist in the movie Hair Show.

But whether she's on the big screen or the small screen, onstage or on tour, one thing remains the same: Actress and comedian Mo'Nique is really just a Baltimore girl at heart.

She may live in Los Angeles now, but her personal hairdresser is from B-more (of course).

And this 37-year-old, who grew up in Randallstown and Milford Mill, never comes back home without stopping at Lexington Market.

We chatted with Mo'Nique -- who is pregnant with twins -- recently by phone from her home in L.A.

Since celebrity-dom hit you hard, you've relocated to Los Angeles. But how often do you get back to Baltimore?

Well, see everybody lives here [in Los Angeles] now. My whole family. My mom and dad are here; my brother and sister is here. So maybe like once or twice a year [I come to Baltimore].

What hotel do you stay in when you come home?

Girl, I don't stay in no hotel. I stay at my best girlfriend's house, or my grandmother's house.

Where's the best place to go eat in Baltimore?

Hmmm ... where do we go to eat? I go everywhere to eat (laughs). Let me see. I'm a big fan of Lexington Market. Them fried chicken wings?! Yes ma'am!

Baltimore women are known for their outrageously fabulous hair. Do you have a favorite shop to get your hair done when you come home?

Let me tell you, I am so blessed. Because the stylist that does my hair, her name is Rita Hamlin, she's from Baltimore but she lives out in L.A. So I just bring her with me wherever I go. It is the best thing. When I tell you, it's the little perks like that that I really love about [being a celebrity]. This stuff is beautiful!

Is there a man in your life?

Girl, yes, yes. In fact, he's in here dressing me right now. We're on our way out. He's been in my life for 25 years. We've been best friends since 10th grade. It seems like it's the first time around, and that's beautiful.

"The Parkers" aired its final episode last year. But you're a busy, busy woman, so I know you're not resting. What are you working on now?

I have a movie coming out in August. It's called Domino. It's about a bounty hunter, but the movie actually centers around my character. Because of some decision she makes, it causes some domino effects. It's from the same guy [Tony Scott] that did Man on Fire [with Denzel Washington]. I play a very young mother and grandmother. And before the movie is over, you understand why my character is a criminal.

Do you still like to do stand-up?

Oh, I love it! Stand-up for me is what keeps me sharp. Stand-up is right there in your face, in the moment. That audience, they don't care nothing about the movies or the TV shows. They want you to be funny right now. And if you weren't funny tonight, you just weren't funny tonight.

You're also the new spokesmodel for Just My Size, a plus-size clothing line. The company says they hired you because of your style, confidence and flair. Is that confidence something that has developed over time?

Honey, I was always sexy. I was always a sex kitten. OK?

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