DIGGING FOR PLATINUM – LisaRaye: The Real McCoy returns for Season 2


Photo credit: Robert Kley/TV One


DIGGING FOR PLATINUM – LisaRaye: The Real McCoy returns for Season 2

LisaRaye McCoy has come full circle. The Hollywood actress and former First Lady of the Turks and Caicos, often called a “banger” in modern day terms because of her sultry and striking beauty, is back on her grind and excited as TV One’s highest rated show, LisaRaye: The Real McCoy returns for a second season. With a divorce behind her, her reality show and a scripted series on VH1 (“Single Ladies”) in front of her, and a spiritual transformation that has helped her balance her life, LisaRaye McCoy is in the throes of a comeback. She says she is no longer going for the gold, but she’s digging for platinum. 

The nine-episode second season of LisaRaye: The Real McCoy, filmed in Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas, finds the outspoken star kicking her own acting career back into high gear, burnishing her brand with a new line of jeans, raising money for charity to help friends, helping to get her daughter Kai’s career off the ground, and looking for love – and finding spirituality. The season features celebrity guest appearances by Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tatyana Ali, Bobby Brown, Elise Neal, Nelly, Twista, Bishop T.D. Jakes, DeRay Davis, Chef G. Garvin and Jacque Reid.

I got a chance to talk with LisaRaye, 44, and her daughter Kai, 21, about their multiple career ventures and their close bond, which was often criticized in the first season of LisaRaye: The Real McCoy due to LisaRaye’s kisses and affection for Kai. LisaRaye also opened up about her spiritual journey, her love life, and her perception as a gold-digger.

 Here are a few of LisaRaye’s answers from our telephone conference call:

LisaRaye – (On Being Perceived as a Gold Digger):

“The biggest misconception [about me] is that I’m a gold digger. I think people need to know where I come from and a little bit about who I am in my heart for them to be able to even come up with that perception. I think they get it twisted that because I have dated men who have powerful status or come from a wealthy background that I’m a gold-digger. And I’ve joked last season saying, ‘Gold-Digger? Honey, I’m digging for platinum.” But I really do mean that because I’m a worldly woman. I know who I am and I know where I’ve been and I know the places I want to go. So I don’t want to raise my husband or my man. I don’t want to be his mother. I want to be his mate, so I would also encourage our young adults – our young generation – to go after someone that has something and bring to the table what they have to bring to the table because it makes the union that much more powerful.”

LisaRaye – (On her Spiritual Transformation & her talk with Bishop TD Jakes):

“I went to Bishop TD Jake’s conference, Woman Thou Art Loosed, and I didn’t even know what that meant, first of all. I was like, ‘Okay. I’m going to get loosed . . . whatever that is.’ But I had an opportunity to speak with First Lady Jakes as well and then I had an opportunity to sit with him [Bishop TD Jakes] afterwards because I had some questions. I had some kid-like questions, but they were new faith questions that I was not afraid to ask. I didn’t have the opportunity to sit with someone of his caliber [prior to that] to be able to answer those questions for me in the way in which I needed them answered. And he did that for me. He said to me, I have no right to hang my head down low and for me to take those experiences that I’ve lived, whether they’re good or bad, and keep moving forward because time is of the essence and time waits for no one. And he said ‘Shake it Off,’ ‘Let it go,’ ‘Live your life,’ and it was like, ‘Right! Right!’ It was almost like I needed permission to just move on. And I had gotten a little bit of that [reassurance] from Rev. [Al] Sharpton because he was definitely a person in my life that made me go back and remember who LisaRaye, the actress, was and all that I’ve accomplished without being a First Lady, without being Mrs. Misick . . . and sometimes you forget. While you’re trying to be accepted and trying to be the person that they want you to be, you get lost. And I had to find myself and get back to me. I’m learning to just listen. I’ve also visited churches here in Atlanta to find a place that I can get the word, get the connection and get my scriptures so I can apply it to my life.

LisaRaye – (On her affectionate relationship with her daughter, Kai):

“One of the comments of last year was ‘I can’t believe that she kisses on her daughter like that’ and my answer to that is, ‘You can never give your child enough love.’ But most importantly, you need to give them love so that they can know how to receive love. And she doesn’t have an option.”

Kai – (On the best advice her mother, LisaRaye, has given her):

“I believe the best advice is to always be confident. Being that we are different sizes and in different parts of entertainment – me being a plus size girl – she always said, ‘Work out and be healthy.’ But she never told me ‘Okay, well you’re fat’ or ‘Don’t be this way or that way.’ She’s always been like, ‘You’re beautiful and you have curves. Embrace them. And have confidence because with confidence you can go and do whatever things you want.’ I can trust her. I know that she’s got my back. I know that she’s gonna go to battle for me.”

LisaRaye – (On her Love Life):

“I’m taking the time to work on me and maybe he will appear somewhere and God will see fit for me to find that significant other, but he has to be my best friend. He has to be somebody that I can communicate with because I’m a talker. I like to be able to have someone that has a business mind, that is powerful within his own right, and who is spiritual as well.”

LisaRaye – (On her thoughts about the 2nd season of LisaRaye: The Real McCoy):

“This reality show lets you inside my personal life to let you know that I’m human just like you and you find strength in numbers. When you’re going through the same thing that someone else is going through, it makes you go, ‘Oh you too? Me too! And it’s like, yeah . . . we’re the same.’ One essential part of season two is my spiritual journey of finding out LisaRaye’s passion and purpose in life. And just growing from last year and being able to be a pillar of strength to a lot of women. If not women,  just human beings who have gone through some things that have allowed them to grow and strengthen through that experience. I think my story is a testament to that in building and re-branding, repositioning and renewal in who you are. And that’s where I am right now. In the second season I’m looking to top the numbers we did last year. I know that there’s an incredible response from fans and people asking when the second season is going to start. That definitely makes me feel good.” 

LisaRaye – (On her new scripted series, “Single Ladies”):

 “Single Ladies, a Queen Latifah Flavor Unit production, is about three young ladies that are friends. They have different philosophies about relationships and I think that’s so wonderful because within the three characters everyone will be able to relate to, if not all, at least one of them, because we’re dealing with issues that we deal with everyday, which is love, finances, fame, issues. We’re looking for that Prince Charming, we’re looking for that king, but what is it that we’re really looking for? And we’re honestly answering those questions in a positive way that will allow us to have male viewers. We’re sharp, we’re dressers, we’re fashion forward. We look good. It’s sexy. We’re just filling a void in television right now. There’s nothing on TV that’s like this right now. We don’t have Sex and The City any longer, Girlfriends is not on the air. This is a perfect time for this show to air and it’s urban, it’s now, it’s current, it’s fresh and I’m just very excited to be in this position – in partnership with Queen Latifah, with such a diverse channel, which is VH1, that really heightens my fan base that I’m looking for. And my character is just wonderful. She gets to test the waters of different relationships and she has this philosophy about looking for Mr. Right and the games that women play. And we all play them. It’s the game of life. And I’m hoping that what this show will do is show other women, ‘You know what. I do that too. And this was the outcome of it, so maybe if I change my direction and change my path, I may have a different outcome.’ It’s all in drama, it’s all in comedy, but it’s all in fun.”

LisaRaye – (On whether being a Sex Symbol has helped or hurt her):

“It can be a blessing or a curse at the same time. Sometimes they think you’re too pretty to be the wife or the librarian or the nurse. You always have to play the sex pot, which really speaks to why a lot of our roles – when we get Oscars – are the type of roles that are like Aunt Jemima roles – no makeup, no hair, you’re cursing, fussing, smoking and all of that. No, we don’t necessarily need to have those type of roles. We can do other things. There’s no black action hero, like Pam Grier, Foxy Brown, Mahogany type. So we need to re-invent our stories and our stories are just as important, so I am who I am. And I feel blessed to be able to have whatever kind of label they want to put on me. If it’s a sex symbol then, thank you. I have to use what I got to get what I want . . . a la The Player’s Club.”

LisaRaye – (On her B2B Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico):

It’s Memorial Day Weekend May27-31st in San Juan, Puerto Rico. And we did it last year, which will air on my season of The Real McCoy and it was a hit. I said, ‘You know what: A woman has never done this before.’ We always hear about the men – Sinbad with Aruba, Jamaica, and Puffy to Cancun and Miami. I was like, ‘You know what: Move to the side. Let me be the first to do something else. Let me add the first to my resume again.’ So, we encourage people to come out and understand what networking is about, what relationships are about, because sometimes when we gather together we don’t know how to make that work for us. So what we do is we party with a purpose and we come together and we have seminars and we have comedy shows, fashion show. We’re just having fun as a people.”

(For more info go to www.b2bmixdown.com)

LisaRaye- (On her Jean Line):

“I’m also branding myself with my new jean line that’s coming out by PZI. It’s the LisaRaye Collection. I’m excited about that venture as well. It’s a jean that finally fits women that have small waists and are fuller in the hip area.

Kai – (On her ventures):

 “The show [LisaRaye: The Real McCoy] has done so much with me growing. I’ve definitely enjoyed it. It has helped me to thrive in my career. I’ve worked regular jobs all my life. I know the ins and outs of different things, not just the entertainment business, but of retail business, of hotel management business. I know how to deal with different people in different ways.”

“I have a couple of things coming out. I have my campaign with Apple Bottoms – that will be in MACY’S, which is this spring and then my line which will be in the UK in summer, so you will be seeing a lot more. And as everyone has been seeing, I’m on Rip the Runway.”

LisaRaye – (On the strides she has made over the last year):

“I think this [my story] is the best comeback story that I’ve heard. Because what a difference a year makes – from me not having a job to having a successful reality show – what is the highest rated show in TV One’s history – now back for the second season. And to have a first scripted show for VH1 that they are totally behind and having a partnership with Queen Latifah is phenomenal and then branding myself with my jean line, having my second annual Memorial Day Weekend for my B2B in San Juan, PR and my daughter advancing and even our relationship getting even closer – if that can even be possible. And my relationship with my mother is even better. I mean honey, I walk around my house just thanking and praising and giving Him the glory and saying, ‘Thank you for sitting my butt down so I could get in a place where I could listen to You, so I could get to where I’m at and so I could get to where I’m trying to get to – further than this.” 

“Last year I was engulfed in the midst of the trenches of divorce and repositioning myself and trying to figure it all out, and not much has changed from me trying to figure it out, because I think that’s going to be forever revolving. But this year I’m definitely working, and my motto has always been B2B which is Back To Business and I kind of use that as an umbrella approach to whatever I have going on in my life. Whether it’s back to business, back to living, back to finances, back to family or back to love. Back to the second season  . . . back to LisaRaye.”

LisaRaye: The Real McCoy premieres Thursday, April 7th at 9 PM and 9:30 PM ET

Watch the video preview at:    http://lisaraye.tvoneonline.com/category/season-two-sneak

By Sonya Jenkins


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