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Vanessa Williams on ‘Daytime Divas,’ the Clintons, & grit

Larry King NowJul 05 '17

Nine-time Grammy nominee Vanessa Williams discusses her dishy new show on VH1, ‘Daytime Divas,’ running into the Clintons in Chappaqua, and the thing people get wrong about her. Plus, the former Miss America on the downside to being first.

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Vanessa Williams joins Larry King to discuss her remarkable career, politics, and her starring role in VH1’s new series ‘Daytime Divas’. The award-winning actress explains to Larry how the show came about and landing the role. In addition, she reveals who her character is based on. Williams addresses being typecasted and how it has led her to play infamous, villainous, over the top diva roles. Williams, who describes herself as “extremely low maintenance” because of her upbringing in Westchester, New York,states that the diva-like traits of her characters do not flood into her normal everyday life. Larry asks if the‘Daytime Diva’ series will achieve the same success as ‘Ugly Betty’. Although this is her first cable television series, she explains that with the shows stylistic differences and the change in the way television is watched today, it is difficult to compare the success of both shows. Nonetheless, she hopes the diehard ‘Ugly Betty’ fans become just as devoted to ‘Daytime Divas.’

After having such a diverse career, the talented Vanessa Williams expresses to Larry King her aspirations to start directing. Especially after working under the direction of Debbie Allen and watching her daughter pursue a career in film direction. She enlightens Larry on how the new model for television has opened many acting opportunities for women who are over 50; veering Hollywood away from its notorious reputation of being sexist and discriminatory. This shifted into Larry and Vanessa discussing the condemnation she received when she became the first African-American Miss America and when she lost her crown. The scandal brought forth many issues for Williams. In order to fight the chaos, she brought her talents to Broadway to escape her former reputation and be taken seriously as a performer. “ It made me the fighter and survivor that I am today.”

They conclude by discussing America’s current political state under President Trump. Vanessa Williams, the avid LGBTQ supporter, is at a loss for words and fearful of the violence and uncertainty. “There’s not a lot of things that are said that have much merit or have any longevity.”