Actress Tika Sumpter Gets Personal with HOPE

"Ride Along" - Los Angeles Premiere
"Ride Along" - Los Angeles Premiere

When she was not busy filming January’s theatrical release Ride Along opposite America’s #1 funny man, Kevin Hart, we caught up with the lovely Tika Sumpter to find out her views on staying motivated, chasing dreams and of course fashion! Her true fans would be happy to know that she is dedicated just as much to her faith as she is to her life as an actress. On Career:

It’s clear that your acting career is taking off in a positive direction over the past few years. Since your debut in the daytime soap opera ‘One Life to Live’, ‘Gossip Girl,’  Sparkle, and now running as Candace in ‘The Haves and the Have Nots’ - you’ve seemed to really take off with T.V. drama and film. Can you share what attracted you to pursue an acting career in the first place?

“I got bit by the bug at an early age. I remember watching T.V. as a kid and aspiring to act.” Sumpter says. “That’s the magic of being young, you feel like the sky is the limit!”

Sumpter says she took acting classes as soon as she could afford it while working as a waitress and going to school. She admits though that it was not an easy road, realizing that no matter what her current circumstances, she was determined to  build an esteemed career as an actress.

“I had no other option! I had to leave school after two years because I couldn’t afford it anymore. Then I realized that my hunger was everything I needed. I remember walking out of a job because I was tired of being so insulted at work,” Sumpter reveals.

But those set backs were minor compared to her recent successes and nevertheless taught her one important thing about life: gratitude will override shortcomings.

In her words, “It taught me how to treat others and show grace even when they don’t treat you well. In the end those days working overnights showed me that I had no reason to give up.”

Who would you say has inspired you to keep pursuing your dreams?

“Aside from my mother, there was no one else who mentored me along the way,” Sumpter shares. “She showed me through her work ethic to chase my dreams and also that you gotta do the work when nobody’s looking - that shows what you’re truly passionate about.”

On Style:

I’ve noticed that you have an amazing wardrobe because you are always rocking chic trends on the red carpet! Given your past as a model and knowing how competitive Hollywood, how would you describe a true trendsetter?

“A true trendsetter is somebody who is not afraid to be themselves, even if its not cool to others.”

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It’s definitely obvious from the red carpet scenes that Sumpter has a sense of style, known to dress in colorful prints with a touch of luxe fashion and urban flair. Sumpter made it clear that fashion should not influence style but instead that personality should.

“My style changes from Boho chic to preppy so I don’t feel like I have to stay in a certain wing of fashion. I think that people see the confidence you have by how you flaunt your style. It doesn’t matter how much you spent. It’s all about being true to who you are.”

On Faith:

How important are your personal beliefs in your daily life?

“Let me tell you, God has granted me so much grace!” Sumpter exclaims. “When no one else was there and when I couldn’t pay my last dollar for rent, every time my needs were met. I just know that it wasn’t me. So it’s my duty to live out the best life that I can with the talents that I was given.”

You can follow Tika on the OWN channel this winter in Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” scripted drama series. She will also be starring in Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas released December 13 along with a comedy drama co-starring with Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in Ride Along releasing in 2014.