Wendy Raquel Robinson: Living My Life
Wendy Raquel Robinson is here to stay! The veteran actress and philanthropist continues to give us life on prime time television. Recently starring in the trendy TV One hit series Here We Go Again with singer LeToya Luckett and actor Andre Fuller, the cast wrapped up its first season and has audiences wanting more. Wendy paused to chat with Hope for Women magazine on season one and her two latest films, which both release in April. Here’s what the diva actress had to say.
Hope: Hi Wendy! How are you doing?
Wendy: Hey, I’m great how are you?
Hope: It’s good to hear from you again. The last time we spoke, you were finishing up the last episode of The Game and working on some of your other projects. How have things been for you?
Wendy: Oh my goodness! I have been so tremendously blessed. Yes. We just wrapped up an entire season of Here We Go Again, which was a phenomenal experience. I also had a movie release on April 1 called A Weekend with the Family. I also have another movie releasing at the end of April called Grandma’s House. That will be with Loretta Devine and myself. So I’m going from extreme comedy to extreme drama!
Hope: So you’ve been moving and making things happen!
Wendy: Well child, God has been moving! I can’t take all of the credit.
Hope: You rocked out another amazing role in the first season of Here We Go Again. Talk to us about your experience.
Wendy: Thank you. What’s funny is that I feel like it was a character that was one of the closest to me. She was going through a mid-life crisis, yet still trying to keep it all together. I liked that she was polished, powerful, professional and educated. My character is fun and accepts her flaws. She was also trying to keep up with her 16-year-old ‘glam baby’ while keeping it real and staying on top of the latest trends. So I really love and enjoy characters that are flawed and humorous. And it gives me a chance to do physical comedy, which I really, really love. We just had a great time. The writing kind of lent itself to where all of the actors had freedom. It was a great team with great producers. I could go on and on, but I will just say that it was very exciting.
Hope: I found the show to be highly relatable in that so many families experience those challenges. It’s great that TV One promotes this kind of programming for African Americans.
Wendy: Absolutely. I didn’t know when we were in the midst of it how so many people related to it. You know, I’d go through the airport and everyone would speak. And then, the TSA guys were like, “I like the show because it really represents.” Everyone felt like they were invested and I did not realize that. I know it felt good organically and yet, it was kind of interesting to see how it resonated with the men. What’s also interesting is that my niece, who’s 18, said she really appreciated it from her generational side. She identified with it more than The Game. It was just something in there for everyone.
Hope: Lots of women could identify with Andre Fuller’s role as still being heavily involved in the child’s life and sometimes, that is lacking in our community. Talk about that please.
Wendy: The one thing about this writer is that she gave everyone a wonderful balance of the male and female perspective. So you get a chance to see both sides. That was a very smart move.
Hope: If there is another season for Here We Go Again, what would you like to see happen or not happen on the show?
Wendy: Well, for one, I would really love to shift and direct an episode. I’m just going to put it out there. Secondly, I would love to continue to see the characters evolve.
Hope: Please tell us about your new movie projects.
Wendy: I played a mom from Shreveport, Louisiana in A Weekend with the Family. It was an over-the-top comedy drama where I was an entirely different kind of mama. And in Grandma’s House with Loretta Devine, I will play a recovering alcoholic. I can’t take care of my children and I have to send them away to my mother’s house. So it’s goes back to something that we don’t talk about enough—grandmothers raising our children. It’s a bipolar opposite of everything. It’s actually pretty heavy, but a very good faith-based drama with a lot of family issues. I’m really proud of it. It’s out at the end of April, so please check it out.
Hope: Your new films offer very contrasting roles. How do you know what to lend to each one?
Wendy: I’ve learned to be vulnerable and trust the writing in the script. If it’s not in the writing, I’ve learned to speak up. I respect the writer and their intentions, but being able to ask the writer if there’s something I don’t understand is key. If the actor doesn’t understand something, it is not going to translate over to the audience. The roles are very contrasting. You know what the scenes are and what the feel of the project is once you read the script. So you take on that mindset. It’s a matter of showing up and knowing how to play the game. You can’t show up to a football game prepared to play hockey.
Hope: You are the founder of Amazing Grace Conservatory in Los Angeles. Are there new developments with your organization?
Wendy: Yes. Amazing Grace Conservatory is my passion project and my baby. Right now, we are gearing toward our fashion show and fundraiser, which is April 17, 2016 in the African American Museum in LA. Then, we are doing our rendition of the musical Bye Bye Birdy. This is our huge spring production to be held on May 14 and 15 at the Nate Holden Theater in LA. We also have a seven-week summer intensive, which is Monday through Friday for ages 7 to 18. That runs June 11 through August 4. So that’s where we are. You can reach us at (323) 732-4283 or visit our website at amazingraceconservatory.org.
Hope: You juggle so much. Do you sleep at all?
Wendy: I don’t (laughing)! But I am definitely learning how to because I’m exhausted right now. It is what it is. Things are great for me!