M&C got up close and personal with BET comedy award winner (2004, 2005) Kellita Smith, star of the political sitcom, First Family, on Centric TV, where she plays first lady, Katherine Johnson.
Before starring as the most important woman in the White House, Kellita was best known as Wanda Mac, on Fox’s The Bernie Mac Show. She also co-starred in such films as The Crossing Guard and Kingdom come.
Kellita opened up about playing such an iconic roll on television and the importance of being politically aware.
Monsters & Critics: What is it like playing the first lady? Did you study Michelle Obama to come up with your character’s nuances?
Kellita Smith: It is an honor and a treat to play the First Lady. The image is strong and positive for women and, lucky for me, I didn’t have to do all the work the historic First Ladies had to do! For example, marry a potential President and trust he would go all the way…lol. The character I play on “The First Family” (Katherine Johnson) is loosely based on Michelle Obama. I think the nuance I hold for my character is the fact that we are making history by portraying the FIRST black family to live in the White House and run the country!! That is an honor in itself!
M&C: What would you do if you were the First Lady?
KS: If I was the First Lady and married to Obama? I would flirt with him more for sure. (Warm smiles and a wink!)
M&C: Are you political? Do you have any issues that you take a stand for in public?
KS: I wouldn’t say I was political per se. I do make sure I’m aware of what’s going on politically and willing to engage in meaningful discussions with friends and colleagues. One of the issues I do stand for publicly is to end violence against women and girls. You can see a PSA I have running currently on the internet for the campaign One Billion Women Rising. I also support finding a cure for breast cancer where I have generated funds and awareness for the cause.
M&C: Is it easier/more fun playing the wife of the president or the wife of Bernie Mac?
KS: It’s always fun to play a wife where a writing staff writes the relationship where we get along….lol. I enjoy acting. The Wanda Mac character and the Katherine Johnson character are different but what’s the same is that I have gotten to, and am currently, working with great leading men.
M&C: Out of the 44 first families who have been in office, who is your favorite and why?
KS: Of all the Presidential families, my favorite is the present family, the Obama’s. Their image as an African American family and their values represent the values and concerns of the American people, and not just the rich. Most importantly, this country is changing in my opinion. It is hopefully finding its vaccine for racism by having a black family in the White House….. God BLESS our efforts as a whole….
Thanks Kellita! Don’t forget to watch First Family, Fridays at 8:00 pm on BET’s Centric TV.
Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.