Photographer: Sergio Garcia Hair: Richard Grant
Make-up Artist: ShaDara Holmes - Fashion Stylist: Hachy Mendez
Ouch!® Editor: Rhonda McKnight
Ouch! Magazine is excited to bring you another wonder actor and beauty .
Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, best known as lawyer Trina Shaw in the BET comedy series Real Husbands of Hollywood where she co-starred opposite Kevin Hart.
Now she stars in Apple TV+ limited series The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey where she’ll be playing Sensia, Grey's second wife, alongside Samuel L. Jackson. She has a number of projects for you to mark your calendars for , with her talents you will not want to miss it.
Can you tell us a bit about your projects from this year. With a 6th season of“The Real Husbands of Hollywood” how was it like coming back? How was the vibe on-set all these years later with everyone coming back together?
Well, the producers have been talking about doing a reunion season or a spin off or a movie basically since we ended...so it wasn't a complete surprise. But after 5 years of Chris or Jesse calling me saying "ok, so get ready, we are going to get everyone together for something cool" - last year when my agent called, I knew it was finally official.
How was it? Like a family reunion or maybe more a class reunion...because there's that competition amongst all the guys you know, to see who has done the best since graduation. Who has a hot wife, who's got the coolest job/car, etc., you know? For me?
Just the same standing off in a corner observing the tom foolery and shaking my head, lol. Seriously, I love being around all these incredibly successful men who teach me an awful lot just by being themselves
How different are you personally from Trina Shaw whom you play in “The Real Husbands of Hollywood”?
Well, Trina is always sort of annoyed by guys, she's a bit no nonsense/humorless even, while I am always up for a joke or prank and generally I don't take anything too seriously, especially myself and I really, REALLY like to laugh.
I am a fan of " The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" on AppleTV+. What drew you to this role?
Well, you know the usual … money, an opportunity to get famous and take lots of selfies with Sam mothaf-ing Jackson...…LOLOL. No, seriously there were countless things to draw me in, first of course would be Walter Mosley's gorgeous novel. I think Walter is such a talented novelist and knowing that he would be producing and writing the scripts for this show, not just handing it off to a writer's room made me very excited. Also, the opportunity to work opposite the incomparable and yes, sometimes formidable, Samuel L. Jackson. But also, I was drawn to the character of Sensia herself.
“A woman with both ferocity and femininity.”
She was very different from most of the characters I've played - sharp and sassy, lawyers and cops or the complete opposite fun-loving friend or mom. Usually as women, we are allowed to be one or the other, soft or strong, sexy or devoid of sexuality - but Sensia was such a lovely opportunity to run the gamut of emotions and experiences.
What was it like auditioning with Samuel L. Jackson?
So, remember when I said he could be formidable? Ha! He was tough. He put me through the ringer, throwing curve balls and challenging my acting choices and of course brandishing a few choice words here and there...but I think all of it was just to make sure that he was dealing with not just a proficient actor but also a tough cookie...because that is what Sensia demanded.
Oh yes, definitely! I will always be a voice artist - I love that aspect of my career. I enjoy creating characters and building a world using just voice. I love how big your imagination has to be but how narrow the focus is as well; the attention to detail. Voice acting for me is about the fundamentals and that's what I was trained on and what I always lean on in any performance, so I relish the opportunity to work in a field that keeps me constantly sharpening those fundamentals.
What would be your dream role? Who would be your dream co-star?
Like a role that already has been played? I was obsessed with Claire Danes in Homeland - I loved the arc her character had within a single episode at times but also throughout the series. Comedies? Claire Huxtable was the epitome of sitcom mom...never been done better but Patricia Heaton in Everybody Loves Raymond, another great one for me. And I'd love to do something like Michonne in Walking Dead or Queen of the South or Angelina Jolie in Salt-
‘Just kicking ass and being dark and mysterious with an occasional quip - that's a dream too.’
How do you stay humble in the world of Hollywood? What inspires you in life?
I used to think humility was about downplaying myself or my achievements but now, I don't believe in that.I am working on how to have an audacious confidence in myself while having immense gratitude for all the other people and things that have allowed me to have the opportunities to show up with that audacious confidence and claim the moment.
I am inspired by people who do the most with the least. I am inspired by love and kindness. I am inspired by bold choices. I am inspired by natural beauty. I am inspired by life, honestly...the longer I live it, the more it encourages me to want to do it better.
What's your beauty routine like AM to PM? Is there any step you just can't live without?
Man, I just wake up. If I'm lucky someone else is doing my makeup for me. If not, I'm just doing the best I can.
How can fans follow you on social media and any last projects you like to mention?
Instagram @cyncityforever . I really try to only do one social media platform at a time.
Tune in to Cynthia Kaye McWilliams projects here’s a list below:
Last Days of Ptolemy Grey - still streaming on AppleTV+
RHOH season 6 still streaming on BET
Voicing Ms. Jackson on Disney's "Hailey's On It!"
Gamora on upcoming Season 2 of Marvel's What If
Merry Little Batman on HBO Max
The Witcher (animated series) on Netflix
Video game world: Starfield set to release in 11/22