Who amongst you can’t recall at least one of her classic lines from such films as “Set It Off” and “Booty Call” among her many others?
According to IMDB, it all started with her role as Toffee Candette in the 1988 TV series “China Beach” and kept rolling with the mega-blockbuster film”Independence Day.” “I should’ve been Black Mamba,” said Fox in “Kill Bill.” Who didn’t get a good chuckle out of that line? Yeah she has done, and continues to do, her thing despite what you may have heard.
Recently Fox was taken completely off guard when she was surprised with the Spotlight Award at the Peachtree Village International Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia recently. Our Lee Bailey chatted with Vivica to get her first hand take on what it feels like to be given a surprise tribute.
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“I’m such a control freak and they just hemmed me up,” explained Fox. “I had no idea. The fact that they had this video montage of people that I’ve worked with in the past, from Duane Martin to Morris Chestnut, Queen Latifah, Tisha Campbell-Martin…it just touched my heart so much because I work very, very hard at what I do. I don’t get any pats on the back, but I don’t do it for that. To get a pat on the back, and not see it coming, I was a puddle of tears. I cried my damn face off, and my lashes. What people don’t know about me is I’m one of the most loyal people and I’m very sensitive. I’m just a big ol’ crybaby and they got me.”
“The fact that the audience got to see how truly sensitive I am? I was floating,” she continued. “I’m still floating. Even Miguel Nunez knew. He said ‘I’ve been knowing for 3 months and have been dying to tell you. How did they keep that secret from you?’ It was wonderful. It was so fulfilling. It really was.”
What made the set up all too effective was the background story. Fox believed she was there to present an award to actress Naturi Naughton.
“I was there to present the award to Naturi Naughton for her being an upcoming star of tomorrow,” said a still dumbfounded Vivica A. Fox. “I presented the award to her and was ready to sit down and enjoy the show. Then they said ‘Now we have a special award’ and Bowlegged Lou was like ‘And this award is so well-deserved’ and I’m like ‘Oh, who’re they talking about?’ Then the announcer said ‘The Peachtree International Film Festival Award goes to Vivica Fox’. It took my breath away. They got me. They got me good.”
Remember the background story that floored Fox also gave Naughton the shake as well. She had no clue, either.
“She presented me with the rising star award,” said Naughton. “I was not aware that, not soon there after, she would be receiving an award as well. I had no idea so I was just as surprised and excited for her. It was beautiful. I was honored to have her present me with an award and I was honored to see her receive an award as well.””I actually didn’t know who was going to be presenting my award,” she added. “I actually didn’t know who was going to be in attendance.”
And who was the mastermind behind this well-crafted tribute to one of our favorite actresses? Len Gibson, president of the Peachtree Village International Film Festival, told Lee how the scheme was hatched.
“It was actually Bowlegged Lou’s idea. He said ‘You know what man? We need to give Vivica Fox an award because she’s so deserving of an award like this because she’s been around for a while and she’s done a lot of great work and she hasn’t been recognized as much as should have been’. I agreed immediately and I thought the idea to get her friends, co-stars and family members that know her personally and work with her, I thought that was phenomenal. It was very emotional and a great surprise.”
A great surprise? That might be the understatement of the week. It was an all-time surprise the likes of no other. Vivica won an award she had no idea she was in the running for.
Meanwhile, Vivica’s latest television offering is the new Lifetime show “Prank My Mom.” The series premieres on October 9 at 10 p.m., but you can catch a sneak peek on September 27 and October 4.
Watch as Bowlegged Lou and his brothers, Paul Anthony and B-Fine, set up Auntie Viv for the surprise of her life: