The actress/singer plays a sweet-talking waitress named Tawnya, and she tells EUR/Electronic Urban Report that her character is just the “twist” the show needs.
In this week’s “Rosewood” episode ‘Spirochete and Santeria,’ Miami pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut) and his partner Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz) investigate a man who paid in advance for his own autopsy the day before he turned up dead. During the investigation, Rosey has a one-on-one conversation with Luckett’s character.
The two-time Grammy Award-winning artist was one of the original members of Destiny’s Child. She has since launched her acting career and has appeared on several series including “Treme,” “For Richer or Poorer,” “Single Ladies,” and Ballers.”
We caught up with Luckett to discuss playing Chestnut’s love interest, and she teases about her role as iconic singer Dionne Warwick in a forthcoming biopic.
Check out our Q&A with LeToya Luckett below.
Tell us about your character and how you came to land the role.
LL: She’s a great woman. I love how optimistic she is. She’s a single mom and she’s a waitress and she’s just trying to make the best life for her child, and she’s very impressed by Rosey. I actually got the role by auditioning. They contacted my manager, and I’d done some auditions for them before, so they had me come in and read with Morris and everything obviously went great from that.
You’re playing Rosey’s love interest, and last season left fans wondering if Rosy and Villa would hook up during this season. What was it like jumping into this role knowing the show has loyal viewers who will be paying close attention to this relationship between you and Rosy?
LL: I know that a lot of my comments have been like, ‘Yeah, you can come on in, we love you, but you better not break things up. (laughs). I love that because it means people are paying attention. But also, you gotta spice things up a bit, and I think they’ve done a great job of that with this season, and ya know… try to give it the twist and turns that the show needs to keep it interesting. So I feel like I’m a twist, for sure.
Most single mothers are quite cautious about the men they date and bring around their kids. So what about Rosy does she find so irresistible, but most importantly, how does he make her feel safe?
LL: I think she’s really going off her instincts. She trusts him and she trusts her gut. I think she does feel safe, and safe enough to bring her daughter around that. I think she’s just trusting herself.
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Explain how your own dating experiences helped with the development of your character.
LL: I think with any woman, or any person that’s been in love before, you know that feeling when you first meet someone. The butterflies and excitement that’s there. You know the highs and lows of the relationship, so I think because those feelings were familiar, it helped with the character [and] with the development of the character. I didn’t want her to feel like LeToya. I wanted her to be something new, something fresh. I’m not a single mother right now, so that’s a whole different experience for me, and that was definitely something that was really cool to kinda figure out. My mom was a single mom, so I was able to take from that. A lot of time mothers put their kids first, their selves aside, and then there’s some moms who are like, ‘Look, ‘I’m going to try and balance it all out and still have my personal life.’ I think that’s what Tawnya is doing.
Fans may be excited to see in what ways Tawnya influences Rosewood. What can you tell us about their dynamic without spoiling too much?
LL: I think they have great chemistry. I think that the beautiful thing about their relationship so far is that they listen to each other, and that’s all I say. They have a great respect for each.
Were you given any liberties to create a back story or an elaborate emotional history for Tawnya?
LL: They gave me a few pieces to the puzzle and it was up to me to figure out the rest.
Will their relationship spill over into Rosewood’s professional life?
LL: I think you’ll have to wait and see.
— Rosewood (@RosewoodFOX) October 25, 2016
What type of creative energy does Morris foster on set?
LL: He’s just a great person to work with. He has great energy. Especially coming into this with a love interest, it can be kinda like… ya know, you have those awkward moments, like ‘I don’t know you and we have to play like we love each other.’ He does a great job of having conversation in-between scenes and asking questions and getting to know me and making me feel comfortable so that it’s not awkward on camera, and I love that. He’s fun, funny, really cool and really professional —- really respectful.
What role, if any, deeply affected you personally, perhaps even changed you in a permanent manner?”
LL: I think the role I played on Single Ladies, Felicia. She was ice-cold. She wasn’t the nicest lady but she was so confident and people respected her. The way she carried herself. I think playing that role everyday helped with my confidence as a woman. I admire the way she built her company from the ground up, and regardless of people not liking her, people had to respect her, and love that about her. It really changed me.
Earlier this year it was announced that you’re set to play Dionne Warwick in an upcoming biopic about the R&B legend. What stage are you in with the project?
LL: I’m so honored to play this role. I’ve been in conversation with Ms. Warwick, and talking to her about the songs and we’ve gone in the studio and we set the keys for the songs, and it’s exciting! I’m so excited for this movie.
Tune-in TONIGHT (10-27-16) to catch guest star LeToya Luckett when “Rosewood” airs on FOX at 8/7c.