*If the string of projects she has in store for fans are any indication, then funny lady Luenell could very well make a case for being dominate in 2012. But with any successful person, there lies another who played an important role in ensuring that destiny be fulfilled.
For Luenell, that person was her former publicist, the late Eugenia Wright, someone the comedienne/actress still holds in high regard.
“Eugenia to me was like, when you watch “Unsung” or you hear stories about Motown, where they took artists and they molded them and they helped them with their wardrobe and they helped them with their presentation, Eugenia was one of the last of those,” Luenell reminisced with EUR’s Lee Bailey as she reflected on how much of an influence Wright was.
“When she got me, she helped to mold me. She was the first person to ever put me on a red carpet and tell you how to stand and tell you what to say and not say and brief you and tell you how to, you know ‘don’t take a picture with a glass in your hand.’ And all this stuff … I’ve broken that rule since then, but she just gave me great advice and groomed me to be, to accept the responsibility of being a celebrity that I have ultimately accepted. And I will always credit her for being like my Berry Gordy, you know. I was sort of Eliza Doolittle. [laughs].”
While Wright’s memory is a constant presence, the publicist is especially on Luenell’s mind when she celebrated her birthday last month at Maverick’s Flat in Los Angeles. The pair planned the event a year ago before Wright passed away on March 31, 2011. While the death came unexpected, Luenell was determined to see the endeavor through.
“This was the last event that we were planning together before she took ill and obviously we didn’t have it last year,” said Luenell. “I felt like it would be full circle if I was to go ahead on and go and complete the task that we had before us and to sort of say goodbye and end my full year of mourning and have the party there this year in honor of my birthday and my lovely darling friend Eugenia.”
Luenell’s birthday celebration proved to be memorable as the funny woman welcomed the public as well as good friends and colleagues. Not one to let the people take credit for the party’s success, Luenell highlighted the personal significance of Maverick’s Flat.
“Maverick’s Flat is an institution to me and a lot of people. I remember living in Oakland and they were doing comedy at Maverick’s Flat and me and my girl friend hopped in the car and made a road trip specifically to come to Maverick’s Flat … there were a lot of iconic acts that performed there. It just held a special sentiment to me and I thought it would be a great place to be. Nobody could front like they didn’t know where it was. It has a great atmosphere and it’s grown and sexy and then the era that I like is sort of ‘disco-ey.’ So I thought it was a great place to have it and as it turned out, it was.”
Now that the party is over, Luenell has her sights set on a broader scale. Among the five movies on deck for the entertainment veteran are “Think Like a Man” and two independent features, “Budz House” with Wesley Jonathan and Faizon Love and “The Last Laugh” a “comedy documentary” with Tony Rock. Luenell will also be featured in two Adam Sandler films, “That’s My Boy,” slated for release on Father’s Day and the animated 3D movie “Hotel Transylvania, which will hit theaters in September.
Overall, 2012 looks to be a jam-packed year for Luenell, who will also be around the country performing at stand-up comedy engagements. With her many projects, the former “Soul Beat TV” fixture jokingly summed up her objective as “looking for world domination … I’m a little bit of everywhere. I’m not hard to find.”
“Think Like a Man,” will invade theaters on Friday (April 20), while “Budz House” is out now.
Hit up Luenell online at HeyLuenell.com.
Check out video from her star studded birthday party at Maverick’s Flat: