Jeremiah: Elise, first off I want to say thank you so much for sitting down with me it really means a lot to me! How is life? How is everything going for you?
Elise Neal: Life is good and I feel good. I am in a great place with what is going on with me right now. I feel revised and rejuvenated and this summer has been nothing short of amazing so hopefully Oct.1st going into the fall things will continue to be amazing.
Jeremiah: You are one of the actresses people think about when you reminisce on classic black sitcoms, African American comedy films and etc. How does it feel to have had so much success and longevity in your career?
Elise Neal: Im going to be honest, I think it is because my journey is not trying to be a star. My journey consisted of traveling all over the world performing doing musicals, having 3 passports and building to hopefully becoming the next Debbie Allen, to becoming a person who is known for TV and Film. I believe that my longevity has to do with my versatility as a performer and actress. I think it is having the ability to play so many different roles that keeps me working and relevant in a sense.
Jeremiah: What as “That Role” that you finally sat back and realized that you had made your mark in the industry and was a respected working actress in this business?
Elise Neal: I would have to say “ Rosewood “. I auditioned for the movie about six times, John Singleton and Warner Bros had me come in and read with the guys that they were testing and a couple of other roles, simply because I was new to the part and they wanted to make sure that I could do it, and every time I went in there I had a positive spirit and kept telling myself “ I got this, this is my part” and I got it.
Jeremiah: What is your method on staying relevant but keeping your personal life private:
Elise: Whewww, Honey, It is hard trust me. I am very private. It is either a muscle that you have that you want people to know everything or you want people to know nothing at all and only know you for your talents. I try really hard to leave my personal life my personal life. I love Old Hollywood where they’re where no facebook’s and no twitter’s and the stars were STARS! You did not know about their personal life so you were able to fantasize about who you thought they were and nobody cared about who they were dating or what grocery store they were walking out of. I think that is was the beauty of being a star.
Jeremiah: Who were some of the people that helped mentor you in this industry and growing up.
Elise Neal: I actually have no mentors (laughs). But the closest person would be my mother! She was a very hard working individual. She was present in my life and always set a good example. I never felt like my sisters and I were neglected. She was always there. My father was there as well but watching my mother was what inspired me.
Jeremiah: What were some of your goals you set coming into 2012?
Elise Neal: That’s a really great question, one of my goals that I set for this year has already come to light and that is continuing and furthering my work with my charity at the “St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital “. I am originally from Memphis Tennessee and being able to have a great, huge charity like “ St Jude’s “ reach out to me and ask me to be involved in the organization means a lot. I call them all the time trying to come up with new ideas and events. I love what they do for the children and the parents of the children and all that they do.
I also wanted to get back on television this year, which I did as well with my new show “Bell” that’s coming out on TVONE, with myself and Tami Roman, also working on moving into more producing.
Jeremiah: What are something’s that you have NOT accomplished yet this year?
Elise Neal: Still working my Oscar!!
Jeremiah: Well, TODAY OCT:4TH 2012, You will be making a special appearance on a certain HIGHLY ACCLAIMED Television show ABC which I will let you announce, tell me about that role and how it came about?
Elise Neal: WOW, I am so incredibly excited for everyone to see me on this role on the hit ABC show “ SCANDAL “. I have always worked off and on with ABC so it was only fit. It takes a certain type of person to be able to play and pull off all of the layers of this character and I do not want to give anything away but just know that you are in for a treat!
Jeremiah: What is one role you have not played yet that you would love too
Elise Neal: Killer Assassin, That would be so much fun. I still have not played a Crack Head (LAUGHS) but I would love to be an Assassin.
Jeremiah: What is Elise’s favorite city?
Elise Neal: Everyone knows my favorite city is my home town Memphis Tennessee but if you asked me where would I retire and live if I had to choose anywhere in the world it would be Paris, France. I love Paris. I would be Tina Turner and retire in Paris.
Jeremiah: What is another community project that you would love to get your hands on?
Elise Neal: I would love to open my own dance school in Memphis that offers a couple free classes and just have a space and a outlet for young men and woman to learn the art of dance, acting and performance at the Elise Neal Academy.
Jeremiah: Is there anything else about you personally that you want your fans to know that they do not already know?
Elise Neal: NOPE! HAHA, Not me “personally” I really want people to know me for my work and I will keep my private life to myself. I will give this, I am a girl from Memphis Tennessee, love bbq, hood music and all that comes with that (laughs), but I have had the fortunate life to be able to travel the world doing what I love! I am hood girl that had a dream and it worked out!