First of all, we are very happy to have you, thank you for talking to us! Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? How did you start acting?
Thanks for having me! I was born and raised in Sacramento CA. I have two very amazing sons whom I love deeply. I've been performing since I was a young child. Singing and dancing. Talent shows. The whole nine. I did a play in the 6th grade but didn't start acting until I was 19 and in college. After college, I worked in profession regional theatre until I made the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television.
About the new season of Law & Order: Organized Crime, premiering September 22, we are all dying to know what's next for Sergeant Ayanna Bell. Can you anticipate anything for us?
I am hoping this will be a season where audiences will get to see more of who Ayanna really is. What drives her. What the true weight of her responsibilities are as a mom, and Sergeant. She will go through a divorce this season and anyone who knows anything about divorce knows it's one of the most traumatic experiences for someone to go through. Bell is a woman of true grit. You will see her challenged but you will also see her winning!
Ayanna Bell is a powerful woman that brings such great representation to the screen. How is it for you to give life to a character like this?
It's an honor and it's fun! Each season I learn more about her and have a deeper connection to her. I love storytelling and helping to create a character that people can relate to and be inspired by.
What would you say is the biggest challenge in telling Ayanna's story?
I don't find telling her story challenging at all. I understand Ayanna and I open myself to telling her story without any judgment. That way I can always be authentic in portraying her.
You felt strongly about Sergeant Bell wearing natural and textured hairstyles in the series. Can you tell us why is it so important to you?
I believe it's important for Black women to be able to wear hair styles on TV and in films that are authentic to them. Our hair is beautiful and versatile and deserves to be celebrated. It helps educate audiences on standards of beauty. It challenges production companies in the sense that they can no longer just cater to certain people and hair types. They have to hire hair and makeup department heads that are knowledgeable and sensitive to all hair and skin types. They have to hire artists of color who understand our hair and skin types. For many years Black women have had to manipulate their hair in ways that are not healthy in order to be considered beautiful and gain opportunities in media. I'm grateful that things are changing and that I am able to be a part of that change.
Still on this topic, can you also tell us a little about your own beauty routine? You look so good I feel like we need to know!
I just wake up looking like this! You didn't know? [Laughs!] I'm kidding, but seriously I have a pretty simple routine. I drink a lot of water and I try to eat healthy foods. That truly makes a difference. I use Khiels facial products to cleanse and hydrate my skin. And I try not to wear makeup when I don't have to. I care for my hair and braids with different kinds of oils and I wear a bonnet or scarf to bed to protect my hair.
We see you have great style too. How would you define it?
Thanks! I would define my style as one that is very fluid and passionate. I wear what I feel like. Sometimes I'm a bit of a tomboy and other times I'm a glamour girl; or anything in between.
And for closure, what would you say are the biggest differences and similarities between you and your character?
Well, our styles are definitely different. Sergeant Bell looks good, but she is definitely more reserved than I am in her taste for fashion. I could never be in law enforcement in real life. But we are the same in that we are driven, resilient, and are passionate about what we do. We find great purpose in it.
Photographer: Keith Major @keithmajor
Actor: Danielle Moné Truitt @daniellemonetruitt
Publicist: Katrina Boswell @katwalkmedia
Wardrobe Stylist: Marcus Blassingame @marcusblassingame
Makeup Artist: Shaun Gibson @shaunthomasgibson
Hair Stylist: Patrick Slaygod @__slaygod
Dress: Edwing D'Angelo @edwingdangelo
Hat: Anthony Maxwell @anthonymaxwell_ny
Earrings: O"Lolly Jewelry @o.lollyjewelry
Bracelet: Chee Lee Designs @cheeleedesigns
You can read MALVIE Magazine NOIR Spécial Édition Vol. 78 September 2022 here: