With her two children, Jax and Jaid, in tow and the best view in New York city as our backdrop, I chatted with Garcelle Beauvais for all of ten minutes. And even in that short amount of time, I was flattered, inspired, and a bit starstruck.
To me, she’ll always be ‘Fancy’ from the WB hit sitcom “The Jamie Foxx Show.” But she’s taken her talents to the big screen now, starring in “White House Down”, rekindling her on-screen romance with Jamie Foxx. But what’s more impressive is that Garcelle found her calling in writing awe-inspiring children’s books that focus on sensitive topics, like divorce and skin tone.
So why children’s books? Well, I asked Garcelle where her inspiration spawned from, what she hoped to teach children through her writing, and I even asked her who she’d like to see Jamie dating. Check it out.
HelloBeautiful: Your book series is like… wickedly inspiring! Congratulations. Why did you decide to lead with heavy topics like race and divorce?
Garcelle Beauvais: I couldn’t find any books that had pictures of characters that looked like my kids. Pictures that they could identify with. We’d go to the bookstore, we’d go to the library–and there was nothing. So, I felt like, “okay, maybe I should create something.” So then it became kind of out of a need for us. It became a bigger issue in terms of just opening up these topics to parents and having kids celebrate what they are mixed of. You know, we are all mixed with something, so it was just starting a conversation, really.
HB: What’s the most important lesson that you would hope to teach your children through your books?
GB: It would be not only for self-esteem, and being proud of what you are, what makes you, but also having compassion for other people. I think this day in age, the fact that were in the 21st century, and there’s still ignorance, is just outrageous to me. So really compassion, and being proud of who you are.
HB: Having two children who are of mixed ethnicity, what do you think is the toughest part for them?
GB: Right now, since they’re only five, they aren’t really exposed to negativity. But I’m sure, somewhere along the line, it will happen. I just want to sort of instill the words and the confidence so that they can battle that when the time comes.
HB: How do you hope parents will react to the books when reading?
GB: I hope they’ll read it whether they’re Black, White, Chinese, Irish, Asian, whatever! I just think it’s really about showing we are all made of something and we need to support one another, and, you know, be proud!
HB: Now, you’re back on the screen again in “White House Down” working with your on-screen boo from way back when… How was it teaming up with Jamie Foxx again?