Tasha Smith Talks 'For Better or Worse,' and Her Troubled Past
Smith is the star of Tyler Perry's new dramatic comedy
Onscreen, actress Tasha Smith brings one of our favorite characters to life. Angela from Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” franchise is loud-talking, sassy, spicy and quite hilarious. And now, we get to see a different side to Angela on Perry’s television spin-off For Better or Worse, which airs on TBS every Friday night.
Still, the success of that character has everything to do with Smith, who is much like her character in that she doesn’t care what people think about her. In fact, it’s her carefree attitude that makes Smith so open about her troubled past as a stripper and drug abuser. After finding “the grace of God” as she puts it, Smith has built a successful career as an actress, even launching her own speakers bureau, acting school and even a new fragrance called “Us” with new husband Keith Douglas.
Loop 21 caught up with Smith to find out what she loves about playing Angela, if there are any similarities between her onscreen marriage and her new one off screen and why she’s so open about her past.
Loop 21: What is the best part about playing Angela?
Tasha Smith: I’ve got to tell you--I think I’m having more fun playing Angela for television than I do for movies because we get a chance to show different dimensions of the characters. It’s not like oh, we’re just in and out or being the comedy relief for the film. Now, we get to sit in the humanity more and sit in the everyday life of this woman. I just love it!
Loop 21: Has any of the feedback from fans or critics surprised you?
Smith: It’s funny because some people would say prior to the show coming on that they hope that Angela isn’t yelling and screaming through the whole show...and now people are like well she ain’t crunk enough. When she gon’ get crazy? First people say one thing, and you think you’re giving them that but then they complain.
Loop 21: Are there any similarities between your on-screen marriage and the one you have with your husband Keith Douglas?
Smith: Listen, first of all, heck no! Thank God! The stuff that Angela and Marcus are going through, I guess that’s 13 year marriage stuff. Thank God me as a newlywed, I’m not going through any of that. I’m not sure how anyone could survive that kind of stuff in the first year of marriage.
Loop 21: After being married for a year, what advice would you give to newlyweds?
Smith: Well, one you have to make time for family regardless of how busy your career is. You got to make family time and be real specific about it. When I’m home I try to cook as much as I can for my husband. I try to spend quality time with him when I’m not working because you know there’s going to come a time when it’s really busy and you can’t cook everyday. But when you can, you do it. Communication, of course, is a must; and patience, and forgiveness, and to not sweat the small stuff. Life is too short. You can’t sweat the small stuff in a marriage. ...People get so caught up in the little things and they just miss it.
Loop 21: Do you have special plans for your upcoming wedding anniversary?
Smith: Yes we do, but I’m not at liberty to communicate that.
Loop 21: I interviewed Michael [Jai White] recently and asked him if it was difficult working with an ex. He said absolutely not because you two have never had an argument. How is it working with him?
Smith: It’s fantastic. It’s like working with one of your best friends. He’s like a brother to me. We don’t even have those thoughts in mind. “Oh he’s an ex.” No, this is a friend that Im working with that has a passion about this job and we both have the same objectives and goals, which is to great work. We’re supportive and have each other’s back. It’s a blessing; that’s what it’s like. It’s a blessing.
Loop 21: You have been very candid about your drug and cigarette addictions in the past. Why have you chosen to be so open?
Smith: Because wouldn’t nobody be able to tell my business if I hadn’t already told...no let me stop. (Laughs) I don’t want to call it an addiction. I wasn’t like in rehab; you follow what I’m saying? But I was definitely a heavy drug user in the past. There are young girls out there that need to know that they can overcome anything and they don’t have to be ashamed of anything that they experienced or done. The enemy is destroyed by the Blood of the Lamb and the words of their testimony and don’t be afraid to say what you’ve been through because it only glorifies the person that you are now. A lot of times shame will paralyze you and keep them in a dark place, but I feel like freedom is important. And I’m free.
Loop 21: You’re talking and you’re preaching! I know at one point you thought about becoming a minister. Do you still think that’s in your life plan?
Smith: I feel like I do it through my acting. The business that I’m in is a calling. ...God gave gifts to men not only in the church. You can take the light of God and the love of God wherever you go and be a blessing everywhere you go. You don’t just have to be in the church to do that.
TBS' For Better or Worse airs every Friday at 10/9C.