For my first Millennial Speaks Interview, I had the opportunity to chat with Actress/Author/Producer Denisha Hardeman. I met Denisha about 3 almost 4 years ago when I moved to LA through my cousin. I have watched her grow her career over the years. I asked her a couple of years ago to interview her for my youtube channel but I never actually made it happen. Well, here we are now about 2 years later and I am finally able to make this interview happen. Although I would have loved for it to be an on-camera interview the phone interview will be just as great! Check out the interview below. I spoke with Denisha about some of her future ventures as well as got some inspiring words from her for millennials trying to break into the industry.
Thank you so much for allowing me to Interview you! Well overdue. I was supposed to Interview you so many times while I was in LA…Never happened but I am glad we are finally making it happen
Yes, me too and I am happy to help you out! I am happy this is finally happening.
1. So, what was the vision behind you and J.O bringing the NBFF to Houston…which I must say was well overdue. So happy you were apart of the process with bringing something well needed to the Houston Film Industry.
Well, so of course I am an actress and producer. As Black people, we try to find different ways to showcase our arts. Houston is huge and has so much talent. Not on the level as Austin, ATL or LA but we have JUST as much talent. Houston is stuck when it comes to money and talent. Which sucks because we have some people here who are really talented. So we thought how about we bring a film festival to Houston. Bring Talent to Houston. Showcase Movies from Different black actors and producers. Indie Actors spend their money to make and produce so why not give them a platform to showcase it. The National black film festival was a way for an artist to network and showcase their talent.
2. Do you think its hard for women especially African American Women to break into the industry?
Of course! It’s definitely harder for African American Women. You don’t see a lot of roles available to us. They don’t really give us a chance to showcase our talents. There is a new Caucasian star every year. You rarely see a new black star. Black actors are always pigeon hold to slave roles and baby mama roles. There are a lot of stories to tell. But as independent filmmakers, you have to have money. Tv is helping a lot. Still very limited though. There have been numerous times where I have been the only black girl in an audition room. I have a friend who wrote a play and she specifically stated she wanted all African American Females to be cast. They cast all Caucasian actors and their response was ” Oh we tried, the best actor got the role”
3. That is crazy! I can only imagine how she felt ESPECIALLY because it was her work. It sucks because there are really some talented black actors out there and we just aren’t given the same fair chance. So since we are on the subject of the industry, Who is someone you look up to and admire the most. Male or female?
Angela Bassett. She is amazing and a doll..such a sweet individual in person. She touches you in everything she does. After she didn’t win an Oscar you would think she would give up. But, no she keeps going. Still going! She looks good and diets. She works as a director and producer. Also, Viola Davis is TOP 5! She went from no liners to liners. She had no lines in Antwone Fisher. She never GAVE UP! Look at who she is now! For 10 to 15 years she had to deal with the dark skin/light skin comparison..which I think is so stupid. But, she said I’m going to do this! One of the epitome off not getting what she deserved but she said Im here and Im not going anywhere. She broke barriers and proved you can’t give up!!!! No,w look at her!!!
4. I love both of those ladies! The fact that Angela Bassett does not have a Oscar is cray! She is definitely one of the greatest. So what are your tips or motivational words you have for anyone currently following their dreams..especially anyone pursuing any field in the entertainment industry?
Learn to do other things. Learn how to produce. Learn how to be behind the scenes. Create! If you get a no..take that as “not right now”.Learn how to do everything. Take non-paying jobs. Be active. Everyday do 3 things towards your career. Be a casting assistant . Social media is booming right now. You can become famous of Instagram.Its not all about talent anymore. Its’s about what profit can you bring. They will cast any actor with a 1 million followers over someone who really has nothing to show. You just have to create. Post skits. Everyday Im submitting myself or taking new headshots.With every movie Im watching best believe I am researching. PRACTICE AT YOUR CRAFT, PERFECT YOUR CRAFT!
5. Girl you just have motivated me…Starting today Im going to make sure Im doing at least 3 things if not 5 to get me where I’m trying to be! So what are some of your projects in the works..spill the tea..I know you just joined SAG! Congratulations on that!! Amazing!!!
Yes ,I just joined SAG so a lot are in the works with that! Im working on my second book as well.I have about 14 scripts that are written already.
14?..yassss girl!!!!! !That is so am amazing!
Thank you…I have some movies being edited as well. One being captured.I am also going into production soon with a script I wrote focusing on my stalker situation.Yes, Stalker. I am also still working on doing things to promote my book 8 Lanes. So I have a lot in the works!!!
6. Oka,y last question…Do you have any closing inspiring words?
Yes, no matter what FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
It was such a honor to interview Denisha for my first Millennial Speaks Interview. I have been planning to interview her for a while now and I am happy it finally happened! Thanks again Dee Dee! Be sure to keep up with Denisha’s journey and follow her on all of her social media pages posted below.As well as if you’re looking for a good book to indulge in check out her book 8 lanes. Amazon link is listed below.
Facebook: Denisha R Hardeman
Amazon link to 8 lanes: https://www.amazon.com/8-Lanes-Denisha-Raychelle-Hardeman/dp/0996722025