†WhereZeNu?: You know that back in the day television had us in a stranglehold with those classic shows like ‘All That’, ‘That So Raven’, ‘Suite Life of Zack & Cody’ and many more. One actress who appeared in all those shows was Giovonnie Samuels† She quickly became a childhood staple as her star continued to rise.
As her career blossomed, she landed roles in films such as ‘Bring It On: All or Nothing’ and even the 2007 box office hit ‘Freedom Writers’.
Years later, Givonnie is still in the game, and in addition to fulfilling her current acting roles, she’s also helping shape the next generation of young actors through her acting workshops. She stepped into The Shade Room to talk to us about some of the lessons she learned earlier in her career, working with some of her former co-stars, the changes that have taken place in the industry and much more.
When asked what important lesson she learned about the industry earlier in her career, she said:
“Staying true to your originality. When I first started this career there was no one doing natural beauty, I had locs so it was unheard of to see the symbolic black girl with full lips, full hips and natural hair. Especially on such a big platform, now that it’s everywhere, I’m so grateful and happy that I was that sense of representation and opened the door for so many beautiful girls.”
Giovonnie also shared that she still has a good relationship with many of her former co-stars. When asked who she would like to work with again, she dubbed her “Bring It On: All or Nothing,” co-stars Solange and Francia Raisa. She also shared that she still works closely with actor Gary L. Gray.
When it comes to upcoming projects, she informed us that a book is coming out soon and a few projects she can’t name, but she mentioned that she would be visiting some cousins soon. Fans of “That’s So Raven” know that Giovonnie starred in the 2005 season 3 episodes of “Country Cousins,” so that could be an important clue.
In the meantime, check out what Givonnie had to say below:
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TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94