Renee Lawless Opens Up About Working On “The Haves and the Have Nots”
The new season of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” just started a few weeks ago and already fans are going wild. The show is primetime’s #1 original series among African-American women and total viewers. This January the series entered it’s fourth season, on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). “The Haves and the Have Nots” stars Tika Sumpter, Angela Robinson, Peter Parros and Renee Lawless among others. “The Haves and the Have Nots” is created, written, directed and executive produced by Tyler Perry and is produced for OWN by Tyler Perry Studios.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Renee Lawless, who plays the dynamic Katheryn Cryer on the series. Prior to working on “The Haves and the Have Nots” Renee worked on theater and television, stacking up credits on stage in Menopause the Musical, Always Patsy Cline, Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Nine and Wicked and in television and film, Renee has been featured in “Heavens to Betsy” alongside Dolly Parton, Ghost Story, The Obituary and The Lucky Ones.
A super talented vocalist as well, in 2002 Renee recorded a Gospel CD: Renee Lawless: A Live Sampler.
In our interview we talked about the success of “The Haves and the Have Nots”, what fans can expect next and we got a little inside info on Renee. Check out the full interview below.
Parlé Mag: “The Haves and the Have Nots”, has fans on the edge of their seats week after week—do you attribute that to the acting/actors, the writing or the cinematography?
Renee Lawless: All of that helps make the show, but I really credit Tyler Perry for writing a great show. It’s so relatable on every level. It’s a show for all cultures and colors to co-exist in harmony and there’s no racial divide. And even though Katheryn Cryer has a wealth of over $250 million, people can still relate well with her. The relatability is the shows real “IT” factor.
Parlé Mag: Can you give us any hints on what fans can expect next from Kathryn?
Renee Lawless: This season you’ll see a change, and Katheryn won’t be taking any BS off of anyone! Already fans have been saying, “It’s about time,” and asking who is this? She’s finally asserting her authority and everyone is excited about it. Although she may have moments of silence, she can only be pushed so far. When it’s time to fight, she’ll never lose. She has a method to the madness and will always have an ace in the hole, because she’ll never be the weakest link.
Parlé Mag: Everyone wants to know, why is Katheryn still with Jim, even though she has all the money?
Renee Lawless: Go back and watch season one! Divorce taints her reputation and name—and that will never happen. The last name Cryer is paramount and she doesn’t want to lose that. And as she told Hanna in season one, she’s not about to let someone else wear the crown that she put all the diamonds in.
Parlé Mag: Can we give a shout out to the people behind the scenes? You always look flawless, who does your hair, makeup and styling?
Renee Lawless: I have a great team at TP Studios. Jeremy Allen, Stevie Martin, and Jamillah Simmons take care of my hair and makeup and Crystal Hayslett is the wardrobe stylist for show and she’s phenomenal.
Parlé Mag: As a child, was acting your dream job?
Renee Lawless: The short version of this story is yes. I always wanted to be a movie star—but I didn’t think real people grew up to be movie stars. I really thought you had to live in LA. It wasn’t until I was a teenager, that even though I didn’t live in California, I realized I could become a star—and that my voice would get me there. I had this voice and I was classically trained, I thought maybe I’d be an opera singer. Right before I landed the role on HAHN, I was doing musical theater. I was on the road with Wicked and about to give my notice to leave the show. I saw the casting call and submitted for it—and the rest is history.
Parlé Mag: When you’re not acting, what do you do to fill your days?
Renee Lawless: Shopping! I just purchased a new home and I’m enjoying filling it with new furniture. I’m also a crafter, so I do a lot of DIY projects. I’m working on a new vlog series called Renee’s Way or The Highway, which will be out very soon; and I work with Hallmark on Home and Family. I also do public speaking and recently hosted a gala for Casa Colina.
When I want to just relax, I usually just stay home and curl up with a good book. I’m a homebody and couch potato—I like playing games on my phone to unwind and I have cat that I love playing with.
It was a pleasure chatting with Renee about “The Haves and the Have Nots” and all the upcoming projects she’s currently working on. I know her fans will be happy to see more of her—and should be sure to follow her on http://www.reneelawless.com and social media.
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