Check out our interview with CBS “God Friended Me” Star Javicia Leslie.
Captivating audiences with her first role as series regular alongside Joe Morton and Brandon Micheal Hall (Miles Finer), “God Friended Me,” a light, hour-long procedural from “Alcatraz” co-creators Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, is a humorous, uplifting series that explores questions of faith, existence and science. Javicia plays Miles’ sister, Ali, who identifies as a lesbian, encouraging and mending the relationship between he and his father, ‘Reverend Arthur Finer’ (Joe Morton), the reverend of Trinity Church for the past 25 years.
The German born beauty is also known for her scene stealing performances on Carl Weber’s “The Family Business” (BET). Most recently, Javicia tackled the lead role in hilarious wedding comedy, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, penned by Yvette Nicole Brown
Follow Javicia at @javicia
Hi Javicia, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a German-born actress from Upper Marlboro, MD. I play Ali on CBS’ God Friended Me, Paris Duncan on BET’s The Family Business, and Corina in the new film Always A Bridesmaid written by Yvette Nicole Brown. I currently a first time New Yorker for my role on God Friended Me. Prior to NY, I lived in LA for the past 7 years. I’m a hardcore dog mom, I love fitness, and my favorite pastime is cooking vegan meals.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Compassionate. Curious. Creative.
Who was your role model as a child?
My mom is and has always been my role model. She raised my brother and I on her own. She has always achieved her goals that she set for herself. She went to Afghanistan twice so that she could take care of her family! She’s a survivor and a go-getter!
How did you get started into acting?
I’ve been performing since I was a little girl. I would put on talent shows with my cousins for my family! I then participated in plays throughout high school and college. Upon graduating, I moved to DC and started working for the Army. After 2 years, I packed my bags and moved to LA!
Tell us about your work in CBS’ top show “God Friended Me?”
On God Friended Me, I play Miles’ sister, Ali Finer. I’m currently in school for my PhD in psychology, while also managing a bar and maintaining the cohesiveness in the Finer family. I grew up in church, since our father Arthur Finer (Joe Morton) is the Bishop of New York, however I recently left my church home to find a home that’s more inclusive. After I came out as a lesbian, a lot of parishioners left our church because they didn’t agree with their reverend having a gay daughter. After a recent check at the doctor, I’ve found out that I have breast cancer. The same cancer that my mom had before she passed away.Now I’m trying to find a way to be strong for everyone else and also fight like hell for my life!
And about BET’s “The Family Business?”
On The Family Business, I play Paris Duncan. I am the youngest of the Duncan family. We are a prominent family from Jamaica, Queens living fast and luxurious. By day, we’re an upstanding family; by night, we live a dangerous secret life. I have been bred to be a hitman for our family. I shoot first, ask questions later. However, my sexual conquests have recently caused trouble for our family. After sleeping with and killing the son of another mob family, a war has now started that completely shakes the city of New York.
What other projects you have been part of?
I recently shot a movie titled Always a Bridesmaid, written by Yvette Nicole Brown. I play Corina James, a girl who will constantly stand for others before standing for herself. The movie premiered on BET, and will stream on Netflix in March.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is the creative release it gives me. When we start to perform, it brings me back to my childhood days of playing make-believe. Its so fun to play these different types of characters simultaneously! Honestly, its a blessing! I really look forward to what’s next. I definitely want to get into more action, like a superhero movie!
What is your favorite healthy food?
My favorite healthy food is avocado. Interestingly enough, I never liked them growing up. However, when I turned vegan, I needed something to eat during breakfast. After a while, I started to love them! I usually have 1-2 avocados each day.
And your favorite cheat food?
My favorite cheat food is fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, with some vegan vanilla ice cream!
What is your next goal?
I have two goals that I want to complete next. I am going to start my first podcast. It’s called The Conversation. Each episode there are different guests having an openly candid conversation about hot topics that I feel need to be discussed for the sake of the community. The second goal is to plan my next charity event for my non-profit The Chandler Foundation. Every year I do two major events that raise funds or items that then get donated to the local public schools.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
A deal breaker on a first date would be if my date paid more attention to their phone than to our conversation.
What’s next for Javicia Leslie in 2019/2020?
For 2020 I am looking forward to more action roles! I also want to start shooting my first independent film.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is actively making the choice to choose a life that makes you want to wake up early every morning to do what you!
What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?
A perfect Sunday starts with waking up to 20 minutes of journaling. Then, walking my dog Judah around the local park. When I get home, I play my favorite vinyls while cooking a huge breakfast. Finally, I watch movies while laying on my couch for the rest of the day. Lots of snacks and puppy rubs.
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Three things I can’t live without are my dog Judah, vegan Mexican food, and Grey’s Anatomy.
Favorite song? Why?
My favorite song changes every few years, but right now its Aint Nobody by Chaka Khan. First of all, Chaka is my spirit animal, secondly, that song makes me want to sing and dance like no one is looking… an if the are, who cares!
What music do you like?
I like all kinds of music, but my favorite is reggae.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think social media has its pros and cons. If you use it to learn and teach, great. If you use it and find yourself comparing and consumed, walk away!
Where we can follow you?
Quote: Follow your passion, you’ll find your purpose – ME
Movie: Love Jones
Travel Destination: Barcelona
TV Show: Mine duhhh, lol. Grey’s Anatomy
Book: Big Magic
Photo Credit: Shannon Wallace