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Catching Up With Vivica A. Fox, ‘Independence Day’ Veteran and Revenge Flick Bad-Ass

Catching Up With Vivica A. Fox, ‘Independence Day’ Veteran and Revenge Flick Bad-Ass: Photo Courtesy Visual Monsters/

Photo Courtesy Visual Monsters/

Actress Vivica A. Fox has been working steadily in Hollywood for five decades now — her debut was in a 1965 episode of Days of Our Lives. The 51-year-old actress can be seen in the new revenge thriller, 6 Ways to Die, which hits theaters and VOD on July 31, opposite Vinnie Jones, Bai Ling, and Dominique Swain. Fox has been extremely busy of late, filming the long-in-the-works sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, which is one of approximately a dozen projects the multi-talented dynamo has been involved in over the past year. The actress explains the secret to staying relevant in Hollywood, and takes on Playboy’s Lucky 7 questions, in this exclusive interview.

What is it that you like about working on smaller indie films like 6 Ways to Die?
One of the main reasons why I love doing indie films is that you get to play roles that normally Hollywood doesn’t give you a chance to play. This was my third time working with the director, Nadeem Soumah [Searching for Angels and The Mourning], and each time he brings me characters that I’ve always wanted to play, characters that have depth. When he brought me this one, he told me, “I’ve got something for you. It’s a suspense action thriller and I want you to play a corrupt cop. And the influence that I want you to think about is Denzel Washington’s character in Training Day.” So I jumped.

We don’t see many African American female corrupt cops.
Yes, Veronica Smith is a corrupt cop, and to be a female and to be a corrupt cop that doesn’t mind robbing drug lords, I was like, “Wow, okay. This chick has got some balls!” I loved her strength. I loved how she could still look good. She’s driving Hummers and she can handle a gun.

Vengeance is hell of a motivator.
Yeah, revenge is a dish best served cold. I think we all feel kind of good when someone has done someone wrong and they get it in the end, so I love that the lead character, Vinnie Jones’ John Doe, says, “I want to take his fortune, his freedom, his love, his reputation, his most valuable possession and, finally, his life.”

And this isn’t your first go-round with revenge: Were there any similarities to this film and Kill Bill?
For Kill Bill I had to train for six months, and let me tell you I went from a size 10 down to a size 2 because that’s all we did was work out. We worked out and trained here in Los Angeles, five days a week, eight hours a day, then we went to Beijing, China and we trained for five hours, for five days a week. With this one, the training that I did receive from Kill Bill definitely helped me to be very physical in this role.

You have almost 150 IMDb credits; this year alone, you’ve got Chocolate City, Assassin’s Game, Carter High, Golden Shoes, Dead End, and Before I Do. How do you choose your projects?
Well, I like versatility. I think that versatility is the key to my longevity, to not play the same characters over and over again. If it’s a great script, I like the character, and it fits into my schedule, why not?

It’s no secret that Hollywood is a challenging business, especially for an actress. How have you kept afloat?
For me, it’s the fact that I was a smart businesswoman. My business partner, Lita Richardson, told me years ago, “Vivica, you’re in a business called show business. A business. The more you can learn about the business that goes on behind the show, the more successful your career will be.” And I’m glad that she taught me that because I started doing films, and I started doing hits and classics back to back to back, and after about the third one that I got financing for, she said, “Okay, time for us to become the producer.” So I just got a great business sense, and I think that that served me well.

What was it like kicking the dust off of Jasmine, the character you played in Independence Day, for the sequel?
It was like a beautiful high school reunion, to be very honest with you. Roland Emmerich, the director, and we’ve been wanting to get this made for at least the last 15 years. The fans have been requesting it for the last 15 years. And to have a lot of the original cast coming back, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, myself, and then adding the new whippersnappers, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, who’s going to play my son, and Sela Ward, who’s going to be the female president. I just think that they were waiting for the right time and the right script for all of it to fit, and the first day that I sat back on the set it was just like a great homecoming. {{Entry:2}

What was your first encounter with Playboy Magazine?
Finding it in someone’s bathroom hidden in the little area where you’d keep magazines and stuff. And I was like, “Oh, what’s that? Oh, my goodness. That’s what it is.” It was a shocking discovery.

What’s your pop culture blind spot?
Oh, the memes. I’m starting to follow memes more now, but my blind spot originally was the memes. They’re like, “Do you know someone’s made a meme about you?” And I’m like, “A what?” Because I almost took it as an insult. Like what did I do now, you know? And they explained a meme is a throwback to some of your old work and they use it and they update it.” I was like, “Oh, okay.”

Heaven forbid you were ever on death row, what would your last meal be?
My last meal if I was on death row would be from California Pizza Kitchen, and I would have a pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, and olive pizza with a side of Fettucine Alfredo, a bottle of La Crema and a glass of water with lemon.

You’re the first person that’s ordered a pizza…
You know what, I’m always on a damn diet and I never get to have any carbs!

What’s the first thing you bought with that first big Hollywood check? A white Mercedes Benz ML320.

What’s been your favorite mistake that you’ve made in life?
Huh. Discovering red wine.

What’s the biggest lie that you’ve ever told?
I try not to lie. But I’ll say, “That’s a cute outfit you got on.”

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