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Off Topic with Your Favorite People


Updated:2006-03-28 13:19:29
Off Topic With Tichina Arnold
By Marcus Vanderberg, AOL Black Voices
While 'Everybody Hates Chris,' nobody hates Tichina Arnold. The veteran actress of ĎMartiní fame currently plays the role of Rochelle on UPNís and Chris Rockís breakout show. Arnold recently won a NAACP Image Award for outstanding actress in a comedy series for her characterization of Rochelle.

Off Topic with Tichina Arnold

Tichina ArnoldFrazer Harrison, Getty Images

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    We went Off Topic with Tichina to talk about the 80s and what was really going on between Pam and Martin all those years.

    We all know you can sing from the ĎLittle Shop of Horrorsí and ĎMartiní days. Any singer you would ever want to play in a movie?

    I would love to play somebody strong. A strong black woman like Gladys Knight or Nina Simone.

    Besides being really funny, ĎEverybody Hates Chrisí is a tribute of sorts to the 80s. What do wish would come back from the 80s and what do you hope never comes back?

    Shoulder pads. I donít want them to come back. I looked through all my pictures in the 80s and I was like what the hell was I thinking. In all my outfits, good God.

    I would love to bring back my Mustang. It was a red Mustang. A convertible Mustang. Good music. The 80s were weird. In the early 80s, we didnít have ĎVideo Music Boxí yet. All we had was MTV so we watched Cyndi Lauper. So I grew up off all these different white groups and itís so weird now hearing all these old songs and singing along with them. All the young black kids are like, huh, how do you know that? This is all we had.

    What would a show about your childhood be called?

    ĎThe Yenta.í I was a busy body. I was just all over the place. I was a very high energy kid which is one of the reasons my mother was like you have to go in show business. Real busy, a lot like my child now. Iím getting it back 10 times worse. My mom said when I was a little baby I would just walk into peopleís houses. I didnít have a shy bone in my body.

    What was really behind all the beef between Pam and Martin?

    The way my character developed on Martin was because of the way we used to joke off camera. We would crack on each other off camera and it clicked. Martin, heís just an incredible comedian and heís somebody you just have to roll when he rolls. Martin taught me how to keep on my toes. Keep my chops up. Think quickly on my feet. That relationship between our characters just totally came from us kicking it.

    Who are you the most like? Rochelle from ĎEverybody Hates Chris,í or Pam from ĎMartin,í or Sharla Valentine your character on ĎAll My Children?í

    I would say Iím more close to Pam. Rochelle was more like my mother, my aunt, my grandmother. I pulled from them and how they raised me. But Iím more like Pam. Iím snooty tooty as well. I like certain things. Snapping and going back and forth, being witty.

    Whatís the biggest difference between being a working actress and a working mom actress?

    Itís an extra title. I tell people all the time, I might work a 16 hour day but I got to go home and wipe somebodyís butt. I may go to the Grammys and all these huge functions but someone is at home waiting for me to wipe her butt. Thatís the highlight of my day! Itís rewarding.

    2005-03-16 19:03:00
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