Ever since her breakthrough role as Will Smith's love interest in the 1997 hit Independence Day, Vivica A. Fox has built a career playing strong, independent and outspoken characters. Talking to the actress best known for films like Soul Food, Two Can Play That Game and Kill Bill, it's clear she brings a bit of herself to each of her characters, and perhaps vice versa.
Fox, 49, will next be seen as a relationship expert who reveals her own complicated love story during a radio interview in The Power of Love. We chatted with her about her own relationship regrets, giving advice to some recent tabloid fixtures like Paula Deen and Miley Cyrus, and her proudest moment. Plus, Fox dishes on who she nominates to play a younger version of herself in the rumored sequel to Independence Day.
You play a relationship expert with a bit of your own baggage in The Power of Love. How has your taste in men evolved over the years?
I used to be so lustful. I would lose my mind over a six pack and a smile, it would get me every time and usually get me in trouble. Pretty eyes, pretty teeth? Forget about it! But, I think now I'm looking for a good partner, just a good man, whereas before it would be mostly physical. Now, I need a man who's a gentleman, more old-fashioned. Someone who I could laugh with and have fun with. I'm trying to date above 30 now. Thirty to 35 is the window. Not saying I won't make an exception if someone special comes along, though! [Laughs]
You recently described yourself as "happily single." What's the best thing about being man-free?
The best part is waking up every day and being able to do whatever I want. I don't have to answer to anybody, ain't nobody quizzing Vivica about where she's going or what she's doing! But seriously, it's been a couple of years now since I broke up with my fiancé [Omar White], and I think I'm ready to start dating again.
Who's your celebrity crush?
Oh, a combination of Idris Elba and Blair Underwood. Idris I like because he's European, a little bit more worldly. Blair, I know him personally and I know he's such a wonderful person, just a good man and a good father. He's just got that man swagger!
We're hearing rumors of a sequel to Independence Day in the works...
Yes! I love it, baby!
It was reported that Michael B. Jordan is in consideration to play the Will Smith role. Which young actress would you choose to play yours?
Well, I actually heard Will is coming back for the movie. But Michael B. Jordan is awesome, he would be great. As for who should play a younger me…I'm gonna go with Keke Palmer. She would be the first choice. If she's not available, then I'll say Meagan Good or Christina Milian.
You're coming up on your 50th birthday, which is hard to believe! Looking back, what's the thing you're proudest of in your life and your one biggest regret?
Well, I don't do regret. I try to learn from my mistakes, and that is that. The thing I'm most proud of is that I left home when I was 17 years old with a goal to become a star, and I've been able to live that out beyond my wildest expectations. It makes me proud that I wasn't afraid to go in search of my dream.
You're so great at giving advice, so let's have you give your best words of wisdom to three people in pop culture who could really use it right now. Starting with Miley Cyrus...
I think what she's doing is working. She's the first person everybody is talking about! She's working it, and it's working. I just hope she's happy. I hope she doesn't look back on this time and regret it later.
Next up, Lamar Odom.
Oh, crack is wack, baby. Whitney [Houston] said it years ago, and it's still true. I've met Lamar and I know he is a nice man. I hate to see this happen to him. His wife really loves him. But drugs will mess you up.
Lastly, Paula Deen.
Don't ever admit that you used a racial epithet, stupid! What we say in private should stay in private. Especially for her, being a Southern woman. People don't want to hear that from her. She gave people some high blood pressure with that. I think what happens is people get too comfortable with the things they say in private, and she shouldn't have said what she said. But really, the bashing went too far. Way, way too far. But, she will rebuild.
The Power of Love is out now on DVD and VOD.
BET.com is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)