Joy Bryant: 'It Wasn't My Job to Be Funny' in About Last Night

The actress on film, fashion and Solange-gate.

Posted: 05/19/2014 08:45 AM EDT
Joy Bryant

Ever since her days as a runway model, Joy Bryant has defied expectations. The South Bronx-raised, Yale-educated beauty was both smarter and tougher than most of her fellow catwalkers, and since she made the transition to acting in 2001, she seems to have an intuitive knack for finding roles that capitalizes on her beauty while not ignoring her charm and sense of humor. About Last Night was no exception.

As the girl-next-door who steals Michael Ealy's heart, Bryant held her own against her co-stars and comedy heavyweights Kevin Hart and Regina Hall. To gear up for the DVD release of the film, which drops on May 20, we talked to Bryant about joining the Black rom-com fraternity, her upcoming fashion line and what she witnessed of Solange-gate at the Met Gala. 

Regina Hall, who plays your friend and roommate, gets a lot of laughs in this film, but your character has to play it more straight. Do you wish you had more outright comedic scenes?
I felt like we're all in it together and everybody has a different position to play. For me, playing the "straight" person can be challenging and rewarding in its own way. A lot of it is me just listening and reacting, not even saying anything. When I signed on to this, I knew exactly what my position was, and it wasn't to be funny. But I was very happy with the role I was given to play.

Do you see more comedy in your future?
Definitely, having done this movie, I hope I get to explore that side more. I would love to do more comedy. It's fun playing characters like that. You have to really go for it.

You are about to launch a clothing company, Basic Terrain, with your husband. What's it like working together as a couple?
It's wonderful, because we get to spend more time together. That's the biggest thing. It's been great for our communication, and we also complement each other well I think. Thank God, we have office space now. For a while we were working out of the house, which was great for me because I could talk about this 24/7. He's not like that, he likes to do business during business hours. So I would wake up in the morning and start jabbering and he'd be like, "I haven't even had coffee yet."

You're a known fashionista. In your opinion, which celebrity has the best personal style?
That's a tough one. For me it's a toss up between Mila JovovichTracee Ellis Ross and Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Especially Tracee Ellis Ross. She kills it so hard!

Speaking of fashion, the Met Gala just happened, and we know that's the fashion event of the year. You looked amazing in your gown!
Thanks! I've been [to the Met Gala] four or five times, but this was my first time rockin' braids!

It seems like everybody was there. Who were you most excited to see?
I met Erykah Badu, and I'm such a huge fan. I just lost it. I love that woman. I've been such a fan of her for so long. She's such an incredible artist. And she was crushing it with her look. That hat? That's when I just dropped the mic. After that, I didn't care about nobody else. Jesus could have walked out and I would have been like, "Erykah's over here boo, sorry."

Solange-gate became the biggest story to come out of the event. Did you catch any glimpse of the drama between them?
No, I did't see them. I wasn't really around that. No one really knows what happened there except for them. 

Who would you put money on in a fight, Kenya Moore or Solange Knowles?
[Laughs] That's an easy one. It's so obvious, I'm not even gonna say it...[Pauses] It would be Solange. Anyway...

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(Photo: Mark Sullivan/Getty Images for DuJour Magazine)

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