Elise Neal is slowly but surely climbing the ranks of both the big and silver screens and isn't stopping there. The actress recently sat down with TheGrio.com to talk about the movie The Undershepard, which looks into the role megachurches play in the Black community, her sitcom, Belles, as well as her foray into the beauty industry with a line of wigs and weaves.
The Undershepard, a controversial film starring Isaiah Washington and Malinda Williams, casts Neal as Sister Roberts, the church's bad girl, and raises the issues of the celebrity that can arise from the megachurch culture and where the money generated from them really goes.
"The movie is art imitating life. Anyone who has ever given money at church and has question marks, this movie goes there. And we explore a variety of topics from adultery in the church, pastors cheating, money being taken for personal gain or spent illegally, and more," Neal says.
She's fully aware that the film might cause some backlash, but applauds producer Russ Parr for tackling the topic and hopes that "it will cause some discussion and some reflection."
Neal has been busy off-screen, too, with her new job as spokeswoman for California Lace Wigs and Weaves. Through that position she's been able to create her own line of faux hair called Hollywood Belles by Elise Neal that's set to launch this month.
"I am real — [but,] I wear weaves," she says. "I like to workout real hard, and as a Black woman we often use our hair as an excuse not to work out because of fear of losing our [hairstyle] from sweating it out. I have to be on set sometimes from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., so having a weave allows for greater versatility."
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