The Let's Stay Together actress discusses her storyline involving Troy and whether or not exes can be friends in real life.
On this week’s episode of Let’s Stay Together, Joyful Drake’s character, Tasha, was taken advantage of by her ex-boyfriend and boss, Troy, played by Christian Keyes. But unlike Tasha, Drake is able to maintain a healthy and friendly relationship with her ex in real life.
“He’s like my best friend,” Drake said. “A lot of people don’t understand how we can really be just basically friends.”
BET.com dives further into the topic of whether exes should be friends with Drake and her thoughts on working with the twins on set.
What should fans expect from your character in this season of Let’s Stay Together?
You can expect a little drama in her life with her husband and their marriage. They always had the rock-solid relationship and this is the first time you will see their marriage being tested and how they handle it. You will get to see the babies as well.
What was it like to have the babies on set?
They were so cute and tiny. They were like itty, itty bitty.… The little girl who plays Emma, it was so funny because we were doing a scene and she crawls over to where we’re at and starts looking in the camera like, “Hello, it’s my turn.” We picked her up and put her on screen and she was just there, dead face, dead center on the camera. So, I think we have a star in the making. She knew how to get the attention on her.
What advice would you give someone faced in a situation similar to what Tasha went through with Troy?
I think if you’re dealing with an ex-boyfriend or an ex-girlfriend, you have to know that you could be playing with fire because you once did have a romantic relationship. I think that if you find yourself in that situation, you have to look not only at yourself but your mate’s feelings. Put yourself in their shoes; would you really want them putting your relationship in jeopardy over something like that? Unless you really are unhappy or you want to get back with your ex. So, I would advise against it. If you’re married, you can have friends, but once the flirting comes into play, somebody needs to set some ground rules.
Do you think exes shouldn’t be friends?
I think you should be friends with whomever you want, but once you’re married, you have a union to protect. If you find your ex wants to be more than a friend — like in Troy’s case — he still really liked Tasha and Tasha, let’s be honest, she likes the attention. She likes men that think she’s beautiful or want her, so she wanted some of that attention too to see if she still had it. In that situation where it’s not platonic and both parties haven’t completely moved on, no.
How has your day-to-day life changed since this time last January?
Some of my privacy has changed a little bit, which is always interesting and takes me a little bit to get use to. I’m a very fun, loud, happy person and people just recognize my voice or my laugh. And they will go, “Aren’t you the chick from Let’s Stay Together?” I’m like, “Yeah,” and I’m just shopping at the mall with my mom and end up taking pictures and signing autographs, signing tennis shoes — that has happened. It’s great that people receive the show so well but it takes a little bit to get use to.
How did Kyla Pratt fit in with the rest of the LST cast?
Kyla was amazing. I love Kyla. She has a dynamic energy and she’s so funny. I knew her and worked on her show when she was young…she was a teenager. Now to see her as a woman and a lady is surreal because I’m like, “Am I old?” It’s also cool because she’s one of the most down to earth people that you will ever meet. I enjoy having her as part of the cast and I hope she stays for a very, very long time.
Have the topics addressed on the show had an impact on your love life in any way?
The friends-with-the-ex affected me because I have an ex who I dated years ago, but we are really good friends. He’s like my best friend. A lot of people don’t understand how we can really be just friends, so that actually made me look at my relationship with my best friend, who I dated five, six years ago. I think it can be done, it just requires a mutual respect that the two individuals have for each other. Also the relationship with sisters, I have three beautiful sisters that I adore. And on the show, I have a sister, and to be able to play one is fun because I can bring a lot of stuff from my life and what I went through with my sister.
Outside of Let’s Stay Together, what do you have in the works in terms of your professional career?
I want to do more films. I actually have a film called Bad Ass starring Danny Trejo and Charles S. Dutton. That’s coming out in April and it’s my first action film and I’m excited about it because I got to do some butt-kicking in the stunts and things I normally don’t get to do. I would say more film working and branching off into different things beyond comedy. And writing — I have a degree and I want to put my talents to work and I hope to do a column, maybe in Essence or Shape magazine.