While we all know Nadine Ellis as Dr. Stacy Lawrence, the multi-talented actress was able to display her dancing skills on last week’s episode of Let’s Stay Together. Ellis was a founding member of the Pussycat Dolls, and she’s been dancing for most of her life. With acting currently on the forefront, Ellis is staying busy outside of her role on the BET romantic comedy hit with a feature film in the works for later this year.
BET.com chatted with Ellis about her role in Four of Hearts and how her day-to-day life has changed since Let’s Stay Together’s debut last January.
When I last talked to you, you had just joined Twitter. How has social media worked out for you?
I wish I could say I made great leaps and bounds as far as Twitter land is concerned, but I’m still learning to crawl a little bit. I’m crawling at a pace.
What should fans expect from your character in this season of Let’s Stay Together?
This season with Stacy, we could see a touch of what we saw in the first season. She’s made the transition from girlfriend to fiancé pretty seemingly, but the transition from fiancé to wife is shaking her to the bones a little bit. I think she’s nervous about losing a little of her independence and how things will change in the relationship once [they] became man and wife. We are just going to see her grow, as everyone does depending on what’s getting thrown at you.
How has the relationship dynamic changed between your character and Charles now that you guys are married?
I think we’ve gotten closer for sure. A huge hurdle [was overcome] and I think all of the fear that she had in seeing him run away and realizing that maybe he had some fears too, and her realizing that it wasn’t what she thought it was and just relaxing and trusting in the fact that her man loved her and she loves them. They are stronger together than they are apart and I think we are just growing closer together.
How has your day-to-day life changed since this time last January?
It’s been such a great ride. Last year when I was visiting my family for the holidays, I went to 42nd Street [in New York City] because some friends had told me that my picture was up on a billboard and these huge tour buses. So I went in search and there they were, just driving by. Finally there was one that was parked, so I ran over to take some pictures and I stopped a woman on the street to see if she wouldn’t mind taking a picture of me in front of the billboard. As she was taking the picture, she goes, “Is that you?” I was just [like], "as a matter of fact, it is." A year later, I’m back in New York again for the holidays and as I’m walking down 42nd street, I had three people stop me and go, “Hey, I love the show. You’re doing a great job. When is it coming back?” That has been just icing on the cake in terms of people recognizing me from the show and loving the show and the great feedback we’ve been getting.
How did Kyla Pratt fit in with the rest of the LST cast?
She was just light, love and laughter. She had us laughing and it was just such a beautiful way to elevate the show during our second season. We’re all so glad that she’s here and the fans are going to absolutely fall in love with her because she’s hilarious. It’s just cool to see her in this new stage of her life. Last time we saw her, she was on One on One and for her fans in the animated world, The Proud Family, but now to see her mature in a certain way, even though Kyla will forever be 12 to me. I look at her and she has such a baby face. It was such a pleasure and I was so happy that she came on board.
What would you tell married couples to take away from this show?
You’re going to take from the show what you get out of it, but if there’s anything I think married couples will appreciate from the show is what I think Jacque Edmonds Cofer and the rest of her writers really have a great touch with — they find a way to reflect what’s happening in real life with a comedic spin on it. I think people can see what we’re doing and with love, it’s respect first and then communication and talking about it, and then being able to bend a little bit. I think, in Season 2, that’s what you’re going to see with Charles and Stacy. We love each other but sometimes love is not enough to get you through the hard times, so you have to be able to compromise and bend a little bit.
Have the topics addressed on the show impacted your love life in any way?
I don’t know if it’s impacted [it] but I’ve definitely seen myself at times in the same situations of the show. I know, dating in Los Angeles, sometimes it’s hard for me to let go of my independence a little bit when you’re used to standing alone and tough and strong on your own. I think if anything, that’s what I see of myself when I see Stacy ... growing in her own special way.
Outside of Let’s Stay Together, what do you have in the works in terms of your professional career?
I have a movie that was released in December called He’s Mine, Not Yours, starring Jason Weaver and Gabrielle Dennis of The Game. Gabrielle and I play sisters, so that’s a fun little ride that people can check out. I have another film that will be coming out later this year called Four of Hearts — I play the lead in that film with Darrin DeWitt Henson. I can’t give away too much right now, but it’s a great "fly on the wall"-type film that I think people will love. It’s a romantic/comedy/drama.
(Photo: John Ricard / BET)