If Kron Moore looks familiar it’s because you may have seen her on more than a few episodes of Tyler Perry’s popular nighttime drama The Haves and The Have Nots. However, in the last few months, Moore has blossomed into her first leading lady role as the First Lady of the United States, Victoria Franklin, in Tyler Perry’s The Oval.
As one-half of a power-hungry interracial political couple, Franklin isn’t the picture-perfect portrait of the President’s wife. Instead, the character is complex, wounded, and even diabolical with deeply rooted problems that seem to mostly come to the forefront when confronted by her husband and children.
Let’s get one thing straight: Kron Moore is absolutely nothing like Victoria Franklin. The actress, who was born in Detroit, initially focused on her academics earning a degree in Psychology and Biology from the University of Alabama before transitioning towards acting. It is perhaps where her passion for wellness of the mind was initially sparked. Moore has been a vocal advocate for mental health and has used her own experiences as a vehicle to encourage others who might feel they have no other place to turn.
BET.com spoke to Moore for Mental Health Awareness month about finding the right tools to navigate her way through her personal struggles, the value she receives in working with organizations like the Atlanta based Silence The Shame, and how playing Victoria Franklin has challenged her in ways she never expected.
BET.com: A lot of us have been isolated since the government ordered stay-at-homes mandates began in early March. How have you been coping with all of this and staying focused?
Kron Moore: I’ll be honest, it’s been difficult and I wish that more people would be honest about that fact. I have focused primarily on staying connected with my family and friends because that has been important for me to stay sane. I’ve taken the time to learn to meditate and do some yoga and to focus on other people because I feel when you are focusing on yourself, it can fall apart really fast. I have lost a couple of loved ones through this quarantine and that has been difficult. So, I would say staying connected has been important and helpful for me.
BET.com: I want to jump right into this character you play on The Oval and as complex and nuanced as Victoria is, you really can see that she could use some counseling. Has portraying her been challenging for you?
Kron Moore: Playing the role of Victoria in The Oval has been an interesting process for me because her personality is diametrically opposite of mine. To be frank, she is just a complete and total mess and yes she could benefit from some sort of mental health professional. With that said, playing her has been a challenge because in some of the scenes I found myself facing things that I hadn’t addressed within myself personally. There were some ugly parts of me that I didn’t realize were there, but then being faced with the script and seeing how Victoria acts these things out, I’ll be honest there were a couple of times I had a breakdown.
BET.com: What gets you through those moments?
Kron Moore: There are some things that I learned while studying psychology that have just made me more aware of myself. I’ve used that degree now in this time especially when it comes to meditation and mindfulness. As Black women, we are expected to be strong and you know we have broad shoulders by default. I don't necessarily know if it’s about the stigma or more so that we don’t dedicate the time needed to get any help. In my life, I started to see a mental health professional and it has been invaluable, so I would encourage anybody who might be feeling off to seek that help.
BET.com: Victoria Franklin is a character you play and not a real person but if she were, how would you encourage her to seek help? Your words to her could potentially help someone else.
Kron Moore: I would encourage her to take a step back from herself for a moment and look at her family as a whole. To try to understand that her actions are directly and negatively affecting her children. I would also add that they all could use some help from a mental health professional to understand why there is so much anger and why there is so much dysfunction.
BET.com: You’ve spent some time working with Silence the Shame which empowers and educates communities on mental health and wellness through conversations, content, and outreach programs. How has that experience been for you?
Kron Moore: The focus of the organization is really to eradicate the stigma that often comes along with mental illness and seeking mental health help. This is so important to me because I struggled with mental illness for a great deal of my life with depression and anxiety. I had trouble managing it for a long time and it wasn’t until adulthood that I was able to come to terms with what it was and seek the proper help for it.
BET.com: How has getting help for your condition changed the course of your life?
Kron Moore: I am still on the journey and I think I have a firm grasp on who I am and where I am mentally and emotionally but sometimes things can slip away. I have lost loved ones during this time. It’s been difficult to stay positive through all of the negativity, but I am understanding that it is part of life and I have to know that I’ll get through it. None of this is bigger than God and I’m a firm believer in God.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or mentally, speak to a counselor at the National Suicide Prevention by dialing 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org to get the help you need.
Kelsey Minor is a two-time Emmy winning journalist based in New York City. You can follow him on Twiitter @theKELSEYminor
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