Actor Flex Anderson and wife/‘I Love Your Smile’ singer Shanice have new reasons to smile as they ready the premiere of their OWN reality show ‘Flex & Shanice.’
Indeed, after facing many-a-financial struggle amongst other industry-related woes, the talented Hollywood couple have rebounded and are ready to embark on the next chapter of their storied careers.
Chatting exclusively with That Grape Juice, we caught up with Flex & Shanice to dish on their ever-interesting foray into reality, their thoughts on today’s crop of music and TV stars, and so much more!
Before you catch the premiere of their show on May 31st at 10/9c only on OWN, tuck in below to hear the duo talk about their newest plan to return to the top!
TGJ: We’re so excited to see you guys on the small screen together with your new reality show, ‘Flex & Shanice’ (premieres May 31st at 10/9c on OWN)! Tell us, why was now the time for such a venture?
Shanice: First, I’ve been begging my beautiful husband to do a show for several years, but he wouldn’t do it. He felt like his career as an actor that people wouldn’t take him seriously on a reality show.
We have such a story to tell, so now is the time. We’ve experienced the ups-and-downs of the industry.
TGJ: Flex, what changed your mind about reality shows?
Flex: Just realizing that we actually had a story to tell. I didn’t want to do anything meaningless. We talked about what was real and what was going on. From there, I felt like we actually had something to talk about. If you want to raise your voice, you have to have something to talk about.
I didn’t want to do it for the “glorification of us.” I hope it inspires people and shows them that they can make it.
TGJ: Thanks for mentioning the “inspiration” aspect because you are so right. The issues you guys have gone through would easily break up marriages. So, how are you hoping couples will be inspired by watching the show?
Flex: We’re hoping that people learn that they can hang on. Unfortunately, we see some of the perils of that with actor Michael Jace killing his wife. No matter how bad it gets, it doesn’t have to get there.
We said “for richer or for poorer” when we got married.
Shanice: And, when you go through hard times it could bring you closer or break you. For us, I feel it brought us even closer because we only had each other to hold on. We had to pray through it all and cry on each other’s shoulders.
They need to know: never give up!
TGJ: How inspirational! Now, one thing people don’t know is how “real” reality TV can get sometimes.
Flex: Yes. We’ve taken things we’ve gone through and putting it out there to talk about it. The discussions are real. It’s not going to be any guns or throwing water in people’s face. Trust me, this is something you can watch with your families.
Shanice: We have 9 people under one roof! We have our kids, my mom, my stepdad, my uncle, and cousins! You know its always interesting when you have 9 people under one roof!
TGJ: Definitely! So, as we look forward to getting our eyes and ears on your new reality show, I’d like to talk about your individual endeavors. Shanice, the industry has come a long way since you burst onto the scene with hits like “I Love Your Smile.” What are your thoughts on today’s brand of “divas”?
Shanice: I listen to everybody. I think we still have some amazing singers out there today. Beyonce is amazing and can sing her butt off. But, the only thing that disappoints me is how easy it is to illegally download music.
When “I Love Your Smile” came out, people were selling because the public had to actually go buy it to have it. On the flip side, the cool thing about this era is that you don’t have to wait to hear from the record label or a publicist what people think of your music. Social media allows you to connect instantly with your fans.
TGJ: Same to you, Flex. What are your thoughts on the representation of black people on television and the absence of family sitcoms like “One on One”?
Flex: I don’t know what meeting took place to say “no more black folks on TV.” It’s sad because we have such a great voice that leads cultures and trends. The family aspect of television is a strong message that’s sent to kids so they can see that the family unit does work.
There are so many stories that can be told. I think it’s a shame that we don’t get opportunities now like we used to. I hope all of the African American people in high positions are open to get together to form a union or something to distribute and shoot our own things.
TGJ: I agree.
Flex: Yes, because this next generation is jacked up. The only images they have on TV of black people are not those we should want to uplift.
TGJ: So very true. Now, to wrap things up: tell us what’s next in your respective careers?
Flex: We performed a production company and are looking to do more projects together. Even if not together, we will bring in others for television and film. For me, I plan on doing standup soon because I have so much to talk about. I’ve also written another family sitcom that I’m shopping to networks.
Also, because my mom suffers from mild schizophrenia, I want to push the envelope when it comes to mental illness. So, I want to shine a spotlight on my new foundation.
Shanice: I never really stopped recording. But, I have new music coming out very soon and I’m looking forward to that. And, raising our babies!
Interview by: Rashad Taylor (That Grape Juice US)