While I hold steadfast to the belief that all my friends are stars and some of them just happen to be celebrities, to that I would add that sometimes the planets align and I also get the opportunity to sit down with someone who I admire and adore. When it came time to chat with Vanessa Williams I was more than just a little bit excited. With a reputation for being one of the hardest working women in Hollywood and a knack for playing a diva on screen with an off-screen persona that is genuinely 180 degrees from that ferocious boss (Wilhelmina Vivian Slater) from Ugly Betty, Vanessa shares her generous spirit freely and without reserve as she continues to define and redefine the definition of a true celebrity.
Joshua Estrin: You appear to remain so grounded in a business that is not for the faint at heart. You have risen to the top of music, television and beyond and yet no meltdowns -- just a woman determined to take on the world. How do you do it?
Vanessa Williams: I think it's all about perspective. Being a mother offers me a large dose of reality and it also keeps me focused on what really matters. I love my work and I am truly grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me but I don't depend on it for my happiness.
JE: When the time comes and you are at the gates of Heaven what do you want to be most remembered for?
VW: I want to be remembered as a talented survivor.
JE: Tell me about your latest projects?
VW: I've spent a great deal of time in the makeup chair and it's no secret that I have had some challenges with my skin. One of my latest projects is ReVitalistic by Vanessa Williams. I am really proud of this line of skincare with QVC as I have been the spokesperson for several products but this time around I was part of the creative process as well. I was able to address skincare based on my own experience and experiences and offer something that really takes care of the skin by addressing real life problems. Of course I am also excited to share 666 Park Avenue with everyone. The pilot is fantastic and the show has so many unexpected twists. Some have called it sci-fi and it does have a supernatural aspect to it. But I think what makes it really appealing is the fact that it is an amazing drama with characters that will compel people to watch.
NOTE: In the spirit of full disclosure -- I was not paid by QVC and have no commercial affiliation with the products mentioned.