Raven Symone Admits Tanning to Be Darker

The Folks over at Yahoo.com sat down with Raven Symone about her character Rhonda, the sister to dad Dre (Anthony Anderson), coming out to her family on an episode of the ABC hit Black-ish. She also dishes on her recent co-hosting of The View, and her stint on the mega hit Empire!

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Tell us about your character on Black-ish.
I play Rhonda, who is Anthony Anderson’s sister and is about to get married to her partner. Ultimately, she has to come out to her mother, but she doesn’t get to do it delicately!

Were you a fan of the show before?
Oh my goodness, yeah! The show has wonderful writing and touches on so many topics that touch on the news today. Again, just wonderful writing. I’m from the old school — if it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage. You can just read it on the page.

Why did you want to be part of this particular story?
I love the fact that this quote-unquote coming out story is done in a very realistic way, but at the same time, bringing comedy to it. I love Jenifer Lewis, I’ve worked with her many times. And I think Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson do such a great job of portraying a married couple on TV that I had to be a part of it in some way.

Dealing with a family member’s sexuality is an issue that many people face. Have you experienced that personally?
I’ve definitely had friends who have that issue, I’ve seen a lot of people on social media have that issue, and I’ve had my own. Again, comedy can take something serious and present it to the public in a way that you can laugh about it. I think it should help a lot of people in the LGBT community, and it should also help people who are not in the LGBT community understand it and see what it looks like when they dismiss someone for who they are.

Will we see Rhonda again? Maybe we’ll get to see her wedding?
In my mind, that’s a yes! But you have to ask the writers.

You’ve also been guest hosting on The View. People have been speculating that you might join as a permanent host. What’s your feeling on that?
Oh, they’re talking about it? I love The View. I enjoy working with all the women there. Nicolle, Rosie, and Whoopi have such a wonderful connection. I enjoy myself 1,000 percent when I’m on the show. We’ll see what happens!

You were also on Empire earlier this year. Will we see that character again?
Again, in my head, I have the whole story planned out [laughs]. But you have to ask the writers.

What would you like to see Olivia do on the show?
I’d love to see the character come back and fight for her daughter, to get involved with the company. I’d love to go head to head with Cookie. You never know what could happen. I think Lee Daniels and Ilene Chaiken and the writers are very, very smart. I trust the story in their hands. If they ask me back, I’ll do it with 100 percent confidence.

It seems like you’re doing more guest roles now. Are you planning to do even more?
I enjoy doing one-offs here and there. Having my own show at such a young age was definitely stressful, and maybe when I’m older, I’ll want to do it again. But right now, I enjoy meeting different people and working with other talent and jumping around. You never know. But I’m in college right now and that’s my main focus. I want to finish that and work toward my master’s.

I have a feeling we’ll be posting a lot more on Ms. Raven if she does get that permeant set as co-host on The View.