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BlackMen Digital Interview: Angell Conwell

Thursday 17th, March 2011

Ever since her breakthrough feature role in John Singleton’s Baby Boy, Angell Conwell has been one of Black Hollywood’s most familiar faces. Whether she’s playing Raven’s cute cousin on That’s So Raven!, the gold-digging cashier Antoinette on The Wash, or a super-sexy stewardess on Soul Plane, Conwell consistently delivers top quality for every role she accepts. The sultry Leo’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Every perfectly executed performance seems to increase and diversify Conwell’s opportunities with strategic precision.


Worldly, focused and spiritual, part of her success is due to the genuine infusion of her personality and life into her characters. Asserting that she “always seems to find similarities in myself and the characters I play,” the vibrant South Carolina native allows each character to weave a tapestry in her human experience, using them for self-exploration and discovery.


Fans can catch Conwell one of several ways. They can see her live and on-stage as Fallon in the stage play Friends with Benefits. In addition to Friends with Benefits, fans can check out Conwell’s other recent works, which include acting alongside Christian Keyes in the romantic comedy Perfect Combination (DVD in stores now), and starring in the notoriously funny comedy franchise National Lampoon’s newest film Sex Tax: a True Story, which premieres in theaters October 1st this fall.


 Black Men was lucky enough to briefly get an interview with Conwell as she discusses, among other things, her spiritual evolution, growing to embrace her sensuality and beauty as a woman, and her love for charitable giving and helping others smile.


BM: Tell us about your role as Fallon.  How does she reflect you as a person?

AC: Fallon is a young woman finding success as a news reporter. She’s intelligent, caring, spiritual, loyal to her friends and family, and very passionate about love. I relate to her quiet independence and the fact that she’s a peacemaker. I’m very much the peacemaker in my life, the one who’s always like, “Can’t we all just get along?”  I’ve had my moments, but for the most part, I don’t do drama––unless I’m doing it like I’m doing it for TV! (Laughs) At the same time, Fallon is a lot more conservative and spiritual than most of my past roles. Quite uptight, which is a quality I don’t possess, but she’s still fun to play. I love Fallon and love this role.


BM: Does theater frighten you? After all, you’re required to give your all each and every night.

AC: First and foremost, I hold tremendous trust in Him, so I don’t fear much. Fear is not natural, nor is it good for the body. So I do my best to challenge anything that causes me to feel afraid. I normally gravitate towards [the fear] so I can explore and give myself the opportunity to face it. The only way to it is through it! Now, theater definitely requires an enormous amount of energy. We’re still rehearsing right now and I definitely feel myself using a lot of fuel, but I love a good healthy challenge—that’s what keeps me alive and kicking! I never want to get complacent or regret anything. I’m learning the best way to avoid having regrets is to completely get in there and go for it. “Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!” That way, I can avoid all the “woulda-coulda-shoulda’s” later in life.


BM: Are you comfortable with the experience overall? Will it improve your delivery for Hollywood?

AC: I certainly hope so. Theater is where I began. I explored it in South Carolina as a child. My first play was August Wilson’s Fences. It’s where I came to a definite conclusion that I was going to be an actress. As far as Hollywood, I’m not certain how anyone will look on it. You never know what mood folks will be in. (laughs) I just love work. I love what I do; I’m blessed and very fortunate to be a working actress.


BM: What are the craziest misconceptions about you? I’m sure being curvy, pretty and obviously carrying yourself with respect comes with a lot of responsibility.

AC: Sexiness. It seems as though when a woman exudes any type of sex appeal, folks tend to think that it’s all she’s about. This is totally false. Personally, I don’t find myself sexy. I’m clumsy as all outdoors. But, some very classy women raised me, and as I mature, I feel as though I’m becoming more and more like them. I’m proud of that. At one point, not too long ago, I was steering clear of doing “sexy” photo shoots because I felt folks wouldn’t take me “seriously” as an actress. Then I thought about it…As hard as I work out, push myself to the limit [and give] blood, sweat and tears...I better do a damn sexy shoot. I work too hard! I just want people to understand that a woman may be sexy but that doesn’t mean she’s not serious. I don’t take life too seriously, but I’m serious about life and certainly serious about my business.


BM: How has the entertainment business changed over time for you as you’ve progressed?

AC: Everyone seems to be stepping it up a few notches when it comes to creating opportunities for Black people, which is wonderful. We’re realizing that if we don’t clear a path for ourselves, the path may never be cleared, or we’ll be waiting for a long time.  It’s not worth the wait when we’re highly qualified and highly capable of making it happen ourselves, so I’m very proud of our growth.


BM: What are your secrets to all-around natural beauty and poise, especially when you’re feeling crazy rough inside?

AC: Thank you for the compliment!  Well, I certainly keep our Creator first in my life. I lean not on my own understanding. I know this gift of life is not all about “me.” It’s about giving back, finding and following my cause, and giving love. Keeping these truths in mind on a daily basis allows me to remain confident and excited about life. I read more often than most folks are aware of and take the time to take care of myself, which is also important because when I do that, it keeps me level and focused on the path to being the best me I can possibly be.


BM: Genuine answers and truer words never before spoken! How did you learn how to embrace, love and revel in your feminine sensuality?

AC: Thankfully, I’ve never been afraid to love. But what I have been afraid of is getting hurt, which can totally cause a person to hold back. But I’ve come to a point in my life where I know that giving your all leaves you with no regrets. I love everything about being a woman except PMS and bad hair days! (Laughs)  However, it’s taken me a while to become comfortable in my skin and fully embrace my sensuality. I developed at a very early age and because of that, I was different. My shape was a topic of conversation. I was very uncomfortable with it for a long while. Finally, at the age of 27, I’m closer than I’ve ever been. I still have a ways to go, but I appreciate what God has given me. I love the skin I’m in and learning to love it more with each passing day.


BM: Did you enjoy your shoot with BlackMen this time around?

AC: The shoot was a blast! I’m excited to be embracing my 20 sexy years! Some call your later 20s the dark side of the 20s, but I call it 20-sexy. Contrary to what many of us have been conditioned to believe, it’s an enjoyable experience. I did a shot in a gorgeous Herve Leger dress. I felt quite fancy and feminine, if I may say so myself. (Laughs)


BM: Would you say we captured your personality well?

AC: Yes! Absolutely! This shoot has a lot of subtle glamour, but most of my shots were playful, which is a great representation of my personality. One of my friends calls me “Jokey Smurf” and I hope that side shines through in the photos. I mean, I have shy moments as well where I sit back and observe. These aspects may come through the photos as well. I was also geeked about doing the shot in the men’s collar shirt with the tie. I’ve always loved that look. There’s just something sensual and powerful about being in your man’s shirt. I’ve always enjoyed it and loved bringing that to life with you guys! 


BM: As we wrap this up, tell us about other things you’re into and involved with that you’d like to share with your readers and us.

AC: I try to involve myself in as many charities as possible. There are several causes that I’m passionate about. I give back on a low-key basis. Seeing others smile triggers me do the same. It may seem as though I’m blessing them when in actuality, they’re blessing me. It’s fulfilling, to say the least. I love to connect myself with organizations involving our youth, and I also work closely with My Friends House ( which feeds and clothes the homeless weekly on skid row.  Of course, I have many other irons in the fire, but I’m taking it one day at a time.


Readers who wish to learn more about and connect personally with Angell online can visit her at: