Raven-Symoné: Actors of color should create own opportunities (VIDEO)

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Raven-Symoné will always be known to some fans as Olivia from “The Cosby Show”. To her younger fans, she’s just Raven from “That’s So Raven.” The starlet wouldn’t have it any other way — she wants to be known to generations.

The now 24-year-old actress sat down with theGrio to discuss her latest endeavor, a new Disney DVD entitled, “Tinker Bell and The Great Fairy Rescue” and her other plans for her career.

Next week her new animated film hits store shelves.

“It is the first time that we view Tinker Bell meeting a human because the Tinker Bell DVDs are about her before she becomes friends with Peter Pan,” she says. ”[…] I play Iridessa…her best friend is Tinker Bell, so she has her feathers ruffled every now and then,” she says.

Raven says her role in the animated movie allows her to keep in touch with her core audience her Disney channel fans. Her long-running Disney series “That’s So Raven” was one of the channel’s most successful franchises. Her next challenge she hopes is returning to T.V. in a role older audiences can enjoy. She says that transition is not without its challenges.

“It’s different with the characters that I want to portray, and the age group that I’m trying to capture in a bottle, I guess you say for T.V., when the people my age on T.V. are doing things I wasn’t allowed to do. The topics that they talk about and do, I’m not really allowed to do, I wasn’t really allowed to do that in my personal life, and I don’t want to do it on T.V. just yet,” she reflects.

The actress who has been seen on T.V. and in movies since arriving on the scene in 1989 says when she does return to T.V., she aspires to bring back the family sitcom. The character she most wants to play is “smart, self-confident, not totally sexed out,” she says. “I’ll be honest, it’s not necessary for me to do that.”

It’s clear that as a Hollywood veteran Raven-Symone is confident, sure of herself, and focused. She says she’ll continue acting and also has a new album in the works. “Every time I talk on an album I like to talk about the issues that I’m dealing with, and the other issues I hear people my age dealing with. But at the same time, with this one, I want it to be more poetic and interesting sounding.” The next album will be her fifth.

Having started her career so young, Raven has taken time off to just enjoy life, and spend time with family. She’s grateful for the opportunities she’s had, but doesn’t take them for granted.

“Your career can end at any time. What’s helped me over the years is surrounding myself with people that I trust, that don’t always say yes to me, most of the time they say no, actually. And I kind of have to fight for what I want.”

Fighting for what she wants makes her hungry, and makes her elevate her performances so she won’t let her fans down, or herself.

Follow theGrio’s Todd Johnson on Twitter at @rantoddj

Article text written by Christopher Nelson>