Kimberly Elise is going from film to TV star in VH1’s new scripted series Hit The Floor.
The actress, best known for her roles in Beloved, For Colored Girls, and John Q, stars in the series as Sloane, a former professional dancer, whose daughter (Taylour Paige) joins a back-stabbing and ruthless dance team.
According to VH1 “Hit The Floor explores the sexy world of professional basketball and the dancers who make the fans (and players) go wild.”
The new series brought in 2.5 million total viewers and ranked #1 among women 18-34 and women 18-49 during its premiere Monday night.
In an interview with theGrio, Elise talked about her transition from film to TV and how she hopes to take on romantic and comedy roles in the future.
“I love the idea of doing different kinds of parts,” Elise said. “That was something that Hit The Floor offered me. James LaRosa our creator said ‘I have this part for you. It’s not just drama, but you get to be sexy, you get to be romantic, funny, angry, and happy.’ So it’s the whole gamut of things.”
In 2005 Elise starred as the lead character in Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and throughout much of her career has portrayed battered and emotionally-scarred women on the big screen. Elise feels “to a degree” she has been stereotyped by Hollywood as a dramatic actress, but doesn’t look at it in a negative light.
“I think I’ve had amazing opportunities and amazing parts, and I’ve played characters who’ve been going through significant challenges. With that comes a weighty presence that you have to bring.”
The 46-year-old actress has starred alongside Oscar winner Denzel Washington three times; in The Manchurian Candidate, John Q, and The Great Debaters. She weighed on what it’s like to be Washington’s “work wife.”
“It’s always been fun [working with Denzel]. He’s a focused professional actor, like me,” Elise said. “He’s also a parent, and a family man, and a great husband, who’s really into his family like I am. He’s just a regular guy with an amazing talent.”
Hit The Floor airs Mondays at 9/8C on VH1.
Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC