The “Devine” Miss Loretta: Ain’t she cool?

Ain’t It Cool News is a great source
of movie news, rumors and gossip, and I usually find something interesting
when I check it out every week or so. Today, I stumbled across the unexpected
— an interview with Loretta Devine.

Loretta Devine is not a typical interview subject for a fanboy site. In fact, the interviewer, Capone, opens with this acknowledgment:

“Now before you start freaking
out on me, I’m well aware that Loretta Devine might seem like a strange
choice for an interview subject on this site, but quite frankly I don’t
care. I love this woman to death, and I’m not afraid to throw you guys
a curve ball every once and a while. There is something about Devine’s
presence in a film or TV show that just makes me feel good about life.
She’s a solid acting talent, she can sing like an angel, and just about
one of the sweetest people you could ever meet.”

And I agree with Capone. (Although
I don’t actually know if she’s sweet in person. But I’ll bet she is.)

Loretta Devine is one of those
actresses you may or may not know by name, but you’ve definitely
seen her somewhere. And probably a whole lot of somewheres. She’s rarely
the lead, but she has a prolific film, TV and stage résumé. Probably
her best known role is Glo in the movie Waiting to Exhale.

She’s the one on the far left.

Broadway fans, however, know
her best as the original “Lorell” in Dreamgirls.

But she’s really been all over
the place. She’s done an enormous amount of TV. You may have seen her
on Grey’s Anatomy, Boston
or Girlfriends.
Or perhaps you remember her as “Marla” on Boston Public.

Personally, I remember her
best as “Stevie” from Season 1 of A Different World.
(My college roommate and I used to watch that and marvel at how much
bigger the dorm rooms were at Hillman College than at UCLA.)

And she’s been in any number
of movies. Including Urban Legend,

I Am Sam and Crash.
And she had a cameo in the film version of Dreamgirls — although
she felt conflicted about being the only member of the
original cast to have one.

“At first, I had such mixed
feelings because they didn’t want to pay me anything. … And they weren’t
going to have all three women, and I really wanted all of us to be in
it. And Bill called and explained that he was doing the same thing that
he did in Chicago, that scene with Chita Rivera, where it was
like a simple scene where everybody could go, ‘Oh, my God.’ And he wanted
to get somebody from the original Dreamgirls, and I debated it,
but I really didn’t want to miss that part of history, the final chapter.”

(I had that “Oh, my God!”
reaction to the cameos in both movies.)

So take a moment to think about
all the little moments of happiness that Loretta Devine has brought
you over the years. And kudos to Capone at Ain’t It Cool News for sharing
a little sunshine.