Ambitions is bringing the heat every Tuesday night this summer on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). I recently interviewed several cast members and executives from the nighttime soap at its Atlanta premiere. Check out my chat with leading lady Robin Givens below.
Daytime Confidential: What drew you to the character of Stephanie Carlisle Lancaster in Ambitions?
Robin Givens: I've fallen in love with her. I think she's a little bit different than how Jamey [Giddens] initially saw her, which was kind of a compliment to me, I think. He kind of wrote her as an ice queen. I grew up on old movies. Women like Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth. Women who can keep up with the boys, drink with the boys, play pool with the boys, carry a gun with the boys and still look good in a dress. I love that. To me, Stephanie is a modern-day version of those women. I've sort of embraced the challenge of making her a real person with different layers, which is where the comedy comes in and the vulnerability. I think that becomes a challenge when Stephanie's where she can be vulnerable. She can be vulnerable with her parents. There's a little girl in her that can never live up to her dad. Things like that, I enjoy.
DC: Stephanie seems to have her eyes and ears everywhere, yet she was bested twice: once when Amara (Essence Atkins) ended up with Titus (Kendrick Cross) and again with Bella (Erica Page) having an affair with Evan (Brian White). How did she allow this to happen?
RG: I think when Titus ended up with Amara, she was truly blindsided. She was in love with Titus back in college and Amara was her best friend. She really didn't expect that. So now, cut to 25 years later, she will not let it go. She's determined not to let it happen again, so that I love. And Bella, she doesn't know about her. She doesn't know this is going on. What's so great about this show is, behind the scenes, whether it's transportation or hair and makeup, we're all like, "What's going to happen when she finds out about Bella?" We're all so into it.
DC: Should Amara be worried about Stephanie spending long hours going up against Titus in the Purifoy class action lawsuit?
RG [Cryptic]: Does Stephanie love Titus? He betrayed her as well; he really betrayed her.
DC: Stephanie's daughter Carly (Kayla Brianna Smith) is creeping around with the enemy. Carly and Stephanie's relationship is already fragile. Will the fact that she's gay, and with a Purifoy be a source of contention for them?
RG: One of my favorite lines is when Stephanie finally catches Carly with Lori (Christina Kirkman) coming out of the bathroom stall. Carly is nervous about her mom finding out about her being gay. Stephanie says, "I don't care if you like girls; you just can't like THAT GIRL!" That's my favorite line!
Tune in to an all-new episode of Ambitions tonight at 10/9C on OWN.