You know and love her from Showtime’s hit series, Shameless! Shanola Hampton, a native of South Carolina began her acting career when she made the big move to Los Angeles, California and since then she has been grinding and hustlin’ to make her dreams come true. Now, Hampton is preparing for her new role as executive producer for the film, Three’s Complicated, which is set to air this Sunday, January 13th at 7PM EST on TV One! Join in as we got to know Shanola and why being an advocate for women is so important to her.

Tell us about yourself, when did you know that you wanted to enter into the world of entertainment?

Well, I’ve known that I wanted to be an actress since I was four-years-old. I’m just a girl from a small town called, Summerville, South Carolina. I had this passion for acting ever since getting on stage and seeing the crowd. I knew this was where I wanted to be. My mother and father really nurtured that however, they never wanted me to be a child actor. I had to go through all of my school, I went to college, and I got my Masters degree in Fine Arts. After I satisfied all of my schooling duties, I made the track to Los Angeles and really had to grind. It took about 10 years before I booked Shameless, which is my big job. I’m just a small town girl with a dream and that’s the truth!

Tell us about the new romantic comedy, Three’s Complicated and the character you portray.

I’m so excited to have this, as my first project as an executive producer and to be able to star in it has been a real joy. Three’s Complicated is about a woman named Deja. Within the first five minutes, you see her world really crumbling around her. She quits her job, she ends up at a bar to drink her misery away. Some sleazy guy tries to pick her up and she is saved by Tyler Lepley’s character, Woodson. After that, they have a weekend fling which is only supposed to be for the weekend! Those are the rules made. Her daughter comes home from college and in comes her new beau who happens to be the same guy that Deja had the weekend fling with! Needless to say, it is a very eventful weekend and uncomfortable, to say the least. You will find yourself trying to figure out who you want to root for.

You are a strong advocate for female empowerment; do you mind sharing why this is so important to you?

The main reason is that I have a daughter but I’ve always been an advocate for women. I’ve always been about empowering women and not being a princess character that needed to be saved by a man. I want women to stand up, educate themselves, and be businesswomen! I knew that I didn’t want to be just an actress. I wanted to break out and be an executive producer to be able to be my own boss! Women should learn their own craft so they can feel empowered. You are empowered the more you educate yourself and I am an advocate for education. I want my daughter to know that, I want her daughter to know that I want that to be something they embody.

Are you working on any future projects that you can share?

Shameless is going to be back on Sunday, January 20th. This is our ninth season. I have a movie that will hopefully be coming out this year called, Through the Glass Darkly. Other than that, I am looking for work, I am on the hustle!

Be sure to tune into TV One’s Three’s Complicated at 7PM EST!

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Photo: Logan Cole 

Stylist: Benjamin Holtrop 

Makeup: Mecca Dickerson