You know and love her as Sasha Brown from Tyler Perry’s hit series, Meet the Browns but now you may recognize her as Lara Bouchard on IFC’s hit series, Stan Against Evil and as the lead in the television movie, Her Only Choice. We had the pleasure of sitting down to speak with the ambitious actress to talk about her exciting new project and her experience portraying a life-changing character.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into the world of entertainment?
Originally, I thought I was going to go into something that was a little more stable and steady. I went to LSU on a scholarship and started out pre-med. That did not last very long at all (laughs). I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with myself, I just knew I wanted to be successful and everyone around me was successful, they were either a doctor or a lawyer. Once I got to LSU, the world opened up and I met other people. One of my suite mates was studying communications and I thought it was kind of interesting. Needless to say, I like talking and I like people so that’s when I switched my major and interned at news stations, advertisement agencies, you name it, I did it.
One of the ad agencies I interned at during the summer gave me a job right after school and that is when I moved to Dallas, Texas. While working there, clients would randomly ask me to replace someone that was casted for a job. A local talent agent in Dallas saw some of the stuff I had worked on and I signed with them and started working!
Six months after I got married, I told my husband I wanted to move to Los Angeles, he told me to go for it!
Can you tell us about your experience on the television movie, Her Only Choice.
Wow. You know, I always say, there are no mistakes and I’ve been telling my manager that I wanted to do something that was more character driven and would touch people. I’m grateful for every single job. A lot of my film characters in the past have been stealing people’s men and that’s fine and cool (laughs) but I wanted to do something that has to require me to go deeper. This producer I worked with two years ago in DC said he kept me in mind for other projects and when this opportunity came about, he felt like I was the person that could pull off the lead.
I would say this was the most emotionally-tasking, gratifying role that I’ve had to date. It was in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is a tear jerker like nobody’s business (laughs). You gotta have your box of tissues. I’ve never had such a large amount of people respond in this manner saying how they were reminded of certain moments that they had to go through as survivors. One survivor DM’ed me and told me it gave her a sense of peace.
I was truly honored that they trusted me in order to bring life into the character I portrayed. It was a responsibility that I welcomed and all I wanted to do was address the survivors of breast cancer and I feel like I achieved that.
In addition to all the exciting things you’ve done as an actress, you’ve also published a cookbook, what inspired you to do this project?
The cookbook came out during a conversation with Chef Jernard Wells who is the co-author on this book and he is the actual chef. We met three or four years ago while I was working in Atlanta. He was a friend of a friend that showed up at a wrap party with his wife. He and I kept in touch and one thing led to another. I wanted to recreate a seasoning that I created in my own kitchen. My friends and family would always come by and try to get the seasoning (laughs). I thought it would be cool to incorporate it into the whole cookbook.
Jernard is from Mississippi and I’m from Louisiana and the cookbook reads itself on the cover, Southern Inspired Dishes Modified for Today’s Healthier Lifestyle. When I came to Los Angles, I became a whole lot more health conscious. I thought it was the perfect partnership to pair the seasoning with the book.
I’m learning a lot. Jernard as a chef has taught me a lot. A lot of people don’t associate me with cooking, a lot of times people associate you with the characters you portray. With the majority of the characters I’ve had, they would definitely not consider me a cook. Most of my characters have burnt something (laughs) or don’t have any skills in the kitchen.
What can we expect to see from Denise Boutte in the future?
Well, on WeezianaGirl you will see the low sodium version of the seasoning go live. In addition, I have a lot of new and exciting things that will happen within the next year so be on the lookout for that.
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Featured Image by Matthew Brandon | all images provided by Katz PR