Tasha Smith—the Camden, NJ, around-the-way girl who we’ve grown to know and love as the feisty, boisterous, no nonsense Angela in Tyler Perry‘s Why Did I Get Married franchise—is unapologetically transparent about her personal struggles. From recovering from what she calls “heavy drug abuse” to her years earning money as a stripper, Smith’s ‘hood to Hollywood personal saga has not only made her relatable to so many, but earned her the respect of peers and fans alike.
Now, the newlywed actress makes her small screen debut as the leading lady of Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse (premiering Nov. 25 on TBS at 10 p.m. EST), a weekly sitcom that offers an extended and more in-depth look at screen life of the constantly bickering WDIGM couple Angela and Marcus (Michael Jai White).
BlackEnterprise.com kicked it with the uncensored, statuesque beauty about whether she’s helping to perpetuate negative stereotypes about Black women, why Black men are no punks, and learning who to trust when it comes to business.
BlackEnterprise.com: Congrats! You have a new hubby and a new show, Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse. What can folks expect from the small screen version of your Why Did I Get Married character Angela?
Tasha Smith: They are going to see more of a balance of Angela. Her home life is something that they didn’t get to see in Why Did I Get Married because she and Marcus were always traveling. She won’t just be going off and acting crazy, which I don’t really feel is her going off and being crazy as much as it is that she’s passionate and committed to her husband and marriage. Of course, Angela has some maturing to do, but a lot of women are insecure, fearful of abandonment, which makes them destructive and reactive. So people will see her as a wife, entrepreneur and mother, as well as see her vulnerability and her trying to change and do what’s right. Her fears and insecurities will resurface and bring back the old Angela, but I think she’s gotten to the point where she’s thinking, I’m sick of myself. I need to stop this cause it don’t make no sense going off and freaking out every time I think something is going to happen. (Laughs) She really is trying to be the bigger person.
There has been criticism that your character, Angela, promotes negative stereotypes about Black women: Loud, combative and ignorant. What do you say to those critics?
C’mon let’s be real: Any woman who has been in a relationship and has experienced anything close to what Angela and Marcus have knows things happen. People want to say Black women are loud, but everyone knows it was a white woman who cut off her man’s penis. You never heard a Black woman doing that! A Black woman might put a hoe in check; but she ain’t cutting off no penis. (Laughs) Angela’s passionate, and if people give [the show] a chance, they will see how she matures as we all do.
What do you hope people will walk away with from the show?
People are going to identify with a lot of the different relationships, and I want them to enjoy, laugh and be inspired.