Bravo has officially announced that Kim Fields has been hired on as the newest cast member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Fields, most fondly remembered for her role as Tootie from the 1970s hit series “Fact of Life,” is an award-winning actor and director whose credits include a leading role on the 1990s hit comedy series “Living Single.” She has directed successful televisions shows on TBS, BET and TVOne.
Fields, who says, ”I’m an actor, director, producer, entrepreneur, mom and wife,” recently indulged the Huffington Post with a one-on-one in which she reflected on her impressive 30-plus year career in the entertainment business. She also spoke about her supportive husband, balancing motherhood at 46 and landing her new reality TV gig.
Below are excerpts from her interview with blogger Tanya Young Williams.
What made you decide to sign on to The Real Housewives of Atlanta?
Fields: I’ve been asked for years to do a reality show. One of my criteria is that I would be given the opportunity to show a strong family unit. When they came to me to do the show, they said, “We love you. We love your light and we love your opinions and you can give them in your way.” So far they have been great in letting me be me.
In order to be a part of the Housewives of Atlanta cast, the ladies live in the Atlanta area. What brought you to Atlanta from California?
Fields: There has been a tremendous growth in the entertainment industry throughout Atlanta. There are many opportunities in film, television and theater. I was offered an opportunity to direct Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns.’’ It was a time when I was thinking about leaving California anyway so it was a great fit.
How has your experience been during taping The Real Housewives of Atlanta?
Fields: It’s been quite the adventure. Let me just say, it’s been “different.” But at this stage of my life I welcome – “different.” This experience has awakened many creative voices in me. I love that I get to be me and not play a character.
How has it been working with the ladies in the cast?
Fields: For 14 years I was in an ensemble cast filled with women. I can surely navigate my way through this. Throughout the process, I’ve gleaned a little something from each lady. A pinch of each of them is in me. Kenya is very girly…..Candy is straight forward – all the time. I’m a bit more diplomatic – sometimes to a fault. Yet I say, how can I use some of her candid style. Going out with ladies and having ladies night out has been very healthy for me. I give and give and sometimes I can’t find me. I’m sure many moms and wives go down that same rabbit hole. I realized that I hadn’t really had “me” time since 1998.
What is your take on your cast mates individually?
Fields: It’s way too early to know how my relationships will pan out. In fact, we went on a trip and things got out of hand and I bounced. A cast member said, you have to stay, we are all in this together and I said, “I just met you, I don’t owe you that!”
You are married and have two children. How do you balance your career and family?
Fields: My husband’s name is Christopher Morgan and we met in Atlanta. My two children are Sebastian and Quincy. I am 46 with a 2-year-old and an 8-year-old. You’d think I would be a size 2 running after my kids like a do. There is no nanny. We have the occasional sitter. If my work causes me to be gone more than two days, the kids come with me. My husband and I are involved in school activities. Again this year, I am the chair of the Black History Month events. The kids have lots of extracurricular activities too. We are 1,000 percent hands on. We just make it work.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” premieres Sunday, Nov. 8, at 9 p.m. on Bravo.