Q&A with Brandy Norwood of Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva

Brandy Norwood is known a multi-talented singer and actor even before she made her presence known on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva as Elisa Shayne. She returns to season four and has discovered quite a bit about her character. The singer turned actor has done a little bit of everything. Her films include, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Cinderella, Double Platinum, and the television show The Parkers. She 

Brandy is embracing her character on Drop Dead Diva as she joins the comedy/drama with an incredibly talented cast and some fantastic guest stars, including Brooke Elliott (Jane Bingum), Margaret Cho (Teri Lee), Jackson Hurst (Grayson Kent), April Bowlby (Stacey Barrett), Josh Stamberg (Jay Parker) and Ben Feldmen (Fred). The guest star list is just as noteworthy – Patty Duke,  Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams, John Ratzenberger, Megyn Price, Emily Rutherford, Valerie Harper.

Brandy, who took part in a recent conference call, appeared in three episodes in season three with her character developing quite the scandalous storyline. It was revealed that Elisa Shayne is the former girlfriend of Jay Parker,  and she has a child with him, can you stand it? The twist is, Elisa never told Jay Parker that they have a child together. So

 Brandy makes the juiciness of the character very interesting as she progresses forward with her this season. She discussed how she got involved with the series, “I had a meeting with Craig Zedan and he has been a longtime friend of mine. I worked with him on Cinderella, and I expressed to him how I wanted to get back into acting.”

“I started to get the acting buzz again, and Craig told me about Drop Dead Diva. … he gave me the series to watch, and I fell in love with the show. They wrote the character Elisa for me, and I was happy to be a part of such a great cast and a great show.” Brandy’s excitement is contagious 

Brandy was able to work with Serena Williams this season. The storyline is very different and exciting for Brandy, “I can’t wait for the fans to see what she has gone through.” It was difficult for her to talk about it, but without giving too much away, Brandy hinted that “Parker falls in love with our son, but I think there are deeper feelings she has for Parker because of what he has put her through.”

Brandy likes how the character is fully evolving. The series does not stay in the same place with storylines so for her to evolve, it keeps it interesting for Brandy. “She is a nurse, and she loves her son. I am a bit inspired by my character; I would do anything for my daughter.” She has so much passion and is in a really good place.

Brandy is happy she took on the role because she does not want to have any regrets. She explained her appearance on Dancing with the Stars, by saying, “Fear is just an illusion. I try to face it as much as possible, and I go ahead with my faith. I do not allow anything to hold me back.” She also does not allow the pressure of Hollywood and the constant scrutiny get to her. “Yes, there may be some pressure, but I try to stay true to myself and not allow this business to dictate what I do for myself.”

The singer/actress fell in love with Elisa and has felt connected to many of her other characters, including Moesha and Chardonnay. “I love being able to be as versatile as possible, and it feels like freedom to play so many different characters.” Brandy connected to Elisa because of her “sweet spirit and what she stands for.”

Brandy believes she will continue acting, and it has become a passion for her. She wants the roles to keep coming and hopes to do a great job with each role she takes on. “I have such a passion for acting, so hopefully I can keep doing it.”  She also thanks her family and team for supporting her with everything she has on her plate right now, and feels the love and support from her fans.

Brandy wants viewers and fans to relate to Drop Dead Diva. She feels that with the way the show is and the element of the storyline that people can relate to all the characters. “I think it deals with subject matter that everyone can relate to.” There are so many good elements involved with this show.

Brandy believes her character “stands up for what she believes in,” and she wants viewers and fans to know that she has a lot of fun playing Elisa. She has so many things she wants to do and believes she has a lot to do in life and “fulfill.” She loves doing things that make her happy, and acting and singing are what she loves. “It is a service that I give to the people of the world.”

Fans have wondered with Brandy’s musical talent if she will be singing on the show. “I have not been asked to sing, and I don’t think Elisa can sing.” However, Brandy’s single, Put It Down from her new album “211”  is expected to be released in July, which she is excited about. Fans will get the best of both of Brandy’s worlds, her acting and singing career!

Brandy keeps her characters separate from her music, and they have no influence in her music, as most of her music comes from experiences in her own life. She can relate to the women she portrays, but that is as far as it goes. She does, however, feel a little more “free” with her music. “I am able to be transparent in my music and just be me as with a character. I have to add pieces of myself to bring the character to life.”

Keep a look out for Brandy on the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva which airs Sundays on Lifetime at 9/8c. And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Trust Us With Your Life

The guys from Whose Line Is It Anyway come back with a new series tonight, Trust Us With Your Life. In this series celebrities reflect back on their lives telling stories, then the improv comedians act out the stories. In the premiere tonight, we'll see the life stories of Serena Williams, and Jack and Kelly Osbourne. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. Live! With Kelly. The guest cohost is Seth Meyers, and Matt Bomer, Allison Williams, and Lawrence Zarian are the guests. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. Lost in Translation. Everyone knows how great of a comedic actor Bill Murray is, but no one would have guessed he was this good dramatically. He stars as a lonely actor who meets up with a conflicted woman across the world in Tokyo. 3:45 PM CT Showtime Showcase

3. 2012 MLB All-Star Game. From Kansas City, Missouri. 6:30 PM CT Fox

4. America's Got Talent. The second set of twelve contestants perform. 7:00 PM CT NBC

5. Wipeout. Bosses and employees take on the course. 7:00 PM CT ABC

6. Destination Truth. Season premiere. The team returns with a special two-hour premiere featuring expeditions to Vietnam and Belize! 7:00 PM CT Syfy

7. Pretty Little Liars The girls think “A” will do something at Jenna's birthday party, and Hanna makes a shocking discovery. 7:00 PM CT ABC Family

8. Trust Us With Your Life. Season Premiere. In the first half hour, improv actors perform Serena Williams' life, and in the second half hour they act out the lives of Kelly and Jack Osbourne. 8:00 PM CT ABC

9. Rizzoli & Isles. Jane and Maura are on the case when a financier is found dead, wearing a cloak and mask in a trash can, and Maura connects more deeply with her biological mother and half-sister. 8:00 PM CT TNT

10. White Collar. Season premiere. Peter tries to locate Neal and Mozzie before a bounty hunter. 8:00 PM CT USA

11. American Ninja Warrior. Stage 1 of the 8-obstacle-long course. 8:00 PM CT G4

12. Hardcore Pawn. Season premiere. Rich returns to speak to Les about their confrontation. In a last-ditch effort to regain Les’ trust, Rich spots what he thinks are stolen goods. If he’s right, he’ll look like a savior. If he’s wrong, he will undoubtedly be handed his final walking papers. Meanwhile, Seth continues on his path to take over the store from his father, all under the disapproving eye of his sister Ashley. 8:00 PM CT truTV

13. Dateline on OWN. A look at a fire that killed a young couple. 8:00 PM CT OWN

14. Jane by Design. Zoe asks Billy to meet her parents, Kate sets up Gray's online dating profile, and Rita stands up for Ben. 8:00 PM CT ABC Family

15. The Real Housewives of Orange County. The O.C. ladies reunite with Andy Cohen to hash out the most dramatic season to date! Alexis demands an apology from the ladies for calling her phony, and the girls fight right back with specific examples of her insincerity. Surprisingly, it’s a past enemy Vicky who comes to Alexis’s defense… 8:00 PM CT Bravo

16. What Not to Wear. A woman who believes in sacrificing style just so that she can be comfortable. 8:00 PM CT TLC

17. Mysteries at the Museum. Season finale. Wildman travels to Topeka, Fort Lee and Washington, D.C. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

18. Dance Moms. Abby's dancers and Cathy's Candy Apples compete for this first time this season, Kelly change Paige's solo, and Jill finds out the grass isn't green over at Cathy's studio. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

19. Love in the Wild. The final three couples face challenges that include a hut filled with scorpions, quicksand, and digging for for treasure, and one couple gets advantage with a surprise quiz.. 9:00 PM CT NBC

20. NY Med. Season premiere. A woman needs to talk to her doctors during brain surgery, Dr. Oz performs open heart sugery, and an ER nurse faces strange cases. 9:00 PM CT ABC

21. Franklin & Bash. Peter and Jared get advice as they start picking jurors for their case, a young law student partners with the firm for the summer, and Peter and Jared work on the case against a powerful D.A. 9:00 PM CT TNT

22. Covert Affairs. Season premiere. Annie and the other end up in an unfamiliar situation. 9:00 PM CT USA

23. Retired at 35. Elaine and Alan have a hard time finding the right balance for being together, and Elaine goes along with Alan to his weekly poker night. 9:00 PM CT TV Land

24. Haunted Highway. The teams investigate the Darkman in Standing Rock, South Dakota. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

25. Storage Wars. In the first half hour, a new buyer finds a Cold War keepsake in Gardena, CA, and Darrell profits off his purchase. In the second half hour, the bidders had to Montebello, CA, and Dave goes straight to the bank, while Jarrod and Brandi end up having a bad day. 9:00 PM CT A&E

26. Our America with Lisa Ling. Poverty, teen suicide, and alcoholism from inside the Native American community. 9:00 PM CT OWN

27. Pregnant in Heels. Parenthood is always a little frightening, but this week's clients make it sound downright spooky! Rosie goes ‘Ghostbuster’ by taking on her most bizarre task yet, cleansing a baby nursery of ghosts… 9:00 PM CT Bravo

28. Craft Wars. Using pet toys to create a pet mansion. 9:00 PM CT TLC

29. The Glee Project. The contestants face a wild video shoot. 9:00 PM CT Oxygen

30. Kendra on Top. When Kendra is invited to New York City to do a sexy photo shoot atop the Empire State Building, Hank agrees to keep her company. But things get tense when Hank uses his time in New York to hang out with friends instead of looking for a job. 9:00 PM CT WE

31. Teen Mom. Amber and Gary work on their relationship, Maci tries to pick classes, Farrah gets annoy with her parents' worries about Sophia, and Catelynn joins a support group. 9:00 PM CT MTV

32. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight include Queen Latifah, Fred Armisen, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, and Buddy Guy. 9:00 PM CT CBS

 

School Spirits, June 27 – A Ghost meets a Runner

On tonight’s episode of School Spirits there is a sense of real fear and true terror. In the eighties everyone seemed to be okay and very cool. We all wished John Cusack was standing outside our bedroom windows holding a boombox playing really rad eighties music. But in 1985, Chris DiCesare (Class of 1986) was a very happy guy who woke up every morning to go running.

Just listening to his story, I feel inspired. His goal was to make it to the Olympics, and he devoted his life to running. His father, Vito DiCesare, says his son was strong and enjoyed a challenge. This story seems very nice and calm, but there is suspicion as I listen to this man speak. Chris explains how his grandmother told him to count to ten to help him focus. It made him feel as if something had control over him.

Here is the part where everything that was nice and rad in the eighties just disappears. Chris’ friend Jeff Ungar always had a camera or a note pad to record what was going on around him. (Sounds like someone I know!) Chris was at a toga party with Jeff and his friend. (Of course it had to be a toga party. Go ahead and chant “TOGA!” I will wait!)

Jeff considered himself to be the eyes and ears of the campus. Beth Kinsman, who was also a friend of Chris and Jeff, and a freshman, says she was happy they accepted her. Chris felt that his groups of friends were more like “family” to him. He was in his room one night working on a paper and had to focus so he could get this paper done.

Chris heard someone call out his name. Now this is the part of the eighties that you may not want to remember. Chris decided to put headphones on to block out the music. He also locked the door, deciding it was a joke his friends were playing on him. He continuee typing. (Me, I check under my bed, just in case!)

Chris still heard the voice calling his name and finally decided to get up and go look around to find out who was pulling the prank. After he did not find anyone around,  Chris decided to go for a run. Good idea! He cam back and took a shower, only to see his roommate standing there. His roommate told him  he heard someone calling his’ name.

Chris was still hoping it was a prank. I think by now, after hearing someone calling his name, and then having the roommate tell him the same story, he would listen. Chris decided to calm down and open the care package his parents had sent him. So now this dude was eating candy and listening to hissing noises.

It ended up being Chris’ tape recorder. He discovered it had turned on. He unplugged it and shoved it in a desk drawer. He headed back to climb up the ladder to his loft and began to get chills. Why don’t people ever turn on lights and call for help? I don’t get it. He decided to count to ten instead, but never made it to ten.

I would not be counting, I would be getting the hell out of that room but to each his or her own. Chris believes now that he should have told his roommate because after hearing someone call Chris’ name, the roommate left and did not want to stay in the room so now Chris was alone counting. Chris got to seven and he saw a shape that looked human. He could see the legs disappear.

The person appeared as a misty pale face. Chris did the only thing he knew, he ran like hell (finally!) Chris ran to Jeff who took his note book out and starting writing everything down. Jeff walked Chris back to his room and he didn’t want to stay there. Jeff was more fascinated with what was happening in the room and he wanted to start recording what was going on.

Jeff decided to use audio and he marked all the items down in Chris’ room and marked where they were at in the room. Chris and Jeff checked windows and locked doors while Chris spoke to whatever presence was in his room. He left the tape recorder on and they played the actual audio of Chris speaking.

Jeff stayed outside the room and one hour later all hell breaks loose. The closet door was unlocked, the window was open and the chair had moved. Okay poltergeist, ghost, and spirits? Who knows? Jeff was eager to listen to the tape (not as up to date as today’s technology but it was effective) and they rewound it and heard all kinds of sounds.

The sound of the chair moving and gurgling noises and Chris and Jeff decide that they need more evidence, Chris tries to figure out how to call a ghost and he says a few words and spies the closet door moving. Chris begins yelling at Jeff so he will take a photo. Jeff is prepared, I have to give him that, and he has the note book, the camera! He is all set!

This series provides an interesting take on the paranormal because it is based on true events and set in colleges so you see a different side of haunted places. Chris hears a pitched, gurgling voice and Chris sees the image in his closet. There is a face and a body. Chris is scared to death and as Jeff takes the picture the ghost heads towards him and goes right through him.

Jeff takes the picture and makes a run for it. He gets the pictures developed because you know there were no digital cameras then. Jeff examines his 4×6 pictures and he gets to the last picture and there is a skeleton. They show the actual photo and it is insane. Jeff shows the photo to Beth who also verifies the ghost looks like it is forming.

Jeff begins to worry now and he is especially worried about Chris’ health and his state of mind. Chris did not want to tell anyone because he was afraid of what people would say. He should have just spoken up! He had seen the ghost almost everywhere now and he was freaked out. He tried to run and his legs would not respond.

He was no longer the happy go lucky runner that was motivated. He had lost the light in his eyes and he was withdrawn. Beth was worried there was something evil happening to Chris. Chris was raised Catholic so he decided to try and “reach out to his faith.” (call an exorcist!)