Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
January 25, 2015

Dedicated 'Humans Of New York' Fans Raise Money To Send Underserved Kids On Harvard Visit

School
Let's Send Kids to Harvard/Indiegogo

Baltimore Ravens Release Terrence Cody Amid Animal Cruelty Allegations

Terrence Cody
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ben Carson Wouldn't Support Obamacare 'Even If It Worked'

Ben Carson
Scott Olson via Getty Images

New Classics Every Child Should Own

476804473
Inti St Clair via Getty Images

North Carolina Man Exonerated Of 1976 Conviction

Joseph Sledge
Raleigh News & Observer via Getty Images

5 Real Ways to Actually Support Black-Owned Businesses

6 Best Montreal Spots

Proof More Women And Minorities Should Take On STEM

Camille Eddy
KTVB

Police Launch Investigation After Video Appears To Show Cop Shoving Man In Wheelchair Into Street

Bofrierson
cop logic via Youtube

One Suit Dropped, One Still Pending Between MLK's Children

Bernice King Martin Luther King Iii
Getty

New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward Targeted For Gentrification

New Orleans Ninth Ward
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Diversity in the Classroom: How to Solve the Black Male Teacher Shortage

Black Teacher
monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images

McDonald's Has Another Fight On Its Hands

Mcdonalds
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

The Harrowing Story Of One Man's Escape From The Genocide In Burundi

Burundi
Escape From Burundi

Campaigners Call For State Investigation Into Fatal New Jersey Police Shooting

Jerame Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Violence Against Black Transgender Women Goes Largely Ignored

Black Woman Violence
Hans Neleman via Getty Images

Bill O'Reilly Says Ferguson Protesters 'Should Be Ashamed'

Oreilly Protesters
Fox News

University Of Chicago President: 'Chicago's A Better Place' For The Obama Library Than Columbia

Zimmer
HuffPost Live

A Tale Of Two Movements

Abortion Rally
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 9 Best Things That Happened When YouTube Stars Interviewed Obama

Seflie
YouTube

Showcasing Her Natural Hair Got This Meteorologist Fired

Rhonda Lee
HuffPost Live

'Light Girls' Producer Stephanie Frederic On Healing From Colorism

Stephanie Frederic
Stephanie Frederic

This Protest Song Captures The Power Of #BlackLivesMatter Demonstrations

Sidewalk 2
Sidewalk Chalk/YouTube

'Defy Hollywood, See Selma'

Ava Duvernay
Paras Griffin via Getty Images

College Student Likely Died From Chewing Gum In Her Sleep

Shanice Clark
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Al Sharpton Pokes Fun At Infamous Teleprompter Flub

Sharptom Teleprompter
MSNBC

Video Shows Man Raising His Hands As He's Gunned Down By Police

Jerame Reid
NJ.com

New ‘Hands Up' Shooting Is Anything But Black And White

Jerame Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bill Gates Makes Bold Bet About Poverty, And Tech Plays A Big Role

Bill Gates Smiling
NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

'Black Lives Matter' Protesters Interrupt Capitol Hill Lunch

Capitol Protest
Christine Conetta/Huffington Post

Barry Levinson Blames Hollywood's Diversity Problem On Our Education System

Berry Levinson
HuffPost Live

Oregon Was Founded As A Racist Utopia

Oregon 1930
MPI via Getty Images

How The State Of The Union Missed The Mark On Ferguson And Racial Politics

State Of The Union
ap

With a Book You Are Never Alone

Zimbabwe Library
Bisila Bokoko

Jay Leno On Bill Cosby Allegations: 'I Don't Know Why It's So Hard To Believe Women'

Jay Leno
Aaron Davidson via Getty Images

Arkansas Bill Would Remove Robert E. Lee From MLK Day

Mlk
Getty

New Looting Footage From Ferguson Grand Jury Aftermath

Dellwood Looting
St. Louis County Police

FOLLOW HUFFPOST

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    3. View all RSS feeds

Viola Davis' Natural Hair Is Her Crowning Glory

Viola Davis Natural Hair
Lester Cohen via Getty Images

Rihanna Just Dropped A New Song With Kanye & Paul McCartney

Rihanna New Song
RihannaNow.com

Kanye Finally Explains Why He Doesn't Smile

186118297
Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

How Sherri Shepherd Responds To Critics Who Said 'You Can't'

Own Ownshow Sherri Shepherd
OWN

#CurlPower Encourages Women To Put Down The Flat Iron

Dove Love Your Curls
YouTube

Tia Mowry Is Our New Favorite Style Star

Tia Mowry
Tia Mowry Instagram

Here Are More Reasons To Love Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross
Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Stevie Wonder Set To Produce An Underground Railroad Miniseries

Stevie Wonder
Josh Brasted via Getty Images

An NBA Player Paid A Touching Tribute To Stuart Scott Last Night

Danny Green Stuart Scott
Jesse D. Garrabrant via Getty Images

Let Jennifer Aniston & David Oyelowo Show You How To Handle A Snub With Grace

Aniston Oyelowo
Getty Images

Starz Debuts 'Power' Season Two Trailer

Starz Power
Starz

20 Awesome Photo Ideas For Wedding Parties Who Know How To Have Fun

Wedding Party Fun
Bre Thurston Photography

Flavor Flav Pleads Not Guilty

Flavor Flav
Bryan Steffy via Getty Images

Kevin Costner Hopes His New Movie Redefines How People Think About Race

Kevin Costner
Vince Bucci /Invision/AP

Listen To This NKOTB/TLC/Nelly Mashup Ahead Of Joint Tour

Tlc Band
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Black Films Are Buzzing At This Year's Sundance Festival

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

How The Beyoncé Backlash Could Help The GOP

Beyonce On The Run Tour
Larry Busacca/PW via Getty Images

Nas Explains How Police Misconduct Exposes America's Weakness

Nas
Andy Kropa /Invision/AP

Vince Camuto Dies At Age 78

Vince
WireImage

Michelle Obama's State Of The Union Look Is Grey And Gorgeous

Michelle Obama State Of The Union 2015
NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

Two Married Moms Ditched Glitzy Gigs In the Music & Fashion Industries To Launch The Crabby Shack

The Crabby Shack
New York Daily News

Anthony Mackie On 'Selma' Oscar Snub: People Are Tired Of Being Bombarded With Race

Anthony Mackie
Jason Merritt via Getty Images

Michael Franti's Proposal Video Reminds Us That Love Happens In The Little Moments

Michael Franti Engagement Video
Michael Franti/YouTube

Lil Wayne Drops New Mix Tape

Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne

Barack Obama Gets #YesWeTan Trending With Tan Suit Prank

Barack Obama
Bloomberg via Getty Images

This NBA Star's Post-Game Interview Is Pure Gold

Tupac
YouTube

'Single Ladies' Adds New Cast Member

Melissa De Sousa
Mark Sullivan via Getty Images

Lee Daniels Is Using 'Empire' To 'Blow The Lid Off' Homophobia In The Black Community

Lee Daniels
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Then and Now: Former Child Star Kim Fields Stays Working ... Behind the Scenes

Comments (20)


While many child stars experienced ups and downs during their careers, particularly as they got older, some were able to escape scrutiny and flourish into successful adult actors.

Known to many as Tootie from the 1980s NBC sitcom 'The Facts of Life' or Regine Hunter from Fox's 1990s sitcom 'Living Single,' Kim Fields has transitioned from beloved actress to working director. Her directorial projects include multiple episodes on 'Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns' and 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne.'

As the daughter of actress and director Chip Fields ('Good Times') and the older sister of actress Alexis Fields ('Moesha'), the New York native used her degree from Pepperdine University to place herself in a position behind the camera and learn the craft that many women aren't recognized for.

Blackvoices.com caught up with the former-child-star-turned-renaissance-woman. Excerpts of the conversation are below.


Black Voices: You've been around a number of years and have done a number of projects. What's going on with you now?

Kim Fields: A couple of different things. I'm currently the host for 'Lens on Talent,' which is BET and Johnson & Johnson's filmmaker show. I'm really so excited about the show and the guests we had on, from Lisa Cortez, the Oscar-nominated producer for 'Precious,' to Roger Bobb, who is the executive president of Tyler Perry Studios to Tamir Mohammad from Tribeca Film Institute. There's a really well-rounded group of people this year lending their wisdom and experiences and expertise to the show. Just because this is a specific industry, there are certain things that are universal. If you're a new mom and you work in corporate America or retail or the filmmaking world, you're still a new mom at the end of the day. There are certain things people can relate to even if they're not sharing the same industry experiences. In tandem with that, I also direct here in Atlanta on Tyler Perry's 'Meet the Browns.'

BV: Did you ever think you would do this sort of work when you first started out in this business?

KF: Maybe not when I first started because I was 7 or 8 years old. I thought I was going to be a marine biologist. I think as I got a little bit older, being around crews and sets... I always said I was a crew baby, so I always liked sitting by the cameras and learning from the camera people about shots, framing and things of that nature. Talking to the lighting director about different looks with the lighting. I got my start professionally back in '94 after being really dissatisfied as an actor and an audience member, and seeing if I could contribute in another way.

BV: What's it like working with Tyler Perry and doing more than 100 shows?

KF: Well, it's really a blessing I don't take it for granted. Everything that Tyler does, these are his babies, and to be entrusted with that, I don't take that lightly at all. Because he's got a very specific eye, specific tastes, he's got a formula and he knows what works and is in a number of ways a genius. At the same time, he lets me know unequivocally that he respects my eye and my tastes and wants to marry the two. It's certainly a blessing to go to a studio where the person built it from the ground up. It's a different feeling from going to Warner Bros. or Sony. To be able to contribute in this way and have that one-on-one exposure. I guess it would be like the old days of the studio system, where the stars could talk to Louis B. Mayor and Jack Warner. It's fun and fascinating.

BV: You signed a first-look deal with the Gospel Music Channel. What are they looking for you to contribute?

KF: The thing that excited me about the GMC is dealing with a faith-based audience, something you do get to explore with Tyler. Right now the opening stages at Tyler's studios are driven by Tyler's vision. This outlet gives me the opportunity to create from scratch. I'm so in love with doing projects for a faith-based community, not solely. I don't want to give my career to that audience. I think it's still important in the story you tell to uplift as you entertain, especially for women. I'm so over reality and housewives and bad women and bad girls.

BV: As part of two successful series, when people see you these days what do they associate you with, Tootie or Regine?

KF: Really just Kim Fields, the brand, and that's a blessing I don't take for granted. The first reaction seems to be, "Oh my gosh, you're Kim Fields." Sometimes it's 'Meet the Browns.' People really know I do that show. Sometimes it's people saying, "I grew up with you. We still watch 'Living Single.'" Sometimes it's from the poetry standpoint, what I've done as a spoken word artist. It really varies. It's a constant reminder to me of the gifts and talents I've been blessed with.

BV: Any thoughts about coming back on the screen as an actress, even if it's in a comedy or a drama?

KF: Very much so. Me and Tyler have talked about it, the president of the studio, GMC, and I have talked about it. At this point, I'm looking for projects that challenge me as an actor. I've been blessed to be in the industry for so long and yet there's so much that I haven't done, different characters to portray and genres I've barely scratched the surface on. I'm certainly in love with content that's on the Web. It may be a matter of something online first. I recognize that I'm certainly not in the driver's seat. A friend of mine told me that several years ago. "You just sit in the passenger seat," she said. "And keep your seat belt on and let God drive you where he's driving you on the road he mapped out. Keep quiet; he doesn't need direction from you."

BV: What keeps you passionate about doing this?

KF: God has kept that alive in me -- as an actor and a director and as a member of the entertainment community. Aside from that, mortgage bills will certainly motivate you to get up in the morning and then my family. I have the most amazing family in the world with my husband, Christopher, and my son, Sebastian. They're so extraordinarily supportive of what I do. My mother, of course, my sister... everyone. Everyone that has been part of the village it takes to raise this child and turn her into a woman. I couldn't fathom my life without them.

BV: Everyone in your family is in the business. Have you ever thought about putting a project together that they can all be a part of?

KF: We want to stay in love with each other as family members, so probably not, no. Every time we talk about it, we're like "no."

BV: 'Living Single' had a good long run on a major network. Why aren't we getting that winning formula on today's television?

KF: I don't know. I think you have people very much living in fear of losing their jobs. They want to go with what's safe. They want to go with what they know, so you get a lot of regurgitation and then that sense of, "We don't know an audience that wants to see it." It's total crap at the end of the day. Pardon me for being so crass, but it's total crap. Why would the show be so popular in syndication long after the show was shot? It's all right. It's making it easier for me to establish that work.

Comments: (20)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 2

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."