Tyler Perry’s Leading Ladies Are Making a Splash in TV and Beauty

Melissa L. Williams
Photographer: Antwon Maxwell

Melissa L. Williams | Tyler Perry’s The Oval and Ruthless on BET

Former model Melissa L. Williams discovered her love of acting at an early age. She participated in school plays and talent shows while in grade school before heading off to college to study theater at Clarke-Atlanta University in Georgia. Not long after graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue work as a full-time actress and got her first television appearance on the BET comedy, The Game. Next, she got the call from Tyler Perry to play dual roles on The Oval and to reprise the role of “Ruth” on its spinoff show, Ruthless. 

Read on for our interview with the beautiful star, as we discuss her experience working on two Tyler Perry shows and get into her top beauty secrets!

HYPE HAIR: You had the opportunity to showcase a lot of versatility playing two roles on The Oval. What was it like playing twins that are so vastly different from one another on the show? 


MELISSA L. WILLIAMS: Talk about a blessing, right? I was so excited to play two starkly different characters; it was actually a lot of fun. I enjoyed the challenge of setting specific intentions for both while keeping in mind that they are twins, and at some point, they think alike. I think we can definitely say they are both ruthless. 

HH: What was your reaction when you learned that Tyler would be creating the spinoff show Ruthless and centering it on your character Ruth from The Oval

MELISSA: When Tyler called me to tell me that I would be playing Ruth, and he wanted to create a spinoff around her, my reaction was at first, silence, mouth agape, and then I said, first of all, “Hi Tyler Perry!” Second, “yes!” And then he said, “Well, just think about it,” and I’m like, OK…I’ll pray about it, and now here we are. 

HH: How did you prepare for the storyline in Ruthless in order to get into the mindset of a woman who is trying to escape from a religious cult with her young daughter? 

MELISSA: I prepared by watching cult documentaries and different interviews on women who had been in cults or escaped them. I kept headphones on the majority of the time while I was on set to listen to my music playlist that keeps me in a very stirred, emotional state. 

HH: What do you hope fans will take away from watching the show? 

MELISSA: I really hope fans take away that it’s important to know who you are and stand for something, so you don’t turn into a copy of everyone you meet. You can put people’s opinions, beliefs, etc. in perspective, but never place more value in theirs than your own. 

Melissa L. Williams in Tyler Perry's Ruthless
Still from BET’s “Ruthless” episode 101. (Photo: Charles Bergmann/BET/Tyler Vision, LLC)

HH: Can you tell us a little about your volunteer work with The Young Storytellers and why it is important for you to give back to underserved communities? 

MELISSA: I got introduced to Young Storytellers about two years ago, and I volunteered mostly at Foster Elementary School. It’s a semester-long program where students get to work one on one with their mentor on scripts that are entirely their own, and then actors perform those for the students and their peers live. It’s important to uplift the next generation and make sure their voice is heard. Ninety-five percent of teachers noticed an improvement in their kid’s writing skills! 

HH: What is your personal beauty mantra? 

MELISSA: Self-love. What makes you beautiful is what’s inside. What’s inside reflects what everyone else sees outside. 

HH: What are some of your main hair care secrets that you swear by? 

MELISSA: Trim, deep condition, biotin, head wrap at night and water. 

HH: Can you share a few of your favorite hair care products? 

MELISSA: Magik, my key hair[stylist] on Ruthless, upgraded my product game. So I use Nairobi, Osis, CHI, and Oribe. 

HH: What are some of your favorite hairstyles to wear at the moment? 

MELISSA: I love a good ole classy high pony. A slayed lace wig never hurt nobody. I am also enjoying braids now. 

HH: Your skin is always so flawless! What’s your secret to getting that natural glow, and what skincare products do you use? 

MELISSA: Thank y’all so much! I have been using a Black-owned skincare line called Good Hair Good Body. Also lots of water, and three M’s: Moisturize, Mask, Mind ya business. 

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