Actress Nicole Ari Parker is our cover girl for the October 2014 issue of Hype Hair Magazine. We caught up with the critically acclaimed actress before she kicked off her newest role in the renowned Shakespearean classic, Cleopatra.
Hype Hair: You are going to play Cleopatra in a stage production, which is essentially a dream role for you. How did it all come about?
Nicole Ari Parker: When I was on Broadway the director who directed A Streetcar Named Desire with me and Blair Underwood, and who is the artistic director of the McCarter Theatre, said she always wanted to do Antony & Cleopatra, and she asked me to play Cleopatra. I jumped on that and said “Yes, yes, yes!” The opportunity to play the last Queen of Egypt is just an honor and a privilege.
HH: How do you like doing theatre compared with film and television?
NAP: Theatre is my first love. I was just blessed and lucky enough to be able to do other things, like film and television. I love the rehearsal process. I love discovering and developing the character. I love working with the director. I love the whole spectacle of theatre. The lights, the wardrobe, the sound cues, the actors. I just love the collective effort that it takes to put a production on.
HH: What’s the most challenging aspect of doing stage work?
NAP: Right now, with Shakespeare, a large part of the challenge is the language, and a big part of the rehearsal experience was figuring out what Shakespeare is saying. Then, there is the physicality of the play. It’s a very physical play, with love and chaos and war and passion. So I have to keep my stamina up. I’m being used in every possible way. My brain, my body, my emotions, everything. It’s very challenging, but it’s thrilling!
Read more about Parker’s natural hair journey, the inspiration behind her Save Your ‘Do wraps and her favorite hairspirations in Hype Hair — on stands now!