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June 2009
MADEA GOES TO JAIL DVD | An Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam

An Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam
By Wilson Morales

June 18, 2009

2009 has been a great year for Keshia Knight Pulliam thus far.

After being known as Little Rudy Huxtable from 'The Cosby Show' for so long, Pulliam's celebrity certainly took another step in the right direction when she appeared in the blockbuster film, Tyler Perry's 'Madea Goes to Jail.' Not only did fans come to see the film in droves, but they also wanted to see the Newark, New Jersey native play a prostitute opposite Derek Luke.

The film, which is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, became Perry's biggest film to date when it grossed $90.2 million at the box office. On the small screen, Knight Pulliam also stars as reformed con artist Miranda Lucas Payne on the TBS comedy-drama 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne,' which is entering its sixth Madea Goes to Jailseason this year. Earlier this year, the Spelman grad won an NAACP Image award for best supporting actress in a comedy for her role on the show.

With her production company, PullPenn, she and her boyfriend/business partner Kaseem Penn are planning to do a reality show on their lives for the Oxygen network. The show will be based on the couple being young, rich and living together. Penn is reportedly a successful Caribbean entrepreneur based in Atlanta who got his start in real estate. The show is also being produced by Tracy Edmonds.

In speaking with Blackfilm.com Pulliam spoke with her about what's new with her.

How's life been for you since the film came out?

Keshia Knight Pulliam: I guess life is busy as always, but I'm very happy with how well received the movie was. So many people showed up to support it in theaters. I think the film is a memorable one to add to the archives.

Are you getting more scripts or work thrown at you?

KKP: There have been more roles thrown at me in that arena. I do believe the amount of people who saw the film had a positive effect on the change. It was great for me, in that the role was different from what people see me as. It showed that I can do more and play any type. Everybody loved 'The Cosby Show' and I think it's up to you as an actor to add to your repertoire by taking on new challenges and doing different roles. It's given my production company, PullPenn, an opportunity to do different projects and I'm happy about that.

Shortly after the film came out, you got together with the cast of 'The Cosby Show' to celebrate the 25th anniversary.
How did it feel to see the cast again?

KKP: It was wonderful. We did the 'Today Show' and other programs. It was great to see everyone. Me and Malcolm (Jamal Warner) and Tempestt (Bledsoe) stay in touch more than anyone else, so we all knew what was going on in each others' lives. It was great that the show was so well received, that people watched it over the years and are still watching it all over the world.

What's next on your plate?

KKP: Well, I'm going back to the 'House of Payne' and start shooting the new season. I also have some different things I'm working on with PullPenn. We are still sifting through all of the legal aspects and contracts and so on. You'll see something very soon from us.

What changes are in store for your character on the TV show?

KKP: Well, this past season, my character had her share of issues with the marriage and growing pains. It's something that all couples have; once you get married, and move in and you realized all the annoying things that the spouse does and vice-versa. The marriage ends up in turmoil and now we are going to see how it turns out.

I read recently that you have a reality show. Is that being worked on?

KKP: Everything isn't set in stone yet, and we're still figuring things out, so I'm not at liberty to discuss the details right now. I think it will be a good opportunity, and reality television will be done right. It will be entertaining. It lets the fans really know you at a personal level, and I'm excited about it.

Are you a fan of reality shows?

KKP: I like some of them. If you think about it, reality shows are like documentaries and they show things as they are in real life. Those types of things I definitely enjoy. This show I'm doing will be more in the documentary style, as opposed to the sensationalized competition shows.

Any more films lined up?

KKP: I'm always reading scripts and we have a couple of different things that we are looking at, but I have a really full plate between the production company and going back on 'House of Payne.' So we're going to see when I fit in another film because I definitely want to continue doing films as well.

What sort of films would you like to do?

KKP: I would love to do an action movie. I think I can handle it. I'm up for the challenge.

What's a good reason to pick up 'Madea Goes to Jail' on DVD?

KKP: Everyone has so much going on with life and the economy and we're bombarded every day with
so much. Sometimes it's exciting to sit back and laugh and these two projects of mine definitely give you something to laugh about. Like Tyler's other films, it also gives you a lesson as well. I think you can sit back, you can laugh, you can cry, and do all of those things, but ultimately it's a great movie that the whole family can watch and enjoy.



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