Multi-talented R&B singer, actress and producer Brandy Norwood (known around the world as Brandy) may be one of the best-selling recording artists in American music history, but the Grammy award winner is also an accomplished actress. As Moesha Mitchell on the long-running television series “Moesha” (1996-2001) and Karla Wilson on the popular movie “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” (1998), Brandy has shown her ability to entertain audiences on stage and screen. This year, she took on a guest starring role on the popular Lifetime series “Drop Dead Diva.”
Brandy plays Elisa Shayne, a former girlfriend of Jay Parker (played by Josh Stamberg), whom she goes to for legal help. Inspired by a real case, Brandy’s character struggles with her father’s life insurance company to pay out his policy after he suffers congestive heart failure.
“She’s so disciplined and so hardworking and so dedicated,” Zadan said. “And I don’t think I’ve ever worked with anybody that was so loved on the set. I mean everybody that works with her adores her and they respect her values and the work ethic that she has…she’s such a unique and original and extraordinary talent.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “As an entertainer do you feel more vulnerable in front of an audience when you’re live in concert or when you’re performing as an actress in front of the camera? And are there any techniques you use to try to get the best performance out of yourself?”
Brandy Norwood: “Well absolutely. I think vulnerability comes with both. It’s just in a different way.
With singing it’s definitely an intimate connection with the audience because it’s you. You’re not playing a character. But you are relating in a lot of different ways with your audience as yourself and you’re open to singing about different subject matters that you experience and that other people experience. So of course there’s vulnerability there.
Watch a clip from the Season Finale of “Drop Dead Diva:”
And I think with acting… you’re playing someone completely different than yourself. But then that character also has a past and different things that that character has experienced. And you have to figure out a way to get in touch with that and make that real, you know, within yourself.
And I just try to practice as much as I can with both and make sure that I’m doing everything that I’m supposed to do in terms of getting comfortable and getting that confidence so I can deliver in each area of my life — singing and acting.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Now when you’re in the recording studio you have the opportunity to sing a line again and again to get it just right. Do you approach acting the same way? Or do you prefer to wait to see the final cut?”
Brandy Norwood: “Well I think with acting as well you get a chance to do it over and over again… when you have a good director, when you have good people that you’re working with they’re going to make sure that you get the best performance.
And that’s one of the things I loved about “Drop Dead Diva” — is that I worked with great people and I felt very safe that I knew that they were going to help me get to that point where I felt comfortable with my performance. And that’s exactly what happened.
And when I watched it back on this past Sunday I felt very pleased with it all. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I can act again. I can do this.’ So it felt great.”