Far from her hometown of South Carolina, Angell Conwell has been in the movie business nearly half her life. At 12 years-old, she and her mother moved to to Los Angeles for a chance at Hollywood. Angell’s first job on CBS came instantly, and while the film, Baby Boy, took a bit longer to come by, she’s definitely made her mark on big screen follow-ups such as The Wash (2001) and Soul Plane (2004). At twenty-five years-old, Angell Conwell has done seven movies this year in addition to Love for Sale, a romantic comedy where Angell co-stars with R&B sensation Mya, Jackie Long (ATL and Idlewild) and Jason Weaver (ATL and Drumline) due out in 2009. Yet another achievement for Ms. Conwell is the forthcoming film, Killing of Wendy, which she and her cast mates, Vanessa Bell Calloway (Biker Boys), Melissa DeSousa (The Best Man), and Rachel True (The Craft) spent six weeks filming in South Africa. The young southern actress’s comforting personality and drive of fire has made her a force to be seen and a flaming star on the rise.
Clutch: Tell me about the day you left South Carolina.
Angell: That (how special it was) didn’t hit me until recently. My whole family was there, my aunts, first cousins, third cousins, great aunts, uncles… everyone came to the airport to see me off. This was when they let everyone into the airport and South Carolina’s airport is very small, it’s one of the smallest, so I could see them clearly waving to my mom and me. I had tears streaming down my face. It was definitely one of the most difficult things to do but at the same time I had a bigger vision. This was just part of what I had to do to uplift my whole family.
Clutch: Other than being your number one supporter, talk about your relationship with your mother.
Angell: My mother and I are tight, sometimes too tight. I look through her phone and I’m like ‘these are all my friends, how did you get my friends number?’ I’m an only child and she doesn’t play when it comes to her baby.
Clutch: While in Los Angeles for only a short time you were hired to play Dave’s World, which you did for three years. How was that experience?
Angell: I had done a couple of video tests. I had been going back for about a month and I was so nervous because there were all these young actresses that I had seen already on different shows but I went in and did my thing and it was one of those situations where we found out pretty much on the spot. It was one of those things that only happen in the movies.
Clutch: What about your first big film role Baby Boy, was it just as easy?
Angell: I auditioned for Baby Boy earlier that year in July but didn’t get the call until November. Everyone auditioned for that movie. It was a long process because they had taken a break and then called me in November. I was very fortunate to have John Singleton direct my first film. It was amazing to work with him.
Clutch: Which do you prefer; television or film?
Angell: It’s difficult to choose between the two. I like the live audience, the instant gratification from the people clapping and laughing at the jokes and such but at the same time film is really good because it gives you time to focus on acting. It also gives me time to bond with the character, bond with the cast. I truly love both of them and they’re different arenas but it depends on what you want in your life. Television is more of a routine. More day to day. When you have a television role it’s nice to know that you have that stability. Either way, at the end of the day I can’t choose one.
Clutch: Is there a role you would like to play sometime in your career?
Angell: I like characters who are well written, well rounded, have emotional range. It would be nice to kick a little booty…where I have to be in top physical shape, kind of she-roe type of character.
Clutch: You have seven films coming out this year. Let’s talk about Killing of Wendy that was shot in South Africa. That must have been an amazing experience.
Angell: It was really an experience to shoot in South Africa. I was shell-shocked. I had no idea I would be shooting in Africa. I am so excited about this movie. I haven’t seen it yet, but I can’t wait. All female cast, which is very rare in Black Hollywood. Vanessa Bell Calloway is wonderful. Everyone is so talented and beautiful. All of the characters were well put together and the cast worked just as well with each other.
Clutch: What is it about?
Angell: A group of actresses come together in an attempt to plot against Vanessa Bell Calloway’s character. It’s a thriller mystery.
Clutch: They say that it takes ten years to break out in the Hollywood, it’s been 13 years for you in the business. Is this your time right now or just the beginning of what’s to come?
Angell: Maybe a little bit of both. Right now I’m focused on playing different characters, reading scripts for different films; some are theatrical and some are film. I’m working on being a part of projects with roles that are different than from what I have already played. I love working with veteran actors and new talent because you learn from every person that you work with. Being able to work with Vanessa Bell Calloway and Clifton Davis, it’s really good to be around those who have done it before and taking from them what you can. Each role I do I’m growing and that’s what it’s about, self-revolution. I’m stronger than ever and ready for it when it comes.
Clutch: How do you have time to breathe?
Angell: I really don’t think about it too much. I feel like work now, play later. I definitely do find some time though. I’m a person who loves to be home and I have that solid foundation so I only spend my time with people I’m very close to so it’s not hard to stay grounded. You just have to learn to take a moment to relax for yourself amongst the hustle and bustle. I don’t know how I do it but I make sure that I do. I found my method to the madness.
Clutch: What is your method, your relax regimen?
Angell: I love watching TV. I hang with my mom and god sister. Go to coffee bean and get some tabloids–I know that’s a nasty habit but I do do it. It depends on the day. The spa is always good, but sometimes the gym is just as great. Of course hanging out with my guy is always nice.
Clutch: So there is a Mr. Angell?
Angell: Yes there is. I’m a relationship girl. I like to be in a relationship. If it’s right. I don’t try to make it right if its not right, but if something comes along and you mesh well, you’re comfortable with someone, you laugh together, grow together, and you make each other better as individuals by being together then it’s a perfect situation and I don’t fight it. There’s some who may say ‘I can’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend right now’ or ‘I’m married to my business.’ That’s all cool but at the end of the day…
Clutch: You need some loving.
Angell: Yeah. It’s great to be single. I’ve been single it was fun but I like being with someone.
Clutch: So you have no troubles juggling love and work?
Angell: No. I haven’t had any because when you have two people who are wiling to work together to make it right then its okay. Some people run into issues making a relationship more than what it is to the other. You know, when the one person is trying to make the relationship work for the both of them. We’ve all gone through that but when you have two people both willing to make the best of the situation and the timing is right it’ll happen. No body’s perfect and once you stop having crazy expectation of the next person you’ll be all right.
Clutch: What’s hot for you right now? What can’t you do without?
Angell: With music, I’m such a West Coast girl. I’m an old school hip-hop kind of chick. Old DPG (Dogg Pound Gangsta), DJ Quik. When it comes to clothes and fashion, I’m a sucker for comfort. I love to be comfortable but when I’m doing the red carpet, the comfort has to take a back seat. I’m twenty-five years old and I’m just coming into my own and coming off of the bubblegum pop look when everything had to be hot pink, lime green…I don’t know what I was going through but I was going through it for a while. Now I’m more into subtle glamour, sexy sophisticated without being too revealing.
Clutch: What about the short booty shorts? That was hot for a while.
Angell: Oh my God No. I’m not into it, I’m not feeling it at all. First of all I can’t do it. People would be like ‘girl you know you tripping.’ My booty is too big for all of that.
Clutch: Where are your favorite places to eat?
Angell: Roscoe’s and Crustatean. Oh Crustaten has these garlic noodles that are the bomb. They are so delicious it doesn’t make any sense. There’s another place on Sunset Strip called Cruzos. It’s the hit. It’s very new and is going to be the spot. I love to eat… I LOVE TO EAT! I’m from the south so I love stuffing my face. That’s why I have to stay in the gym. And of course I have to have my Coffee Bean.
Clutch: Tell us about Love for Sale the recent flick that was completed and coming out soon. In it you co-star with Maya, Jason Weaver and Jackie Long.
Angell: Yes it’s on DVD. I play Maya’s best friend. My character is feisty and that’s what’s cool about her. Maybe what you see isn’t what you get…she might have a little sneaky side to her. I really liked doing this movie. I laughed a lot. It’s really cute and funny. Jason Weaver and Jackie Long, are both people who are really talented and who I would like to see more of. It’s a romantic comedy and everybody needs a little romance and laughter in their lives.
Clutch: Where do you see your self in the next 10-20 years?
Angell: With a big smile on my face. Happy, comfortable and stable. I have lot of things on my vision board.
Clutch: And lastly what is in your clutch?
Angell: Louis Vuitton wallet, lip-gloss because my lip-gloss be popping, a picture of my grandmother and papa together when they were younger. Oh…Garage clicker and one earring. I have some change for the meter and of course my Sidekick.
Love for Sale is available on DVD. Killing of Wendy is set for release in 2009. You can see more of Angell Conwell on her Myspace page at www.myspace.com/ange11conwe11.