I treat my friends with a lot of care and I treat them like sisters, we have a sisterhood, and when I decide to take on a friend, it’s with that mind. –Daphne Wayans
When asked to describe herself, Daphne Wayans will tell you she’s her children’s mom – their happiness her calling, their well-being her mission, their pain her own, and their love her life. Her focus on family is impossible to overstate and immeasurably unyielding. She is a mother. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. As the ex-wife of Hollywood mogul Keenen Ivory Wayans, and close-knit friend for over 20 years of Nicole Murphy (ex-wife of Eddie Murphy) and Sheree Fletcher (ex-wife of Will Smith), Daphne is a natural fit for the season-2 cast of VH1’s “Hollywood Exes.” Although it was only a lengthy phone conversation, I can agree and confirm all that to be true. With a warm spirit and beautiful heart, Daphne talked about her role on this new season of “Hollywood Exes”.
Charli: Hi Daphne! So great to hear from you! How are you?
Daphne: Hi Charli! I’m great. I read about PSLoveCharli and I love it!
Charli: Why thank you! It’s such a pleasure hearing that from you! Of course I’m ready to hear all about this new season of “Hollywood Exes”… I’m sure we’ll learn on the show, but could you give us a brief background story on your experience being married to Keenan?
Daphne: Yes of course! Well, we met when I was very young and we started dating shortly after – actually two weeks after I turned 18. [laughter] I am from LA and I became friends with his brothers Shawn & Marlon when they were in high school in New York. They would come here during summer breaks and we would share some great times. We traveled with the same circle and started dating. I found him to be very charismatic and wanted to see him again. So since age 18, it’s been about 25 years and we were married in the middle of all of that. We’re not married anymore but we’re still very much tied to each other. When you have children, you really join family. You really mesh people, or mesh who you are and become family in a way that’s acceptable.
Charli: Now you’re joining season 2 of “Hollywood Exes”. But I think I read somewhere you were asked to do season 1 but declined..? What happened there?
Daphne: Yeah, I originally pitched the show with Sheree, Nicole, & Jessica but I got cold feet about doing it because I’d been approached about this idea many times. I’m friends with Nicole, Sheree, and Vernon who is one of the producers and Vernon is Eddie Murphy’s brother. I’ve been friends with them going on two decades and I really wanted to help them get this thing going, BUT I didn’t have any intention to do it. However, when we got in there and started pitching, magic came alive in the room because of our parallel lives between each other. We were all friends and we all had babies the same year, so our children are all the same age. We are basically like a big group together you know?
Charli: Yes! So what made you go on and jump into season 2? Or get more involved?
Daphne: Well they just persisted and kept asking me. One day I got the idea, but I kept telling them that I didn’t want to do that. I couldn’t see myself doing that. And I also hadn’t found any reality TV like the “wives shows” that I had admired. So I said well let me just change my view point of that and let me see how I can do it. So I just changed my view point about it and stopped looking at how I couldn’t do it and how I could do it.
Charli: I definitely can understand that because I don’t watch certain reality TV because of the unnecessary or “extra” drama, but I did get into “Hollywood Exes” last season because they didn’t really focus on their exes. It was more so about moving forward and giving us the inside of what is going on now and for the future.
Daphne: Yes and I also knew the reality of our friendship. These are really solid, solid friendships. There’s a sisterhood that goes on between us and that’s what real and true. So I decided well let me show that side because no one was talking about that. I don’t know if these “other friendships” happening on television are being exploited, but I don’t know that side of the friendships. I treat my friends with a lot of care and I treat them like sisters, we have a sisterhood, and when I decide to take on a friend, it’s with that mind. It’s about being a part of a team and that’s what my experience has been like for Sheree and Nicole especially. And they call me their friends. So now I’m like, let me just show that. We care for each other. We support each other. Even if it’s difficult, there is something to be said about having a friendship over that time. Disagreements don’t matter. It’s how you grow from that experience.
Charli: Yeah I read that you were close friends with quite a few cast members. Just from what we know like from the internet, and interviews like this one — will there be any surprises? Like secrets, “the tea” that’s not been publicized in the media?
Daphne: Well I’d like to think that I’m pretty transparent. [laughter] But no, I actually live my life quite simple. And being transparent, any surprise for me, is that I even did this! [laughter] You know granted I just did half of a season, but that I even did it. I was so adamant about not doing it and I spent so many years trying not to be famous. [laughter] I joined this family of famous people and that was fine because that’s what they did, but I didn’t necessarily want any parts of it. So it was interesting. So the goal for me is to show that side of the friendships but really bring some value to somebody else’s life. I probably could have had a very traditional kind of divorce, but instead I continued the friendship. I’m still very, very close to Keenan. Yeah! So I guess those are the potential surprises.
Charli: Yeah! And that’s absolutely beautiful. I know when people think of reality TV, they automatically think of drama. I was wondering if anything would like spark amongst you guys?
Daphne: Oh yeah! Well we’re all going through some things. That’s just life. Every now and then, you have these moments of bliss, so you’re overcoming something, or otherwise you’re not really doing life. That’s sort of the game. You’re trying to get better at something. You’re trying to achieve something. You know there’s always something going on. Either with your children or yourself, there’s always something going on – motivating you. It can be a very lonely journey but when you have friends there, they can kind of keep you encouraged. We have to keep going.
Charli: Yeah I definitely admire that because I moved away from home where all of my close friends are grounded. So we still try to keep that friendship going even though we’re 1,000 miles away from each other. So I think I’m going to appreciate this whole idea of “friendship” during this season.
Daphne: Where are you from?
Charli: I’m from Mississippi. Been living in DC for about 3 years. And frequent to New York.
Daphne: Yeah I thought that’s what I heard, you were on the east coast. But I like it. I like it a lot. Go girl, keep the friendships alive.
Charli: Thank you. So you briefly mentioned your children and you can decline to answer because I know a lot of people don’t want to get too personal about their family. But are your children excited about your new TV adventure? How supportive are they?
Daphne: Well, first of all let me say thank you for giving me the option of declining the answer. [laughter]
Charli: Of course!
Daphne: Are they excited? Uhhhhhhhm [laughter] Well I think we’re all like what will all this intel because you shoot one thing and then it goes through an editing process. So I think my children maybe looking forward. But they aren’t in the show. They are definitely not in the show. As a mom, you want to see what it’s like first. So I wanted to see what it’s like for me before I try and put my children out there. But I also wanted to give them the option of choosing for themselves. It’s hard not to want to get in showbiz when they come from the family that they’re in.
Charli: Exactly! Well thank you so much Daphne. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Daphne: Nooo I think you covered everything and I really appreciate your type of journalism. Ummm I’m looking at PSLoveCharli… not your average gossip blog. [laughter] Is there anything I can clear up for you and make it not gossip? [laughter]
Charli: [laughter] Nooo your answers were clear and honest and that’s what I appreciate and also got some inspiration here and there. The reason being is that I don’t write about whatever and everything that’s out in the media. I like to know true facts and doing interviews give me everything I need to know. If it’s a rumor or gossip, I won’t write about it.
Daphne: Okay good! Yes I like it. I like.
Charli: Thank you so much. It feels good to be somewhat endorsed by someone of your status! Thanks so much Daphne. How can fans connect with you on social networking sites?
Charli: Thanks again Daphne and I’ll tweet you when this gets up!
Daphne: Thanks Charli! I enjoyed it. Please keep in touch.