Meet ''Barbershop 2'''s first lady, Eve. The rapper talks about why she won't take potshots at R. Kelly, how she adjusted to the grind of a TV show, and why she doesn't listen to much hip-hop these days

By Liane Bonin
Updated February 05, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Eve: Kevin Winter/Getty Images/NewsCom

Rapper-actress-clothes designer Eve returns to the screen in ”Barbershop 2” (Feb. 6) — but with a new style. Her combative character Terri is back at work as a hairdresser; with the help of yoga and deep breathing she’s trying to keep her anger in check. The 25-year-old triple threat talked about playing Terri as less angry, why she won’t make fun of an R&B superstar, and why she doesn’t think hip-hop is all that anymore.

You had to stifle Terri’s rage this time around. Did deep breathing work for you?
It was fun to play her in a different way and try to suppress all that anger. You see a softer side of Terri, but the anger just pops right back out, because she’s naturally feisty. When I read the script, there was a scene of her going to anger-management classes that turned out to be more like male-bashing classes, so that was fun. [The scene was later cut.] But feisty is just who she is.

Do you have an inner Terri?
I’m not as angry, but I can definitely be feisty about my stuff. Just don’t play with me and I’m cool.

Some of the jokes in the film take punches at famous people like Michael Jackson and R. Kelly. How did you feel about that?
One of my lines was something about R. Kelly, but I wouldn’t say it. Even though it’s coming from a character I’m playing, I know him and I just didn’t feel comfortable with it. There are funny jokes about some people in the movie, but they’re human, and they just happen to be in the light. There’s probably 15,000 people out there going through the same thing. I don’t judge.

After ”Barbershop” you landed your own TV show on UPN (Mondays, 8:30-9 p.m.). How have you adapted to the grind of weekly TV?
I’m finally into the groove of it, but it was hard. Still, I didn’t completely sign on as far as a long commitment to the show. I’m testing the waters. We’re going to do another season, but I’m taking it day by day.

You seem to have some reservations about it.
Coming from the music world, I was at a point where I was ready to be stable when I took this show. I’d been traveling for four and a half years. I finally said, you know what? I need to have a home, I need to have a couch, I want to come home every day. But with TV you have to get up every day at the same time every morning, and go to the same place with the same people. And at first I was like, this is crazy! But now I’m into it. I love my cast, and I do enjoy coming home. I finally got a couch. It just didn’t feel natural because I’m used to waking up, packing a bag, and getting on a plane.

So when do you plan to wake up, pack your bag, and record a new album?
I’ll be back in the studio in the summer. Dr. Dre will be executive-producing, and the album will be out in the fall. I can’t even say what it’s going to sound like because I haven’t done any writing. It all depends on Dre’s beats. Lauryn Hill and OutKast are the only other two people I’d want to have on the album, and I haven’t even made the phone calls yet. I’d love to try some reggae, but I hate when something becomes a fad, and now reggae’s back. But I listen to a lot of reggae. There’s really no hip-hop I like right now except for OutKast. I listen to a little bit of 50 [Cent]. I don’t really dig too many other people.

Why not?
I think the reason why I like OutKast so much is because they’re so original. And they’re not scared to be themselves. A lot of rappers who are out there, it’s sad. It’s the same beat, and there’s nothing there creatively. So I really can’t get into anybody else.

Rappers are taking over acting. So why is it so hard for actors to cross over to music?
It’s unfortunate when actors try to sing, because nobody gives them a chance. What’s that girl’s name, Jennifer Love Hewitt? She had a nice voice. Nobody cared. It’s much harder for them. But some musicians get into acting and don’t take it seriously. When I come on set I take my acting coach with me. I ask questions and take advice.

You have a fashion line and dual careers as an actress and rapper. Anything you’re still dying to do?
I want to be a wife and mother. And I want a movie production company. I’d love to do something with Halle Berry. I want to write. But right now I only have the brain power for these things that are going on right now.

Any plans for the wife-and-mother part?
I’m actually in a relationship right now, so if things work out, he would be my man. In a perfect world, I would have a baby in two years. But it’s not a perfect world, so if it were to happen now or next month or six months from now, it would still be a blessing.

Barbershop 2: Back in Business

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 98 minutes
  • Kevin Rodney Sullivan