The star of BET drama Being Mary Jane is a newly minted author—her fearless personal essay collection, We're Going to Need More Wine, comes out this month.
1. If I weren't an actress, I'd be: A lawyer. I'd be fighting for the rights of the oppressed.
2. Best career advice I've gotten: Don't be an asshole.
3. Most gracious response to a career setback: Sending flowers or a handwritten note to the actress who got the job.
4. Least gracious response to a career setback: Stalking the actor's Instagram and zooming in on their pics and finding flaws...flaws that still not change the fact they got the job and I didn't!
5. The three qualities that got me where I am today: Punctuality, photographic memory, and humor.
6. Moment I felt I made it: The first time someone who wasn't related to me or someone I went to school with knew my name while traveling.
7. Most agonizing career decision I've ever made: Turning down projects I love because I knew I didn't have the energy to give the job 100 percent.
8. Easiest career decision I've ever made: Turning down a job where I'd have to work with a known racist, sexist bigot.
9. Kind of work I'd do for free: Hanging out with dogs.
10. Favorite perk of the job: Hair and makeup, endless Twizzlers.
11. Worst pitfall of the job: Working with hair and or makeup people that never felt the need to learn how to do black women.
12. What my career looks like in 5 years: More writing, more producing, and more creating projects for underrepresented people.
14. How I made my first dollar: Winning a race against my cousins.
15. Who I admire and why: Anyone who kicks ass and is unapologetic.
16. Last thing I binge-watched: Stranger Things.
17. Book that left a lasting impression on me: Autobiography of Malcolm X.
18. Song that always makes me cry: "Love Will Lead You Back," by Taylor Dane.
20. Song I want played at my funeral: "Night to Remember," by Shalamar.
21. First album I bought: New Edition's first album, "Candy Girl."
22. On my bucket list: Machu Picchu.
23. Food I'm not ashamed to admit I love: Margarine or imitation crab.
24. Cocktail of choice: Tequila on the rocks with lime.
27. How my perfect day would begin: Sleeping in extremely late.
28. How my perfect day would end: Dancing on a table listening to '80s and '90s R&B.
35. The last time I felt beautiful was: This morning after I worked out.
36. The beauty essential you have to pry out of my cold, dead hands: One gallon of water.
37. My first kiss: My first real kiss was with Brian Weaver.
40. Advice to a woman with a broken heart: Watch Splendor in the Grass.
41. Relationship advice to my younger self: Have more sex, lots of it, and demand you have orgasms as well.
This article appears in the October issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands September 19.