#BLACKGIRLMAGIC: ASHLEY LOVE-MILLS On ROLLING OUT MAG!!!
ORLANDO, FL-native/former Miss NORTH CAROLINA USA turned Actress ASHLEY LOVE-MILLS covers the new issue of ROLLING OUT Magazine!!!
Here are some interview interludes:
Where are you originally from?
Originally, Orlando, Florida. My family is from North Carolina, which is where I was living and where I went to college. I eventually moved to Atlanta in 2013, after I gave up my crown as Miss North Carolina.
How did you decide to be involved in pageants?
It’s not. To be honest, I didn’t find pageants; they found me. I got a letter from the organization that owns the Miss North Carolina USA system, saying that somebody that knew me from my high school suggested that I do the pageant. I ignored the letter, and I actually threw it away. As fate would have it, a couple of weeks later, my dad and I were watching TV, and I saw the Teen USA pageant on the television and it looked like the girls were having fun. Well, I was trying to break into modeling at the time, so I thought it would be good exposure. So, I wrote the organization a letter saying I still wanted to compete. That year, I placed 6th out of 96 girls. So from there, I just made the decision that I wanted to win, so I put my mind to it and eventually won Miss North Carolina USA.
So how did you finally escape being looked at as a pageant girl? What happened that finally allowed you to turn the corner and really have people look at you as an actor?
Well, have I escaped it? We’re talking about it now. I don’t think that I’ve escaped it. I don’t think I’ll ever escape it because it is a part of who I am and I don’t deny that. I’m not ashamed of it. Everything is about choices and I’ve always tried to be really smart about the choices that I’ve made in life, and at the time pursuing pageants was right for me. And now, I’m happy with where I’m headed as an actress.
How did it feel to have Tyler Perry cast you for his show “Too Close To Home”?
I was overwhelmed. I fell to the ground like, ‘Wait, what’s happening? I’ve booked a lead on what? … It’s for who?’ It was, if nothing, a huge sigh of relief. Finally, somebody saw something that I always saw in myself. Finally, it was more than hopes for next time. But while all of this was going on, it was still kind of hard to take in because the same day that I got the call about booking the show, I put my dad in a hospice and he died three days later. So it was very …
Yeah, it was bittersweet. I did get a chance to tell my dad; I told my dad the next day that I booked the show. He didn’t respond, as he was heavily medicated with morphine. But I know that he really wanted this for me, and I had a chance to tell him that I was going to go to the call back right before we put him in a hospice. And he held my hand tight and he had tears coming down his face, even though he couldn’t say anything. So I know that he heard me.