Xosha Roquemore's turn as Gently James in Ava Duvernay's series, Cherish The Day, and as Connie, in Showtime's Black Monday brought her into the spotlight last year. Her comedic timing, combined with her warm intensity, leave you longing to see more from the LA native who's been in the business for over a decade. But her greatest role has come as a mother to her three-year-old daughter, she shares with actor LaKeith Stanfield. I caught up with Xosha to talk about where we can see her next and how she's handling COVID and co-parenting.
Iman Milner: Xosha, this has been a wild ride for so many people. How have you been balancing with all the craziness of the last year or so?
Xosha Roquemore: There's just been so many different ebbs and flows. In the beginning, it was just confusing for all of us. And then I found my footing. I have my moments where I am so sick of this, but I have to remind myself that we are in a pandemic — none of this is normal. But other than that, it's been pretty good. I really can't complain.
IM: You are co-parenting with someone in your same field at a time in his career that is very busy. How has that been?
XR: Yeah, it's something. My daughter's father just has so much going on. So, he's out of town a lot, and even when he is here, he's slammed busy. I take on a lot of the weight, but he's extremely helpful when he is here. But when he's not here, I have to hold it down, you know? I know that when the tide shifts, because we're only three years into this co-parenting thing, and I'm busy or have a lot going on; he'll hold me down too.
IM: How has your daughter been adjusting?
XR: My daughter and I ended up being in a pod with three other parents at the beginning of all of this. That was really cool because she was in school three days a week at one of the mom's houses. She was supposed to start preschool this year, and then everything happened. That ended in December. Since around Christmastime, we've just been in the house all day. I have help from 9-5, but we've just been managing one thing at a time. I feel bad for my baby because I think she's developed a bit of anxiety about being out in the world. She's only three, and being in the house for such a huge chunk of her little short life, she's started having anxiety anywhere there were a lot of people around. She's had to recalibrate.
IM: So, where are things with Cherish The Day? Everyone loves Gently and Evan. You got picked up for Season 2…
XR: Well, you know, Cherish The Day is an anthology series. Every season is going to focus on a new couple.
IM: Oh! You guys are completely gone?
XR: Yes! That was a one and done type thing. Which was cool because that's what I was looking for in a TV show. And I loved that we got to tell their story all the way through. A lot of people are like, "y'all aren't coming back?!?!" But I'm hoping they get a fresh new couple.
IM: What's on the horizon for you in 2021?
XR: Where there's one thing I did that I can't give details about, but I got to work with Ava (Duvernay) again. I just finished that, and it was my first time being on set since the pandemic began. And that was cool. During the majority of 2020, I was working on developing my own show. This time I was just cracking at it again with a way more personal and completely different story. Once that was done, I made a pitch, and at the end of 2020, I pitched to a bunch of production companies, and I landed with one!
IM: That is so dope! Anything you can tell me about it?
XR: It's really just about my life. I feel so bad because I can't tell as much about most of the things I have going on, but I'll be starring in and producing it too. I'm just trying to get my Issa Rae on.
IM: How have you been balancing this career change, motherhood, and the pandemic?
XR: You just have to do it. You just have to do motherhood and do whatever else you have going on. It's a little easier for me to balance because, like I said, I have help, but it is like a dual life. Yesterday, I had a really cool pitch for a studio, and it was really, really exciting, and if I wasn't a mom, I could spend the rest of the day vibing off of that. But I had to make dinner, you know? (laughs). We just switched to the big girl bed, and I'm trying to get her down and settled. So, I have those few minutes to be hype about whatever happened in my day, and I have to get back into mommy mode. You're, honestly, doing both all the time.
IM: What's something this time has taught you that you're holding on to?
XR: To turn off the clock. Sometimes, I get in my head and start feeling old but, the truth is, it's never any less sweet. If I get my own series on the air at 40, it's not going to be a tragedy. It's still going to be dope. Just trying to look at myself like a limitless well of creativity with no time limit and no cap. That ain't easy every day. It's so easy to compare and look at people who are younger and think you're behind, but you keep going.
IM: When you hear the word wellness, what comes to your mind?
XR: Taking care of myself, honestly. It's bigger than working out and eating kale. I do that anyway, and I love kale, no shade, but making decisions aligned with what I want and who I want to be is what wellness means to me.
IM: When you hear the word beauty, what comes to mind?
XR: Loaded. And individuality. Especially in this Instagram climate we live in. Everyone's so pretty and so perfect. It's easy to make that happen on social media. Beauty is something I've been trying to own every day and eliminate anything that makes me not feel popping. I am trying to own self-love to be a good example to my daughter.