When I see other working actresses that are brown, I get so excited. I get so excited when I see Zoe Kravitz, Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, Ava Duvernay, and all these beautiful women working.
I think it's important to have your own individual style and sense of self. It's kind of what I do.
You have to be very careful with the art you create and you put out.
I used to read the criticism on blogs about other people - mostly female actresses and singers - and even when they are extremely perfect and harmless, people still go after them. So I figure, if I'm going to get negativity regardless, why do I have to worry about what somebody thinks of me?
I don't really have a main source for my style inspiration. It's really about however I feel about myself at the moment.
I like different statement jewelry, especially around the ears.
In 10 years, I don't really know what I'll be, and I like not having any idea. I like the idea of being so passionate about everything I do and the fact that I might wake up tomorrow and say 'I want to be a chef,' and just pour myself into that.
I'm a smoky eye girl. I love playing with eye colors, metallics... fun stuff!
All the great artists had their dark sides. Look at Amy Winehouse or anyone who has achieved a certain level of success. Even Adele, and the people that you wouldn't put in the same category as a gangster rapper. These women have exposed their vulnerabilities, demons, and things that have hurt them.
It's important for me to just be myself - in fashion. A lot of people overlook that side of me because they're scared of it, but that's just who I am.
I have more of a desire to write songs about being an independent woman than being in love, songs about getting up and moving on even if I have a broken heart. 'Wanna Say' is one of the few love songs I've ever done.
It's really important, especially for young girls, to see that if you fall down, you get back up. If you get sick, you get back up. People are going to say what they want.
I'm still somebody that listens to a lot of James Brown, a lot of The O'Jays, a lot of TLC... in that era, producers had more musicianship.
I just want get to as high as I can go. I think that's the safest and most politically correct thing I can say. I'm not trying to take anyone's spot. I want to create my own lane and shoot to the sky.
I'm into Gucci a lot, like vintage '70s everything. I'm into Versace.
Anyone who knows me knows what I'm about - how much I'm into empowerment, equal rights and everyone just loving themselves.
I think that with 'The Vampire Diaries,' you never know what's going to happen, and I don't think the characters necessarily know, either. So you can only weigh so much, and then it might just come down to 'kill or be killed.'
My first audition as a little girl was 'Interview with the Vampire' for Kirsten Dunst's part. Back then, they were meeting all different kinds of girls, and I was one of them. There's got to be an audition tape somewhere on VHS. Who would have known that many years later I would be on a vampire show?
If I was on Broadway, I would want to do anything Vaudeville or a biopic.
When people start to think they're figuring out 'The Vampire Diaries,' it switches on you.
I never want to be a spectacle, but I also feel like a look should always have a little bit of an edge.
When I moved to Atlanta, I felt like an outsider - away from my friends and family except for the LGBTQ community.
I'm not somebody who's emotionally attached to an outcome of a character that I'm hired to play. The fans are.
If you don't feel clean, it affects everything you do; you can't even focus right.
On my days off, I love denim cut off shorts with gladiator sandals and crop tops.
When you're changing your diet, or you're becoming a vegan, your system will become a bit more sensitive, and you just have to deal with it.
I'm hoping I'll eventually get to be a beauty blogger myself because I do my own makeup, and I have for years.
I love outdoor winter activities like snow tubing and snowball throwing.
I run away from super-bandage-style Herve Leger dresses. I think it's sexier for a woman to be in something sheer and loose.
If I have an audition, I go to the audition in character. I'm in character when I walk in the room. I mean, I'm still sweet to everyone, but I'm very much the character.
If a boy messes up, you walk away. If a boy isn't treating you right, you walk away. It sounds simpler than it is, but you can't allow yourself to be disrespected. You have to be a strong girl.
There was a time when men thought it was sexy to have a housewife waiting for him to come home from work in her slippers, but in modern society, I think an independent woman is even more sexy.
If you're cast on 'The Vampire Diaries,' the likelihood of you dying is very good.
I'm all about high-waisted pants and skirts, pencil skirts, and sheer, long-sleeves in the summer.
You just can't afford to care that much about the negative things people say about you. You just can't!
I get a lot of backlash for wearing designers that I feel are creators and artists. I get it all the time.
I'm obsessed with cooking! I want a degree in the culinary arts!
I like that the 'Underworld' series created a whole other world that's totally different yet familiar to our own.
Tupac has always been somebody who represented a higher consciousness of what it means on both sides of the coin to be black in America. He and Prince were leaders who moved to the beat of their own drum, and I can only hope to follow in their footsteps.
Sometimes fashion designers will be like, 'This is what's hot right now, and you will be cool if you wear this,' but sometimes it's too expensive or doesn't look good on me or isn't who I am, and I don't need to just think that what you're saying is what's cool if I have my own identity.
I'm somebody who doesn't believe in conforming to maybe whatever is on the radio.
I love being on tour; I love being on the road. It's the most amazing feeling ever. I live for it; I love it.
My style is not trendy by any means; my inner artists loves to shine through in my wardrobe.