When I was a kid, people people would always say, 'Oh you look like Chilli from TLC.' It wasn't until I did 'Akeelah and the Bee' that people started saying I looked like Angela Bassett, but before then it was Chilli.
I'm a mash-up of everyone. My influences would be Michael Jackson, Brandy, Aaliyah - those types of people. So if you can imagine them - and with me taking them, and then putting my own twist and the influence on it - that's musically what I would sound like.
I was bullied a lot as a kid in school from kindergarten up to third grade. I know what it feels like to be left out and to want to be different - more so, to want to not be different and want to just fit in.
The type of movies that give me the heebie jeebies are thrillers, because anything that's playing with your thoughts and mind, that's scary. But one thing that they never do in horror movies that I always do is I pray. You never see them pray in horror movies.
There's not always going to be something out there for you, especially not a positive role, so once you get up there and start being well known, you can't just think projects will come to you. You have to start doing your own projects because if you don't, you'll miss out, and eventually your fame will be over.
I didn't come from a lot. I had a lot of love and support from my family, but as far as money and that type of thing, I didn't really have any of that. All I did was follow my dreams. If my fans take anything from me, I hope it would be that.
Broadway was life-changing because it pushes you mentally, physically, emotionally - every way that you can be pushed. It makes you feel like there's nothing you can't do. It's like doing your own stunts.
Don't depend on a guy for your happiness. You have to live your own life and do your own thing. That's when good things come around - when you do your own thing and you're not worried about a man. It will happen in due time.
I wasn't that into it or that knowledgeable of fashion until I started working on 'True Jackson.' I feel like it was my duty to learn more because people would feel that I should because I'm on the show. So definitely, that made me more involved with fashion, and now I'm a little fashion guru. It's totally out of control.