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5 Questions for Sherri Shepherd on Her New Movie 'On the Money'

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It’s safe to say that Sherri Shepherd has a lot of jobs. In addition to her numerous TV gigs; which include hosting “The View,” “The Newlywed Game” on Game Show Network, and her laugh-out-loud “30 Rock” appearances, the stand-up comedienne is revisiting the big screen in the film adaptation of Janet Evanovich’s wildly popular mystery series, “One for the Money” (starring Katherine Heigl).

“I love working,” says Shepherd. “If somebody took away my jobs, I don’t know what I would do. I’m just the kind of person who has to stay busy.” Oh, and Shepherd is also writing a book on healthy living and is in talks to star and executive produce a new buddy comedy sitcom.

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Taking some time out from her packed schedule, Shepherd chatted with ESSENCE.com about landing her dream role in “One for The Money,” shooting movies and starring in the film adaptation of Steve Harvey’s “Think Like a Man.”

ESSENCE.com: You spend so much of your time working on television; do you ever miss the movie set?
SHERRI SHEPHERD: I miss it a lot; which is why I’m so appreciative when I book a part. It’s hard being in New York when they cast out of LA, and I can’t just fly out there when I have to work. I love the entire process of being on the set and being able to create a character. It’s so much fun. In “Think Like a Man,” I have a very small part. They told me it wasn’t a big budget, but I don’t care about any of that.  I’ll do it for free simply because I love being on the set with other creative people.

ESSENCE.com: Landing the role of Lula in “One for the Money” has been one of your dreams. What about this character drew you to her?
SHEPHERD: I read the book over seven years ago and I loved it! I always thought if they ever make this into a movie, I want the role of Lula. What I loved about her is that she has depth to her. Janet Evanovich writes about women who are strong. This is a woman who starts off as a hooker but through subsequent books she becomes a bounty hunter. One of my fans tweeted me that they were casting for Lula. I was at “The View” and after the show  I ran into wardrobe got a mini-skirt, an electric blue tube top, 5 1/2 inch heels, one of my long wigs and I ran across town to this audition. An electric blue tube top and me don’t go together, but I wore the heck out of it. I told the casting director that I know and love this character. It’s hard to describe how I felt when I got the call that I booked it. It’s a thrill and an honor.

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ESSENCE.com: Lula is one of the most loved and popular character in the series. Do you feel a lot of pressure to deliver a Lula that die-hard fans will fall in love with?
SHEPHERD: I will feel pressure up until the movie comes out. [Lula] is a favorite of the fans. There are blogs devoted to who the fans think should play the main characters. I hope people can see the love that I gave to this role.

ESSENCE.com: Another book you’re part of bringing to the big screen is Steve Harvey’s “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” Are you on board with the advice offered in this book?
SHEPHERD: Girl, I brought a copy for all my girlfriends. What I took from the book that worked for me was not waiting a long time before you let a man meet your kid. When you wait a year, you’ve invested so much time in a relationship and you don’t know how they will get along. I really watched the relationship between my son [Jeffrey] and husband [Lamar Sally] when were dating. If at any moment it wasn’t working, I would have broken up with him.

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ESSENCE.com: How do you juggle these different roles, TV hosts, actress, mother and wife, without overwhelming yourself?
SHEPHERD: I try to make Jeffrey the priority and everything else I work around. I try to get a majority of stuff done while he is in school, so I can spend the nights with him. My priority is my husband and my son. Believe me, I say no to a lot of things when it pulls me away too much from my family.

Catch Sherri Shepherd “One for the Money” is in theaters January 27.

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