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Vanessa L. Williams has been busy lately with her current run in Broadway’s Trip to Bountiful, which runs through September, opposite Tony-award winner Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr. But when Williams is not on stage, she’s either managing her skincare line or working as the spokeswoman for Clear Eyes. ESSENCE.com caught up with the mother of four to chat about her guilty pleasures, dating habits at 50 and if she’ll ever walk down the aisle again. Check it out below.
1. Her guilty pleasures
VANESSA WILLIAMS: I watch reality TV. I watch Housewives of Atlanta, Housewives of New Jersey, Housewives of Beverly Hills and Million Dollar Matchmaker. Between Bravo and HGTV—Love It or List It, House Hunters International, Kitchen Cousins—I would say reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures. I’m not really a shopper, but a sample sale! I’ll go and buy something just to say I got a deal! It’s the excitement of the bargain. It hurts me more to pay retail than to go to the Chanel sample sale and get something at a bargain. That to me is exciting!
2. Her first celebrity crush
WILLIAMS: Michael Jackson. I put a little heart on his picture on the ABC album cover. I still have it. That was definitely my first crush. I got a chance to meet him at Quincy Jones’ 55th birthday party and I shook his hand.
3. On working on new music
WILLIAMS: Yes, I’m actually talking to a label right now and we’ll see what happens. The last album I did was in 2009 so it’s about time.
4. If she’s dating anyone special
WILLIAMS: Yes, I’m dating a lovely guy who I met in Egypt but he’s from Buffalo. So I went half way around the world to meet someone who’s close by.
5. If she’ll ever marry again
WILLIAMS: I was married for 10 years the first time, five years the second. My career is always very active, so it’s important to find someone who sees the importance of my career, the demands of my children and that’s a lot of the criteria right there and also the chemistry. Those are the big factors. Once you find that out, you have to find time to be together. At 50 years old there’s a certain ease because you know yourself, you know what you’re willing to put up with and what you’re not willing to put up with and it’s a lot clearer the older you get because you know yourself and you know what you want. If you wait long enough, and you have faith, things always come to you.
6. If she’d do a Soul Food sequel
WILLIAMS: It depends if they get the original crew together and the script is good. When something works so well it’s the ensemble, direction, time, script and the editing and the time when it came out. So it’s tough to have lightening strike twice.
7. What beauty product she can’t live without
WILLIAMS: Besides my skincare line, ReVitalistic!? I used all the things that work for me that I couldn’t live without. [I] improved upon all of the formulations and compiled my beauty line. Skincare is a big thing because I haven’t had the luxury of having great skin. Now that I’m aging it’s all about trying to stay as good at my age as possible. I don’t need to be looking like somebody else. I want to look like myself and I want to look as good as I possibly can.