So if you’re an old-school movie buff like me, you’ll admit that your massive VHS/DVD collection includes “Blassics” (translation: Black classics) such as Two Can Play That Game, Booty Call, Soul Food, Independence Day and Set It Off. In other words, it could be a mini Vivica A. Fox film festival. To be clear, the Indianapolis native has a rich oeuvre of legendary performances on the stage and the big and small screens, including her work in both volumes of the Kill Bill saga, and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Empire.
Now, after proving herself to be one of the industry’s most venerable talents, Fox is telling her story in a winning and witty new book, Every Day I’m Hustling (St. Martin’s Press, $26.99). Like her spot-on portrayals in front of the camera, she is totally entertaining as an author. Every Day I’m Hustling is a feel-good fairy tale–like narrative in which the heroine, who comes from a humble midwestern family, works hard and accomplishes her dream.
What separates this from other celebrity memoirs is Fox’s realness. You don’t have to walk in her Jimmy Choos or Christian Louboutins to relate to her journey. She documents good (and bad) auditions; what it’s like when money gets low and you feel you’ve hit a temporary bump; how to deal with racial and gender inequality; and what happens when you’re pigeonholed and need a breakthrough. The actress is candid about her ill-fated relationship with Christopher “Sixx-Nine” Harvest: “Here’s a really bad reason to get married: because everyone else is doing it. I know that’s why I did it. It seems like a blink-and-you-missed-it marriage to a lot of people now, but in 1998 I went into a four-year union I had no business going into. I got married out of peer pressure and because I thought that was the next thing on the checklist of what it means to be a successful woman.” And yes, she even goes there about the two C’s: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and The Change (menopause).
Throughout, Fox is an irrepressible impresario of her own life, dodging slings and arrows while taking bows onstage and donning her game face on the red carpet. The key to her longevity may well be her unerring faith and reliance on Psalm 34, which keeps her going.