Without a hint of shame, Joy Bryant declares, “I have a Ph.D. in chill. I can chill hard.” No shame, but not a lot of truth, considering she is one of the busiest women in Hollywood. There’s her role on the NBC family drama Parenthood; Bryant’s own Web series, Across the Board, in which she interviews other celebs while playing sports; a brand-new clothing line; and promotion for her new romantic comedy, About Last Night.
For the average woman, this to-do list would mean sleepless nights and cranky days. Yet Bryant claims she fits in six to seven hours of shut-eye a night and never feels “super scrambled.” Unless the 39-year-old’s multivitamin packs an extra wallop, such vitality is likely thanks to her New York DNA, a side effect of the Bronx native’s being from the city that never sleeps.
It’s the kind of stamina the actress will need over the next few months. She’s been on a nonstop publicity tour for About Last Night, the urban remake of the beloved 1980’s film that brings Bryant together with Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Kevin Hart as two couples trying to make love last. “I’m excited to be a part of something that people hold so dear,” she says. “And my costars are amazing and so funny. I’ve known them for a long time, but we never worked together. When I got the role, I thought, We’re going to hang out and be friends!”
Weeks after the movie’s release, Bryant gets to enjoy another debut with Basic Terrain, a casual sportswear line she’s launching with her husband, Dave Pope. “Aside from being a stuntman, he sews great,” Bryant says, adding that she bought him a sewing machine and he made a few samples to get them started. The collection, according to her, is “inspired by our love of travel and adventure.” The line will also be full of designs the sports enthusiast would be excited to wear: “Dressing ladylike is not my thing. I can appreciate a gorgeous piece, but it doesn’t speak to who I am.” She credits her modeling days for making it easy to give good face when it’s time to hit the red carpet, but admits she’s happiest in “anything camouflage…and moccasin boots.” An unexpected combination, yes, but one that’s as unique and down-to-earth as Bryant herself.