While the last year was a complicated time for many in Hollywood who found their projects halted and their time filled with quarantining and monotony like the rest of us, for actress and TV personality Garcelle Beauvais, she was busier than ever. She worked on Coming 2 America, launched a new and delightful podcast called Going to Bed With Garcelle, joined The Real as a co-host, and hosted events like IMDb’s pre-Oscars show. She’s been juggling all of that work with parenting her 13-year-old twin boys Jax and Jaid, visiting with her 1-year-old grandson, and trying to keep her luxe LA home tidy as she spends a lot of time in it working from home.
“I think we all, obviously, had to pivot this past year. And we were all cleaning a lot more than we previously were, right? I think we can all say that,” she tells ESSENCE. “And for me, it’s really figuring out how to incorporate cleaning and making it fun for the boys so that they help because, you know, all they wanna do is talk to their friends on the phone or, you know, do video games. So it’s been really fun to figure out with Arm & Hammer baking soda.
The star has partnered with Arm & Hammer to promote their Baking Soda Showdown, an at-home cleaning competition designed with parents and families in mind. Those who enter have a chance to win $10,000. But for Beauvais, cleaning with the product is simply about keeping her home immaculate and finding ways to make housework fun for herself and her boys, as they’re at home together a lot these days.
We talked to the star about how her family has adjusted to pandemic living, the fact that despite coronavirus, it’s been the best year of her life professionally, and her plans for a Hot Girl Summer at 54.
ESSENCE: You’re doing a lot lately. You’ve been on The Real, you have your podcast, you have Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You even recently did onscreen work with Coming 2 America. It’s almost like you’ve had this resurgence. How’s that been for you?
Garcelle Beauvais: Well, that’s been really fun. I mean, who’d have thought during quarantine that I’d have really the best year of my life work-wise? It’s been great. Coming 2 America was so nostalgic, just to be back on set with Eddie, Arsenio, and, you know, a lot of the cast. If someone had told us 30 years ago that we would be doing a sequel, we’d be like, “You’re crazy. Get out of here.” But it was really fun to have not only new fans of the movie, but old fans sort of come back to it. That was really a treat for me.
It’s just been opportunities overflowing for you during this time.
Yeah, you know, I got to do my podcast, Going to Bed With Garcelle, from home. We sold it to MGM and were planning on doing it as a late-night show, and then quarantine happened. And they’re like, “Well, why don’t you do a podcast?” And we’re like, “Let’s try it.” So doing that and also with Housewives, obviously we shot a lot more at home this season and even in each other’s homes and, you know, wearing masks and figuring out how to get tested. I mean, it was a lot.
And how have you been coping outside of family and work? How have you been prioritizing self-care?
I don’t have my sons this week, so last night I literally went to bed at 7:15. I think every now and then you have to do things like that. I love R&B music. Sometimes I’ll just play music in the house and dance and, you know, just try to escape and not be on the news. I felt like this past year with a lot of people, like, I was glued to the TV. I felt like it was getting to me and it still gets to me. So I feel like there are moments that we have to take time and say, you know what? I need a break. I’m not watching TV, I’m not going on social media, just to regroup and recharge.
I also noticed, in the midst of juggling work and your sons, you’ve also been preparing for a Hot Girl Summer [laughing]. I saw that on Instagram.
Honey! Vaxxed and waxed.
Yes, I’m here for it [laughing]! Even Toni Braxton, who is 53, everybody was like, “Oh, she’s doing Hot Girl Summer early, she’s out here in a G-string bikini.” Can you speak to that? Hot Girl Summer is for every girl!
I’m not doing a G-string bikini [laughs]. But I think why not? I mean, listen, if nothing else we’ve learned this past year that life is fragile. Live as much as you can, love as hard as you can. And I think that’s part of it. I think part of it is also, we need to have an outlet. We need to have fun. I can’t wait to meet my girlfriends out and hug them and have drinks and toast. And that’s kind of like my, you know, my idea of Hot Girl Summer. I had someone recently say, “You know, after a certain age you shouldn’t wear this or that,” and I thought, no. It’s how you feel. It’s not about the age or the number that you’re at or the size of clothing that you’re wearing. It’s how you feel. Let’s all get back to having fun and being kind to each other. I am so ready for my Hot Girl Summer. My Hot Girl Grandma Summer.
Has dating during the pandemic been something you have tried or are you like, we’ll get to that another time?
I tried a little bit, but I think it’s really an odd time to meet someone new. But, you know, I had a really great FaceTime date where I had dinner, he was in New York and he had dinner. And that was really lovely. I’m down for stuff like that until it’s time. But I’m not stressing the man thing. It’ll happen.
And what is one thing you can’t wait to do when this pandemic is all over?
I really do miss traveling. I’d like to get away with my kids this summer. But I also… We used to go dancing, you know? And I can’t wait for that. We used to go to this club called Giorgio’s in Hollywood where we’d go and we’d dance the night away. They’d play disco. The thought of doing that again is daunting because we’re gonna be close, we’re gonna be sweating. So many things we took for granted. Going bowling, are we gonna put our fingers in these balls anymore? There are lots of things we have to reconsider, right? But I would love to go dancing with my friends again.