Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing an accomplished actress who continuously proves that she was made for this craft—Erica Hubbard. According to her bio via Desirae Benson, Erica Hubbard became friends with success at an early age. One of her first jobs in the entertainment industry came in the form of a theatrical performance in her hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even though she didn’t know it at the time, that one performance paved the way for a myriad of others to follow.
Continuing to excel and gain confidence in her craft, the young Erica effortlessly secured an abundance of modeling, television and film jobs that brought out her wit, intellect, and beauty. From her first commercial for the famous nationwide restaurant chain, Chick-fil-a, to her first film role in the 2001 Hit, Save the Last Dance, Erica exuded a rare combination of enthusiasm, warmth and maturity that allowed her to stand out from her peers—while at the same time, putting her in the perfect position to be admired as an actress. Aside from her stunning features that have been showcased in several magazines, it is her knack for being able to take an audience into her confidence that was—and continues to be one of her most striking traits.
Erica’s acting career continues to be pronounced and diversified. Her latest acting role as the bubbly and carefree character of Wanda in the Hit Romantic-Dramedy, Just a Friend, releases on February 14th of 2018. She has gained credits for so many of her contributions such as: A Cinderella Story (2004), Light It Up (1999), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) (a New York Times Best Selling Novel). Akeelah and the Bee (2006) for Lions Gate Films. Erica also worked as a regular on the series, Lincoln Heights (2006), on the ABC Family Channel, Erica’s animated series, The Replacements (2006),that aired on Disney, and Professor Mack coming in April (2018).
Check out Erica’s interview where she discusses what her dream role would be, who her favorite actors and actresses are, what’s next for her, and more below.
1-You’re a veteran in the acting world. Which of your many projects was your favorite to film?
Honestly, I personally like all the films that I have been cast in. I think I booked each role in the films I have done because I connected to the character so much that it was only natural for me to book the part. I completely fall in love with all of the characters I play. They are all so diverse in each film. I loved Akeelah and the Bee, Save the Last Dance, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, A Cinderella Story, The Love Letter, Black Coffee, My Favorite Five, 72 Hours, The Other Side, Just a Friend—they are all very dear to me. Overall, it was a phenomenal experience to work alongside Blake Lively in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I learned a lot being on that production as an actress, especially watching and being around Debra Martin Chase!
2-You played Cassie Sutton for 4 seasons of the critically acclaimed series Lincoln Heights. What is it about the show that you think kept viewers coming back every season?
I truly believe Lincoln Heights has a huge audience, even now. It’s very popular because of its top-notch production value! The TV Series, which aired for 4 seasons, was superb because everyone who worked on the series, in regard to the cast and crew, genuinely cared about making the show great. It was a top quality production, and the audience connected with the characters because they were relatable. We all worked very hard, had each other’s best interest in mind, and were a family on the set. Everyone cared about Lincoln Heights, so with that in mind, we all worked as a team to create an amazingly memorable project! Everything was personal to the cast. Truly it was a team effort—we all did our very best work to portray our stories. It was easy
for people to become addicted to watching Lincoln Heights because it’s a great Family TV Drama/Show, which deals with real-life situations that ALL AGES can watch and ENJOY. Even now, people who watch the TV series become hooked. They’ll follow me on Instagram saying how much they enjoy Lincoln Heights! Kevin Hooks and Kathleen McGhee Anderson are phenomenal people and I loved working with the producers on Lincoln Heights!
3-If the show was to continue, where do you see your character in the future?
There are fans of Lincoln Heights campaigning to reboot the show because they want it back on air ASAP. I most definitely would be interested in that! Should Lincoln Heights ever come back, I think Cassie and Charles would be raising their children and would need as much help as they could get from Cassie’s mother and father, in order to be good parents like the Sutton’s were. Charles would still be a mechanic and Cassie would more than likely have an art gallery because she is a painter. Certainly, Lizzie and Tay would be helping with their niece and nephew while attending college. All of the Sutton’s would probably still reside in their house in Lincoln Heights until Cassie and Charles make enough money to move into their own place of residence.
4-Besides Lincoln Heights, you were also part of the successful BET series Let’s Stay Together as Kita Whitmore from 2011-2014. What’s your favorite memory from filming the show?
It was pure joy to film Let’s Stay Together as Kita. My favorite moments took place behind the scenes working with the producers! I was honored to work on the Queen Latifah Project and Jacque Edmonds Coffer! Robi Reed did an excellent job and a lot of people loved Kita Whitmore, and for that, I am so thankful! It was BET’s very first scripted show and it was a privilege to work on it for 4 seasons as the high energetic and sassy character Kita. It feels great knowing that I could help make people who watched laugh with each episode!
5-On top of acting, you also dabbled in producing and writing. Which do you prefer more– acting, writing, or producing?
My passion is acting and portraying a variety of different characters that have lives that audiences can relate to. I love hearing someone tell me how much they connected to one of my characters and how they could easily identify with the role I portrayed. I immensely enjoy portraying the lives related to the comedic as well as the dramatic genres. I like to touch people’s hearts through my roles and it’s important to me to connect with the viewers as an actress. However, I am glad I had the opportunity to help out with the movies Black Coffee, The Last Fall, and Professor Mack as a producer.
6-Who is your favorite actor and/or actress?
My favorite actress is Hilary Swank. I think she is phenomenal. She’s a very transparent and vulnerable actress, who is not afraid to take risks with her roles. She doesn’t play the same characters over and over and over again, so we are never bored with her work. I have studied her work thoroughly and I personally connect with her work ethic. I have five films that are soon to be released and each and every role was a challenge because they are all so very different. Also, I look up to Tilda Swinton who also magically transforms into each of her roles and takes the craft very seriously. These actresses, along with Angela Bassett, touch people’s hearts while they give superb performances that leave lasting impressions!
7-Even though you’ve played many great characters, what is your dream role?
I would love to play Diahann Carroll’s role in Claudine when Hollywood remakes the film. Also, I would love to portray Dame Shirley Bassey, which would be my dream role and huge opportunity because she has an incredible career and life story!
8-You’ve worked with so many other great actors and actresses. Which actor/actress had you star struck when first meeting them?
Wow, that’s tough because there are so many talented actors and actresses that come to mind. I have worked with and learned from a wide variety of talented people, I’m grateful for all of those experiences. If I had to name a few that I was starstruck by, I’d say, Laurence Fishburne, Chadwick Boseman, Blake Lively, Hilary Duff, Harry Lennix , Roger Guenveur, Russell Hornsby, Amber Tamblyn, Joe Mantegna, Terry Crews, Curtis Armstrong, Angela Bassett, and many more.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in acting?
The most definite advice I would give to someone pursuing an acting career, is to film a story you like, while waiting for other opportunities to present themselves. Nowadays, people are getting deals from web series and shorts, so go ahead and show your talent and creativity online by filming a project!
10-What is NEXT for Erica Hubbard?
I just appeared on an episode of Chicago Med. Although it was a challenging role, I was very excited to perform and work with NBC! Currently I have five very different films (comedy, thriller & dramas) being released that I believe people who support and follow my career will like and enjoy. The Other Side, Just A Friend, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Professor Mack and Perfectly Single!
Also, I am an Executive Director of a non-profit, The Erica Hubbard Foundation, which helps out youth in at-risk communities. Please follow me on Instagram, I really appreciate the love and support from everyone.
Photo Credit: Desirae Benson/Erica Hubbard