32 Comments Thursday, November 8th, 2007
Melissa De Sousa
Having played a temptress on film, Melissa De Sousa can’t shake the bitchy stigma from men’s heads. A sweetie at heart, the foxy Panamanian is looking to grab a best boy with her key grip.
By Rondell Conway
Unfortunately for Melissa De Sousa, work hours are 24/7. Blurring the line between acting and realityâ€”a skill of all great thespiansâ€”even in her everyday dealings, the curvy Panamanian-American star of the upcoming romantic drama A Good Man Is Hard to Find is discovering that her life and art are indistinguishable. Not only is the native New Yorker having trouble finding Mr. Right, sheâ€™s still widely recognized as Shelby, the man-eating temptress she played in 1999â€™s The Best Man. As she puts it, â€œIâ€™ve had guys say, â€˜There goes that bitch.â€™â€
Crude assumptions aside, De Sousa has different occupational hazards on her mind. As much as the alumnus of New Yorkâ€™s famed High School of Performing Arts appreciates the love she gets for her on-camera gifts, sheâ€™s yearning for her other body of work to get attention. Finally, an actress whoâ€™d appreciate that old â€œcasting couchâ€ ploy.
KING Our submissive side has been sprung off your bossy queen of mean, Shelby, from The Best Man. Are men still hollering because of that role?
Melissa Oh, God, yeah, especially in New York. People call me Shelby on the street, like thatâ€™s my real name. I take it as a compliment; I guess I did a good job. The only problem is guys prejudge me from that. They think thatâ€™s who I am, and theyâ€™re intimidated by me. I can sense it when I first walk into a room, but eventually it goes away when they realize thatâ€™s not what Iâ€™m really like.
So youâ€™re submissive, then?
No, I wouldnâ€™t say that. Iâ€™m a Libra, so I pretty much like the harmony of give and take. Of course, I want my way, but most of the time Iâ€™m very giving. Iâ€™m a pleaser, almost to a fault. I care more about the other person than myself. Iâ€™m working on not doing that as much.
That sounds more like your ride-or-die character, Krista, from Lockdown.
Yeah, thatâ€™s more like me. Iâ€™ll bail my man out in a second.
We can see the piles of jail mail already. So a brother with priors is arresting to you?
[Laughs] Well, I wouldnâ€™t say that. Letâ€™s not get it twisted. Iâ€™m not trying to get letters from the entire prison population.
Speaking of the poky, the new Hollywood trend seems to be bad girls getting locked up. You want to get drunk after this and drive my Saturn under the influenceâ€¦ maybe wrap it around a pole?
[Laughs] No. Not really. I donâ€™t want to go to jail. Iâ€™m not even going to front like thatâ€™s cool. At the end of the day, I wouldnâ€™t want to be one of those girls getting all the press for the things that theyâ€™re doing. Yeah, they have a lot of attention, but do they have respect? Not really. I want people to respect me as an actress, for my work.
Come on. Letâ€™s at least jump the turnstile in New York.
I did that back in the day, and it was a little easier. Itâ€™s probably too high now. I might hurt myself.
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