Joy Bryant: Joy to the World (2005 Cover Story)

Joy Bryant: Joy to the World (2005 Cover Story)Interview by Jessica Hundley; Photography by Patrick Hoelck; Click Here For Additional Credits.

What made it so intense?
It stirred up things in me. We filmed in my old neighborhood. I could throw a rock and hit my old bedroom window. Jim turned me inside out. His methods were so subtle and he was so sweet and smart, but man, it was emotional. The character was very similar to me in many ways. I related to her. And it made me reassess a lot of my methods, my way of approaching the world. It was cathartic and earthshaking. And 50? Man, that guy, he was incredible. I mean, he must have felt the whole experience intensely too. It was his life laid down in front of him. I told him, “If I were you, I’d be in the nuthouse already! Right here in rehearsal, I mean, I’m about to check myself in and it’s not even my story!” But he just laughed. He’s the ultimate professional. He keeps it together. This was his first acting job and he did everything in like, two takes. He was giving so much. I remember thinking, “Shit. He is really mopping the floor with me right now! It wasn’t supposed to be this way!” Not that I was supposed to be mopping the floor with him, but he really made me step it up. You watch him on film, and he’s subtle. He stripped it down. And that’s where he always was. Brilliant, professional, on time. He’s a hell of a lot smarter than people give him credit for, smart in ways you would not assume. Never judge a book by its cover. I mean, if I had an ounce of his focus and dedication, man, I’d rule the world. 

In a way, 50 Cent has a lot to prove, making that move from music to movies. But it seems like hip-hop artists have been able to make that transition pretty easily. The industry is hungry for them, right? 
I know, hip-hop and big corporations. Talk about strange bedfellows. But I guess it was inevitable. There are just so many great opportunities available now and it's wonderful to be able to see people--people who might not have had the access to these opportunities 10 years ago--who can capitalize on w hat's out there. It wasn't that long ago that we weren't able to drink from the same fountains. And now we have more black millionaires than in any other time in history. There's so much more opportunity now to capitalize on our talents. But look at me, getting all political! This is a men's magazine, right? Aren't we supposed to be talking T&A?

 

Dating in L.A. sucks. Because a pretty girl, with a nice face, and a nice body, is a dime a dozen. Maybe not a nice brain, but the rest? You throw a rock and you hit a hot chick.

 

Sure, let’s talk T&A. Let’s talk about dating in Hollywood. That’s always a good one. 
Well, first off, dating in L.A. sucks. Because a pretty girl, with a nice face and a nice body, is a dime a dozen. Maybe not a nice brain, but the rest? You throw a rock and you hit a hot chick. So a gal’s got to rely on something else in this town. Right now I’m in a place where I’m not going to define myself by a man and a family. I can’t expect it and on the other hand, I can’t rule it out. I’m just trying to love myself and not do the same old bullshit I used to. We’re always putting these expectations on each other, trying to fit that square into the circle hole, you know? And you can’t change people. So you have to just concentrate on yourself, making yourself a better person. That’s why I tell my friends, “If you’re going to live in L.A., get yourself a good dildo and a good vibrator and learn to love yourself. And if you do that, you just might find somebody.”

You must not have a difficult time meeting guys.
You know, not to sound like an egotist, but like I said, a pretty face is a dime a dozen. It doesn’t mean anything to me when a man comes up and tells me I’m pretty. I’d rather he’d say I’m smart or interesting or fascinating or weird—anything but “pretty.” I mean, it’s nice and all, but “pretty” can get boring unless there’s an interesting mind in there. Someone with something to share. So yes, I meet people, but what are they looking for? It’s hard.

Do you date a lot of actors?
Hey listen, I’m in this business, so I’m probably going to end up dating some actors. I don’t close myself off to that. And sure, there may be a lot of people in this industry who are full of shit, but you know what? There are people like that in every industry. Granted, with actors, it’s hard to tell when they’re full of shit. I mean, they are actors. Sometimes it’s like, “Are you really like this, or are you just making a movie and I don’t know about it? Where’s the camera? Just who wrote that script you’re living by right now? I’d like to know, ’cause I have a few revisions! I think you maybe need to do some rewriting! ’Cause right now, that shit is janky!” But dating is difficult anywhere. Life is hard and dating is hard, regardless if you’re an A-list actor or a supermodel or whatever. Everyone gets their heart broken. You just have to do your best and hold your head up high and not be afraid to keep rolling the dice 

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (STYLING) Lysa Cooper for Margaret Maldonado. (MAKEUP) Justin Henry for Avante Groupe. (HAIR) Bertrand W. (SET DESIGNER) Jamie Dean for Partos. FIRST AND FIFTH IMAGES: Jacket by Giorgio Armani / bottoms by Agent Provocateur / shoes by Cesare Paciotti / jewelry by Ron Hami. SECOND IMAGE: Top by Giorgio Armani / bottoms by Agent Provocateur / shoes by Elie Saab / jewelry by Ron Hami. THIRD IMAGE: Top by Jenni Kayne / bottoms by Agent Provocateur / shoes by Giorgio Armani. FOURTH IMAGE: Bra by Agent Provocateur / skirt by Rami Kashou / shoes by Bruno Frisoni. COVER AND SIXTH IMAGES: Jacket by Nicole Miller / bottom by Agent Provocateur / boots by Cesare Paciotti / jewelry by Ron Hami. 

Tags: joy-bryant, complex-cover-stories
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