Houston native LeToya Luckett has released some of the most popular songs, appeared in acclaimed film, television and stage projects, and excelled as a business owner. Her remarkable versatility and wide-ranging talent have made her a renowned figure in entertainment.
Although LeToya has enjoyed tremendous success as a GRAMMY Award winning platinum artist, she is also a force to be reckoned with in television. In 2010, LeToya made her film debut playing the lead character in the Warner Premiere film Preacher’s Kid. The film was released nationwide in select markets and has since become a top DVD seller in its genre. Later in 2010, LeToya had a supporting role in the romantic comedy Killers, starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl.
Since then, LeToya has appeared in HBO TV series Treme, BET TV series Second Generation Wayans, VH1’s Single Ladies and HBO series Ballers (executive produced by Mark Wahlberg) to name a few.
Now, with several movie and television projects in motion and a new album on the way, LeToya can add one more accomplishment to her extensive and impressive résumé: starring in TV One’s Original Comedy Series Here We Go Again.
TV One’s new multi-generational comedy Here We Go Again features three generations of women whose lives are upended after a series of events sends them along an unexpected journey. The half-hour series follows Maddy (LeToya Luckett), a single mother and successful lawyer who is convinced there is a “Walker Women’s Curse,” after being born to her mother, Loretta (Wendy Raquel Robinson), at age 16, and having a child, Shante (Kyndall Ferguson), herself at the same age.
Throughout the series, Maddy refuses to let her daughter, Shante, now approaching her dreaded 16th birthday, become the next in line. Though on a professional high and having fun dating Cedric (Travis Winfrey), on the night of Shante’s Sweet 16 birthday, old feelings resurface for her high school sweetheart and Shante’s dad Victor (Andra Fuller). In a moment of weakness, they have one more steamy night. Maddy becomes shocked when at the age of 32 she discovers she is pregnant by Victor ― again.
Forward Times had the distinct pleasure of discussing the TV One Scripted Comedy Series, Here We Go Again with Houstonian powerhouse, LeToya Luckett:
Chelsea Lenora White: It’s safe to say that Here We Go Again is not your first rodeo, as far as acting is concerned. Not only are you a GRAMMY Award winning platinum-selling artist, you are a full-fledged working actress. Do you feel that you’ve always had that calling?
LeToya Luckett: With Preacher’s Kid being my first movie, I caught the bug after that. I had done school plays as a kid but I’ve always dreamed of being a musician and an entertainer. After I did Preacher’s Kid, I thought, “Wait a minute; I love this!” So I started putting the work in, taking classes; I got an acting coach. I started going on more and more auditions and getting more work, and now, I’m full-fledged into this thing!
CLW: The storyline behind “Here We Go Again” is fresh and hilarious, yet relatable for so many. How does it feel being a part of this show, which happens to be airing on TV One, THE network dedicated to Black viewers?
LL: I thought that it was important to do because [teen pregnancy] does happen to people of all backgrounds. People get pregnant very early on, there’s a “What to do?” moment, everyone’s in a panic, and then life goes on. Then, what you thought was a mistake in your life, turns out to be a true blessing.
So, yes, this is a heavy subject; but we found a way to put a comedic spin on it. Of course, Wendy Raquel is playing my mom on the show and she’s hilarious. In the show, we are trying to break that cycle. My mom had me at 16; I had my daughter, Shante at 16. Then when my daughter turns 16, I become this overbearing, protective, crazy parent who is going out of her mind to make sure that her daughter doesn’t take the road that she did, because you always want better for your child. You want your child to be able to have the opportunities that you didn’t have, and [Maddy] feels like she probably gave up a bit of her childhood or those golden years in raising her child. Although that’s not something she would take back at all, she wants Shante to be able to experience things that she didn’t get a chance to experience in her twenties.
CLW: How did you get on board with Here We Go Again? Were you approached about the role specifically or did you audition and happen to be the perfect fit in the role of Maddy?
LL: I was approached with it. They had me read the script. I’d worked with Swirl Films before and they said that they’d wrote it with me in mind. At first I thought that the topic was something new and fresh, and although I hadn’t experienced it myself, I know people who did.
As a matter of fact, I was at one of my really close friend’s house last night, who is like family to me, and I’ve always loved the mother-daughter relationship between her and her child. She actually had her daughter around the same age that Maddy had Shante; and while I’m sure she was in a panic when she first got the news, their relationship is so amazing to see now. They talk and they’re not too far off of the wavelength to really communicate with one another; and my friend actually told me that she was listening to the storyline of Here We Go Again and thought “That’s my life!”
CLW: Wow! Visual representation is so important.
CLW: Do you see any similarities between your character Maddy, and yourself?
LL: I do. Maddy is about her business. She’s an attorney who has her own practice and she tries to balance that with being a mother while also having a personal life. So I understand her struggle in trying to maintain a successful career AND a personal life. The funny thing is she’s kind of quirky and clumsy regarding her personal life and so great at business.
CLW: Kyndall Ferguson, who plays your daughter in Here We Go Again is also a native Houstonian, right?
LL: Yes she is and so is Andra Fuller who plays my baby’s daddy.
CLW: So Houston has a strong presence in this show! Did you all know one another prior to filming Here We Go Again?
LL: What’s crazy is, I’ve known Andra since I was at least nineteen or twenty. I have pictures of him in my house at my brother’s graduation from [James] Madison High School. So he’s been in the family for a while!
CLW: There has been quite the buzz that you are gearing up for a third album release this year, which is very exciting! You constantly re-invent your sound, yet you remain true to what makes your sound original and unique. What can we expect, sonically, from this new project?
LL: You can expect something different. I’ve been in the process of recording this album for about five or six years. Of course, I’ve been through different situations and changes and I feel like I’m a totally different woman than I was five years ago. So I’m singing about that stuff. All of my stuff is personal. It’s from the heart, relatable issues. I tried some different things vocally and I made sure that when I chose the beats that they felt different. It will seem familiar, because it is me, but I wanted to try new things. I wanted to live on the edge with this one. But then there are some songs that you’ll hear and think, “Okay, that would have been on Lady Love (LeToya’s sophomore album)”. So there’s some classic LeToya on there as well.
A sneak peek of Here We Go Again will air after TV One’s live telecast of the 47th NAACP Image Awards on Friday, Feb. 5 at 11 p.m. ET/ 10 p.m. CT. Here We Go Again will premiere Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT on TV One.