INTERVIEW: Novi Brown on Tyler Perry’s BET Series ‘SISTAS,’ Her Role, Representation in the Entertainment Industry, and Her Work With Saving Our Daughters
Novi Brown became an actress to change the narrative around POC; now, she stars as Sabrina Hollins in Tyler perry’s hit BET series SISTAS.
The series is written, directed, and executive produced by Tyler Perry and is currently its second season, airing Wednesdays on BET. SISTAS follows a group of single Black women as they deal with balancing the complex journey of finding their Mr. Right, succeeding at their careers, and friendships on top of all the ups-and-downs of life in Atlanta.
She can recently be seen in Thembi Banks’ short film Baldwin Beauty, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Brown also serves as the Creative Director of the charity ‘Saving Our Daughters,’ which is an organization that works with girls from multicultural backgrounds through theater, film, culinary, and literacy to help them overcome the many obstacles they face growing up.
Read our exclusive interview with Novi Brown below to find out more about the character of ‘Sabrina,’ the second season of SISTAS, what she looks for in new projects, isolation, and one highlight of her career so far.
GLITTER: What motivated you to start acting?
NOVI: I began acting because I saw how powerful emotions are & how they impact our state of mind. Art is our language, as humans, and to be an artist is a complex pathway, with many landmines because you are responsible for sending energy into the world for people to feast on. It’s so powerful that the narrative around POC has been so distorted that it affects our daily lives. I had to take action and change the narrative.
GLITTER: Describe your role as Sabrina Hollins in one phrase?
NOVI: Pisces Moon, Cancer Sun, Capricorn Rising.
GLITTER: Do you share any qualities with your character?
NOVI: We are both very heartfelt and inquisitive. We always want to make sure you’re good!
GLITTER: What drew you to SISTAS?
NOVI: I grew up watching many white-centered shows. These were the people I was getting knowledge from. SISTAS is a source of knowledge for my community. I am honored to be a teacher. Everyone deserves to be seen. That’s why we are alive.
GLITTER: The series just returned for its second season in October. What can fans expect from this new season?
NOVI: DRAMA! LOL. Many internal transformations as well. Sabrina will be even more confused this season, so ENJOY IT!
GLITTER: What do you look for in new projects?
NOVI: Real stories that show real people. I also love a physical challenge, so I definitely want to do action films. And way more simplistic stories about the Black experience. We are over the struggle narrative at the hands of oppression. It’s time for US to speak on our own lives.
GLITTER: Is there a specific genre that you enjoy doing more than others?
NOVI: I enjoy them all and will definitely try most things once. I like to face my fears head-on. I’ve auditioned for many things purely because I was uncomfortable. I want to use all the artist tools I have.
GLITTER: How important is it, in your opinion, to have good representation in media?
NOVI: Beyond important. My people are losing lives at the cost of delusional lies spun by the media. It’s time to correct it.
GLITTER: What do you think the industry needs to improve on when it comes to representation?
NOVI: Education, open-mindedness, resources, and a good humbling.
GLITTER: You spent 12 years traveling between Germany and the United States; what did you enjoy most about traveling?
NOVI: Travel opens up your mind to other perspectives and makes life richer. It also makes you not settle.
GLITTER: Do you have any places you want to travel to in the future?
NOVI: AFRICA! I need to find my roots.
GLITTER: What’s your new normal? What has daily life and work been like for you during isolation?
NOVI: Honestly, not much has changed for me where I am in my life right now. I have been taking a lot of alone time to focus on what I want and need out of my life. I am grateful, more than anything, that the veil has been lifted. When I’m not acting, I’m doing astrology!
GLITTER: What started your passion for photography?
NOVI: Not having the funds to get headshots for all my changing hairstyles. I realized I had to learn skills if I wanted to be in the business. I had to learn to pivot. Additionally, I learned to dive deeper into the technology and business side of the industry. It has helped me immensely.
GLITTER: What is it like for you to see your work published by outlets?
NOVI: Exciting! I love seeing my work in the world. I’m honored!
GLITTER: Do you have any other passions or maybe hidden talents?
NOVI: Many, you’ll have to wait and see.
GLITTER: You were recently in Thembi Banks’ short film Baldwin Beauty, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and made IndieWire’s “10 Must-See Short Films in Park City” list. What did you enjoy most about that experience?
NOVI: Making new friends! And seeing a Black Woman in control.
GLITTER: What attracted you to the script?
NOVI: Seeing a Black female director.
GLITTER: You currently serve as the Creative Director of the charity Saving Our Daughters, what can you tell us about the organization?
NOVI: It’s an organization that helps young children from cities tap into their artistry. Kids just want to create and enjoy their time as young people. I teach the kids theatre techniques, and we do improve with our Mentors. It’s great to see peace on their face.
GLITTER: Who has supported you the most on your acting journey?
NOVI: My mom!!! She always knew.
GLITTER: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
NOVI: Progression, not perfection.
GLITTER: One highlight of your career so far?
NOVI: Working with TYLER PERRY? LOL, I just am amazed at my life.
GLITTER: Do you have any comfort shows or movies you never get sick of watching?
NOVI: Living Single, SVU, Sex & The City & Martin!
GLITTER: Is there any franchise you’d like to join in the future?
NOVI: MARVEL, BABY!!
GLITTER: Glitter has a celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign. What does self-love mean to you?
NOVI: Self-love is discipline and boundaries. Self-love is transparency over honesty. Self-love is massages and a fly outfit. Self-care is showing up for yourself!
GLITTER: Do you have any new projects you can talk about?
NOVI: I can’t talk about it! But watch me!