Photograph by Neiko Roman
Got a minute? Vivica A. Fox opens up about her inner badass and hosting The Cougar (Wednesdays at 10 P.M. on TV Land), a Bachelor-esque dating series in which twentysomething men compete for the love of a 40-year-old woman.
Q: Last year you hosted VH1's Glam God, which was canceled after one season. What made you return to reality TV so quickly?
A: Unfortunately, they put us out against two 800-pound gorillas: the Democratic National Convention and the Olympics. But it was a good show. Less than two weeks later, I got this call. I was glad they were going to give the grown-and-sexy ladies a chance in the dating pool. I've dated younger guys in the past, and I was married to a younger man—so I've had a little cougar action. COU-gah!
Q: You don't mind being labeled a cougar?
A: It used to be a negative stereotype, but women in their forties are looking good and taking care of themselves. I'm not saying to just date younger guys. Date someone who's nice to you, and if you happen to meet someone who's younger, feel free.
Q: What advice do you have for the men who date these more experienced ladies?
A: Know that she's independent. She's got her own life, and she's not looking for you to take care of her. And she's not just looking for a great body. She wants someone who can make her laugh—someone she can have a great time with, and not just physically, though it does help.
Q: What surprised you most on the show?
A: Some guys can't hold their liquor. And there were a lot more tears than I expected. The best part, I can say, is that our cougar did find love.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I'm doing another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which comes out in August. The Blacks are back! I also did a sci-fi thriller called Junkyard Dog, which is waiting to get distribution. I play an FBI agent who's on the hunt for a serial killer. I got to use guns and dogs again. I was glad I still have that tough girl in me.
Q: Speaking of your tough side, your catfight with Jonelle Allen on the eighties soap opera Generations recently surfaced on YouTube and made its way around the blogs. What was it like to see that after 20 years?
A: It was hilarious. And I remember that I had a lot of bruises—fighting in an evening gown was very difficult. But she was a cougar trying to steal my man! I'm gonna fight for my man. Ryan Wenzel
The trailer for The Cougar