Interviews

Conversation with Cherrie Garden, Jamaican actress in the movie “White Folks”

Cherrie Garden Resident Alien
Written by Brittany Murphy

While growing up in the beautiful island of Jamaica, Cherrie Garden aspired to be a doctor for all of her teenage years… but secretly she’d always had a hidden desire to replace Carson Daly as the next host on MTV’s TRL (Total Request Live)!

Her career began by modeling formal wear at the Annual Wedding Extravaganza held at the Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston every year since she was 14. After graduating Immaculate Conception High School in Jamaica she was accepted into Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she studied Biology and English as majors, Spanish minor on a Pre-Med track. Cherrie G. soon began to feel the call of the stage again and she decided to pursue her dreams of modeling, hosting and acting more fervently to make them a reality. She’s been on a roll since then!

She recently had South Floridians in tears with laughter starring in the hit Caribbean Comedy Stageplay “Resident Alien,” which will be opening in Atlanta for the official launch of Caribbean Heritage Month in June. Within the past few months Cherrie has emceed such prestigious events as The Indianapolis 500, The NCAA Final Four Championships FanZone, The Taste of Chicago, The Delta Airlines Block Party and many more. She currently is on a year long national tour as emcee & manager of events for SouthWest Airlines all while hosting the Atlanta television show “Caribbean Focus TV” on Comcast/Xfinity ch.295 and AT&T U-verse ch.6. She had even been selected to be a semi-finalist in the official Miss Jamaica World PageantTM.‎

Being raised in the elite suburbs of Kingston, Jamaica, her classy upper crust suave combines with her loyalty to her colorful Caribbean culture to create the entire package that is Cherrie Garden. More than just a pretty face, Cherrie G. is an urbane sophisticate endowed with finesse, articulate intelligence and a vividly dynamic personality that adds spice and flair to any affair.

Where in Jamaica are you from?
I’m from Cherry Gardens, Saint Andrew. So yes, my name is a tribute to where I grew up in Sweet Jamaica.

Tell us how you got into acting and performing?
I started dancing at three or four years old. My parents started me off with ballet, tap, and jazz. Then when I was in school I loved public speaking and acting. I loved any school assignment that dealt with acting or making a skit. After I graduated Immaculate Conception High School in Kingston, Jamaica, I did two years at a boarding school in Massachusetts called Berkshire School. While there I performed in two musicals, “My Fair Lady” and “Cabaret” which introduced me to professional stage productions.

You have been in a few Jamaican plays in the USA. Which one was your most enjoyable and why?
“Resident Alien” is my favorite because the character of Angela Browne matches me so closely as an individual, just a bit more boisterous. She’s inadvertently flirtatious, comedic, and has a very dynamic personality! “Resident Alien” was also my first stage play that I’ve starred in which went on tour.

 

Whitefolks

Whitefolks

Tell us about your new film “WhiteFolks”?
Whitefolks is the last name of the con artist who is the lead character in this feature length film, “Whitefolks.” The movie centers on a Chicago-based con artist who inadvertently cons the wrong person, and ends up being hunted by the Russian Mafia!

The film is based on the novel written by the legendary Iceberg Slim, called “Trick Baby.” I play one of the con artist’s victims, businesswoman Fransesca Shields, who he ends up accidentally falling in love with, breaking the rules of the game.

What did you think when you first got the call about the film?
I was super excited! In this case, I was actually referred to the director by a photographer friend of mine while I was doing a photo shoot. Then I did an audition and the director said I was perfect for the character.

When will the film be released?
It is being released Fall/Winter 2016. LIKE the “Whitefolks” Facebook page for updates on the premiere.

What is your personal view on black woman dating outside their race?
I don’t think there is an issue, personally. I’m comfortable with interracial relationships, but as it pertains to the movie, in reality, is Whitefolks even white? There are many misnomers and misconceptions that arise from the title of the movie, which will keep the audience on their toes.

Cherrie Garden Pageant

Cherrie Garden in the Miss Jamaica Pageant

You are an actor, model, radio & TV personality. What do you enjoy the most?
Out of acting, modeling, radio & TV hosting as well as event Emceeing, I enjoy all of them immensely in their own right, but if I had to choose, I love acting the most because it puts me in a truly creative mind state.

Who do you admire as an actor?
Taraji P Henson and Gabrielle Union. These are two strong black women who I feel I can identify with, in terms of looks, demeanor, and talent. I truly admire these ladies and look forward to following in their footsteps of success.

Who is your hero?
When I hear the word “hero” I think of someone who is saving someone else from danger. In that case, God is my hero. I’ve been in many scenarios where it was by the Grace of God that it turned out alright. And when I pray to God about my goals and dreams, He is obviously making some amazing things happen.

But apart from God, my Mom and Dad are my heroes. They gave me the best life they could, and I am extremely grateful for them, their love and their long lasting marriage.

Do you have any other new projects in the works?
Consistently, I am one of the hosts of Caribbean Focus TV, which airs in Atlanta on Comcast Xfinity channel 295 and AT&T U-verse channel 6, or worldwide on CaribbeanFocus.tv. On CFTV we cover various Caribbean and cultural manifestations around Atlanta and surrounding areas.

The hit Caribbean comedy stage play that I star in, “Resident Alien,” will be opening in Atlanta on June 11th, as part of the Caribbean Heritage Month Festivities. Check CaribbeanGeorgia.org for tickets & details.

Also, I recently starred in a new short film called “Ties That Bind,” which will be circulating through film festivals this summer.

My friends would say the strangest thing I do is…
Sleep in the car. As in, I actually like to sleep in my car. Even after a long day, and I pull up in my driveway, I might actually throw my seat back and take a nap in the parked car, instead of actually getting out of the car, walking into the house and sleeping in my bed. My car is like my personal bubble, I just feel so cozy inside it.

If I were not in the entertainment business, I would be…
A doctor, maybe even a psychologist in particular. When I first arrived in Atlanta, Georgia in 2005 it was to attend Oxford College of Emory University for Biology and English double major, Spanish Minor, on a Pre-Med track. Science is a passion of mine.

Thank you for the interview. Do you have any closing thoughts?
Remember, if they are not laughing at your goals, then they are not big enough. Be persistent and stay focused!

About the author

Brittany Murphy