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Persia stars as "Lynn" on UPN's comedy series "Girlfriends." Persia White was raised in both Nassau, Bahamas and Miami and received her first scholarship at the age of three to the Nassau Civic Ballet Company. She joined Miami's Coconut Grove Children's Theater at age eight and instantly became hooked on performing. As a teenager, White studied various forms of dance, singing and painting. She was voted Most Talented Senior in high school and awarded two theater scholarships to college. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time, White quickly amassed a list of credits. She appeared in the feature films "Red Letters," "Frankie D," "My Perfect Date," "Blood Dolls," "Stalled" and "The Making Of." Her television work includes guest starring roles in "Angel," "NYPD Blue," "Brooklyn South," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Burning Zone," "Malcolm & Eddie," "The Client" and "Clueless." She also starred in the made-for-TV movie "Operation Sandman," opposite Ron Perlman, and "Suddenly," starring Kirstie Alley. This year, White made history with her cast mates when they co-hosted the "2004 NAACP Image Awards," which marked the first year any woman has hosted the program. In addition to acting, White is a singer/musician/songwriter and vegan. She has collaborated musically with the likes of Dominique Miller, the guitarist for Sting, in addition to other musicians, including members of Pink Floyd and The Go Gos. She also wrote and recorded music for three of the films she starred in, including "My Perfect Date," "Blood Dolls" and "Stalled." Currently, she performs with her band, XEO3, and is working on her first album, which she describes as "aggressive, dark, moody, heavy rock."
More fun stuff about Persia White
# Studied various forms of dancing, singing, and painting as a teenager.
# Was voted "Most Talented Senior" in high school.
# Was awarded two theater scholarships to college.
# Moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time.
# In addition to acting, Persia White is a singer, musician, and songwriter.
# Currently performs with her band, XEO3, and is working on her 1st album.
# Plays Lynn on UPN's hit comedy, "Girlfriends".
# Her father is a Bahamian.
Girlfriends Star Persia White Exposes Bloody Truth Behind Fur in Graphic New PETA Ad
In a stunning bid to show consumers that behind every fur coat, collar, or cuff was a living animal who was trapped, drowned, or beaten to death in the wild or gassed, strangled, or electrocuted on a fur farm, actor Persia White holds the bloody body of a skinned fox in a graphic new ad for PETA titled, “Here’s the Rest of Your Fur Coat.”
Says Persia, “This image is shocking, but it brings home the harsh reality that is kept out of deceptive fur ads and fashion spreads: Before animals are skinned and made into fur coats or trim, they suffer incredible—and needless—cruelty.”
This fall, the ad will appear on posters all over New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Persia is the costar of the top-rated UPN sitcom Girlfriends and has been an ethical vegetarian for more than 10 years. She joins the ranks of Pamela Anderson, Kim Basinger, and P!nk as the newest star to appear in the high-profile series of anti-fur advertisements for PETA.
Persia White Persia White—Anti-Fur PSA
On the Los Angeles set of our photo shoot, PETA sat down with Persia and asked her a few questions about animals—why she doesn’t wear them or eat them.
PETA: This is such a graphic ad, and you’re holding a dead animal. Why do you feel so strongly about this [campaign] that you’d hold a skinned fox to show people the reality behind fur?
Persia White: It’s funny because I feel a little sick and shaky because of holding this animal. And I think the thing that made me become a vegetarian and become involved with animal activism in the first place is when I was a little kid, I saw my dog get run over, and a part of his fur got lifted up, and you could see the flesh of his leg, and it looked very similar to the animal that I am holding. I loved my pet, my animal. And … I realized it looked just like what I had had for dinner probably about two hours before that …, and the reality of the fact that all animals are the same and that it’s just a brutal truth that we sort of cover up. Most people never see real animals dying nowadays, in modern society. People … wear and eat [animals] and contribute to such violence … every day … and the fact is, I think they should be shown. I mean it is violent. It is graphic. I mean, there’s no problem looking at some freshly picked vegetables. You wouldn’t get sick, you know? Anything that has to be hidden and covered up …, I think there’s something really dark going on there that should be exposed.
PETA: What do you have to say to people who wear fur?
PW: Well, I would say that anybody who wears fur isn’t really thinking about what they’re doing. Or they should just really take a look at the … consequences of their actions because most people aren’t really thinking about what is happening to reach that point for a little piece of fabric or garment that somebody, or really several animals, really suffered.
PETA: You’re on a top-rated TV show and have millions of fans … who follow [what you do]. … What would you say to your fans when they see this ad and ask, “Hey, Persia, why’d you do that?”
PW: I think that the best thing that anybody can do in entertainment is to use the fact that people actually care about our lives and our choices to put it in a positive direction … I’m trying to make a statement or just show a facet of what’s really happening—to show something that’s really occurring, and you get to make your own choice. But you know, as an entertainer, my whole goal is that I hope fans can be influenced … and take a look at what I’m thinking about or jump on a boat of a good cause. That would make me ecstatic, you know? That’s probably why I do it because I know that you can have an influence on people that you don’t know.
PETA: Who are your heroes or your mentors?
PW: Each person that decides not to eat meat or not to wear fur or takes that step, just humble, regular people are, I think, my heroes because I think it’s hard in this modern world. … Just regular, common people that make that choice when they’re buying something to go, “Oh, you know, that’s not …,” … or, “Well, you know, I’m not going to eat that because that’s …” … I know a lot of people come up to me and go, “I’m trying to be vegetarian,” or, “I’m trying it.” … So I think those people that are willing to confront are my heroes.
Television's newest sensation.... Persia White
Persia White has amassed an impressive list of feature film credits in a relatively short period of time. She had a starring role in the independent film "Red Letters," opposite Peter Coyote, and appeared in "Blooddolls," "The Making," "Frankie D.," "The Perfect Date" and "Mix." White will also be seen in the upcoming independent film "Stalled," which she recently completed.
White's extensive television experience includes a starring role on the syndicated teen series, "Breaker High." She has guest-starred on episodes of "NYPD Blue," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Parent 'Hood," "Malcolm & Eddie," "Weird Science," "Dick Clark's Beyond Belief," "Goode Behavior" and "Malibu Shores." White also starred in the made-for-television films "An Urban Legend" with Kirstie Alley, "Operation Sandman" opposite Ron Perlman, and "Mindfield" for UPN.
White is currently working on her first album with her band CALL BOX, which she describes as "Aggressive ... dark ... heavy rock with an angst-ridden groove." She also wrote and recorded music for three films in which she starred: "My Perfect Date," "Blood Dolls," and "Stalled."
White's family moved around a lot when she was a child. Nonetheless, she always found herself involved in local theater, beginning with the Nassau Civic Ballet Company at age three. At eight, she was performing with Miami's Coconut Grove Children's Theater, and as a teen was performing in the Utah Shakespearean festival, studying dance, singing, and painting. She was voted "most talented senior" in high school, and was subsequently awarded two theater scholarships to attend college.
I recently sat down with Persia on my eYada.com talk show.
Q: How often are you told that you have a very exotic look?
Persia White: (Laughs) You're too nice!
Q: You look like you could be anything but Irish.
I'm half Irish!
Yeah. I'm half Irish and half black. On the black side we're all mixed up.
Q: It's a great look.
Q: You're currently starring on the hit UPN television series "Girlfriends." Interestingly enough, Kelsey Grammer is the executive producer. Have you met him?
Yeah. I was just talking to him the other day.
Q: What do you think of Grammer?
He's nice! Actually, he's kind of cute. He's nothing like what you think. He's nothing like his character on "Frasier". It if wasn't for cool white people I'm sure that there would be no black shows at all. I'm just glad that he was open minded enough to have a show about black women.
Q: You remind me of Lisa Bonnet.
Really? That's a compliment.
Q: Do people tell you that all the time?
They used to. But now they sort of stopped. A lot of younger kids don't even know who she is. Want to hear something weird? I even got told on the phone that I sounded like her! How weird is that! People who didn't even know what I looked like told me I sounded like her on the phone!
Q: Are you sure you're not Lisa Bonnet?
(Laughs) I'm sure!
Q: I like your tattooes. They're different.
Want to see my back?
Q: Sure. (Persia pulls up the back of her shirt) Wow, you have a black line going down your spine!
(Laughs) Want to touch it? It's actually a cross.
Q: Do the tattooes ever get in the way of getting work?
I only got this a year and a half ago. I just waited until I was sure I would be a freak forever. Now I don't mind branding myself. It's who I am.
Q: Do you really consider yourself a freak?
I am who I am. I don't fit in and I know that. So I don't mind labeling myself that way because I don't really want a normal role.
Q: Do you find that your too white for black roles and not black enough for black roles?
Yeah, I'm in the "what the hell are you?" category. I'm just the edgy freaky girl. Which is fine with me. It's a good thing. You can't imagine the work it is for me when I try to be normal. I used to wear make-up a couple of shades darker or a couple of shades lighter, trying to go one way or the other.
Q: Have you ever played a white girl?
Um... I played a you don't know what she is girl.
Q: Do you take acting lessons or does acting just come naturally to you?
As a kid I did. When I was little I was very brown because I was on the beach everyday and I also had very blonde hair because I was in the sun. So kids didn't know what to make of me. So I changed all the time to adapt. Plus we moved a lot. I went to 10 different high schools. So I got to watch people and see how they react to different situations. I was always the new kid in school but for someone reason people were always nice to me.
Q: Did you ever model?
For a little bit. It was for a hot quick second. It didn't work for me man! I just never felt like I fit in. I couldn't handle not being able to talk and get what I wanted by being intelligent rather then just being pretty. I just didn't have the confidence.
Q: You really don't have confidence?
No. Not like that.
Q: You know you could have any guy you want.
That's not true.
Q: Yes it is.
No it's not.
Q: You're not being honest with me.
Yes I am.
Q: You could have any guy you want. Admit it.
That's not true. I just don't think that's true.
Q: What kind of guys do you date?
(Laughs) It's not good.
Q: What do you mean?
People who attract freaks are usually weirder then I am. I'm on the border of sane and not sane. I don't look like the person that would generally like me. I'm thinking someone who is very intelligent but most people think I'm some wild girl who's into drugs. By the way did anyone ever tell you that you have black features?
Q: No, can't say anyone has.
You could totally be mulatto. I detect some black in you. Our kids would be very cute.
Q: Not to change the subject but "Girlfriends" is doing amazing in the ratings. Are you surprised!
It really is doing great? I'm so excited!
Q: Not many shows make it today.
I know, it's like a dream come true!
Q: So now that your dream has come true are your days as a struggling actor over? In other words do you make a lot of money now?
(Laughs) Yeah, I make a good amount of money. I'm not like Jim Carey or anything. But considering how broke I was before I booked the show I'm doing pretty good. I was so broke that I couldn't even get gas for my car to get to the audition. I had to borrow 10 dollars from my brother! In Hollywood you can make a lot of money and then make nothing. It's really weird.
Q: Acting is such a tough way to make a living.
You're right, but I've been very lucky so far. I haven't had to get a regular job yet. I've been lucky. I've done commercials and whatever jobs I could get. I've worked my butt off. I just said "Man, I'm going to do it!"
Q: What do you do for fun or is it all work?
I don't party. I don't do drugs! I hardly even drink. I'm usually just practicing with my band. I have a home recording studio so I've been working hard at that.
Q: Why does every actor in Hollywood also have a band these days?
I did music before I came to Hollywood actually. But you're right there are a lot of people in Hollywood who also have bands. But not many of them are musicians.
Q: Has Playboy ever made you an offer?
Hello! You're looking at 32 A breasts here! Not having a large chest and Playboy don't go together! That's just my opinion. Everyone in Hollywood is getting boob jobs! I'll never do it though.
Q: In your opinion, why do women get boob jobs?
Because it makes them feel more confident.
Q: Confidence is something I don't think you lack.
Oh, thank you, you're so sweet!
Q: Thanks for being so much fun to talk to!
Thank you to! This really was a lot of fun.