Veteran actress Stickney shows off her love for Jamaica

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Veteran actress Stickney shows off her love for Jamaica

BY MARK CUMMINGS
EDITOR-AT-LARGE
cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 26, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Many Jamaicans may have seen her acting in a number of movies, including How Stella Got her Groove Back — filmed on the island — read her three books, or have been entertained by her onstage performances.

Now, Jamaicans could soon be able to participate in a talk show hosted by the talented US-based actress, comedienne and writer, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, which is being considered for taping at the picturesque Dream Castle Villa in Ironshore, here.

Stickney, who rang in the new year at Margaritaville Montego Bay, told the Jamaica Observer in an exclusive interview that the planned talk show will feature candid discussions in 30-minute segments.

“The guests will be professional and aspiring artistes and entrepreneurs, representing intergenerational ideas, varied demographics; intercultural guests; and conversations about things we don't normally discuss, but should…,” she said.

She pointed out that guests will be drawn from Jamaica and overseas, adding that discussions are ongoing with executives of the US-based cable television, TV One, to air the shows.

“Jamaica is my favourite place on Earth. I have a love affair with Jamaica, and I am so grateful that Gwendolyn invited me to visit,” said Stickney, referring to Jamerican Gwen James, the owner of Dream Castle Villa, where she vacationed during her recent eight-day visit to the island. “I realised it had been much too long since my last visit, and I am looking forward to my return and a longer stay, with visits to more of the treasures that the island has to offer.”

No stranger to Jamaica, Stickney said she has visited the island 25 consecutive years, and has even performed at a few shows here.

The actress, who has over 30 years of experience in entertainment, disclosed, however, that she has never stayed at a resort during her many visits, as she wants to explore the countryside and “be among the ordinary people”.

She said she plans to return to the island within another few months and is also planning on attending this year's staging of Reggae Sumfest, scheduled for July 12-18 in Montego Bay, and is looking at reading poetry at a few venues in the resort city.

During her recent stay, Stickney, who is also a fashion designer and is soon to launch her clothing line, The Empress, visited a number of the island's historical treasures, including the famed Good Hope Great House in Trelawny, Columbus Park in St Ann, and the historic Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square, St James.

A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Stickney emerged in the 1980s with her role in the iconic Cosby Show spinoff series, A Different World, and is best known for her dramatic supporting roles in noteworthy films How Stella Got Her Groove Back, What's Love got to Do With It, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, and Die Hard With a Vengeance.

Her television appearances include Law and Order, New York Undercover and The Woman of Brewster Place.

Stickney's contribution to the arts and community landed the attention of many, as she was recognised in Essence magazine's 25th anniversary issue as one of the “200 African American women who has changed the world.”

He current projects, include a film scheduled to be shot on location in Egypt and Canada titled Protector of The Gods, a conscious comedy tour, and writing and performing a one-woman show about the survival skills and antics required “to make it in Hollywood”.

She told the Sunday Observer that Jamaica possesses a wealth of talent in all aspects of life, noting that the Caribbean island's rich culture, beauty and hospitality lured her to the island in the 1980s.

“I always hear about Jamaica and how people say they had a good time there, so I came to remind myself always where I came from, to keep my foundation and roots. I come for the sea, the sun and the culture, and the wonderful hospitality… just to keep my foundation and roots,” she stated.

She added that Black River in St Elizabeth was also a peace- loving and special place.

“I am just in love with Jamaica; it's one of the best places on the Planet. Its natural beauty, the waterfalls, caves, the lush vegetation, beautiful flora, all the food and vegetables... I can drink a jelly, pick ackee off the trees... it's just tremendous,” said Stickney.

Meanwhile, Stickney has lauded the staff at Dream Castle Villa for their hospitality during her recent visit to the island.

“It was my first visit there. For four years my lawyer has been telling me about the villa. It was a good experience — the food was good, staff friendly and nice, the security is excellent. And its private — nobody knows that you are there,” she said, stressing that “I will be back soon.”


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