July 3, 2020
The actor has pushed the envelope for portrayals of black women and been up close with the president and Harvey Weinstein. “You come at me crazy, it’s gonna be on like popcorn,” she warns
It is 8am and Vivica A Fox, the star of two Independence Day films, two seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, both parts of Kill Bill and, latterly, two Sharknado movies, has been awake for hours. She sprang out of bed at 4am, pottered around and “did a little social media post” about her podcast, Hustling with Vivica A Fox. It’s a spin-off from Every Day I’m Hustling, her memoir-cum-self-help manual which contains health tips (“Hydrate, girl!”), social media advice (“Use hashtags to join big conversations”) and underwear secrets (“I’m a G-string type of gal”). Once the podcast was online this morning, she explains, “I said to myself: ‘Let’s get some coffee on. It’s showtime!’”
First on the agenda is the droll new thriller Arkansas, in which she plays the mysterious “Her”, who works as go-between in a drugs ring and is first seen in curlers, toe separators and a jazzy kaftan; Liam Hemsworth, Vince Vaughn and John Malkovich struggle in vain not to be outshone. Down the line from her villa in the San Fernando Valley, where she has a spectacular living room view of the Santa Susana mountains, Fox talks through the various traits of Her: the character’s serenity (“That came from my mother, who’s religious”); her cool control (“I brought in a presidential thing there”); her no-nonsense efficiency (“A lil’ bit of my gangsta style”). But we are done with Arkansas in under five minutes, which is roughly the combined length of her scenes in the film.