Annie Ilonzeh, one-third of ABC’s new “Charlie’s Angels” trio, is a stunning biracial beauty who now has the distinction of being the very first African-American “Angel.” Not bad for a girl from Grapevine, Texas, whose strict Nigerian father gave her an ultimatum: to make it as an actress in Hollywood in one year, or come back home.
Here, Ilonzeh shares her intense audition process, working with Hollywood powerhouse Drew Barrymore, and why she proudly waves her “curly girl” flag high.
Let’s talk about the hair. When you landed the role of Kate Prince, was there ever a discussion in how you would wear your hair?
Yeah, we did talk about it like, “So, what can we do with this kind of hair?” Women are embracing their natural hair, which is great, but we don’t always do that as African-American women. Sometimes we’ll perm it or put some tracks in it, which is awesome because we like play and explore. I wear my hair natural, but I have a few pieces I’ll use when I go undercover on the show. But the producers want me to wear my hair natural, to be true to Annie, instead of washing me into a different person, of what society thinks is more appealing.