There are not many women lucky enough to say that they truly have it all. Many sacrifice family for career and vice versa. Some never even get the chance to have one or the other. But that’s not the case with Holly Robinson Peete. As an actress, Holly made a name for herself in shows like “21 Jump Street,” “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” and “For Your Love.” And even as an accomplished actress, Peete sought more.
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First came love, then came marriage and Holly fearlessly pushed multiple baby carriages, rounding out her family with four beautiful children with the love of her life, former NFL baller, Rodney Peete. Holly had no clue that one of her children, Rodney Jr., would give her life more purpose than she ever though possible. His Autism, coupled with Holly’s father’s Parkinson’s Disease motivated her to found HollyRod–a foundation providing care to those affected with Parkinson’s and Autism.
Through her philanthropy, keen sense of awareness as a mother and wife, impressive business savvy and her ability to juggle it all while being effortlessly sexy is enough for a round of applause. Holly Robinson Peete is the consummate candidate for Best All Around in the superlatives of Black Hollywood.
In the midst of promoting Homegating (bringing the tailgating experience inside the home in a lavish way)with her hubby, Holly chatted with #TeamBeautiful about being authentic to land your husband, why she still hangs with “Mr. Cooper” and walked down memory lane with us.
HelloBeautiful: Where do you feel your extreme love of giving back comes from?
Holly Robinson Peete: It really comes from things that happened in my life that I thought at the moment were tragic, but I needed to flip the switch a bit and turn it around. It really came from things that happened to me that I wanted to create something positive out of it.
HB: You’ve started a foundation, Holly Rod…
HRP: We’re doing a bunch of different programs. We have an initiative to build a full-service Autism center. We have a Parkinson’s disease center in the University of Southern California and we have a Gift of Voice program and that program helps children who are non-verbal communicate through iPads and other tablets. It can be difficult because I am so hands on. But sometimes I have to back off. I get my hands dirty everyday. I go meet the families; I connect with them. I don’t think you can be a good philanthropist unless you get your hands really dirty and deal face to face with the people that you serve.
HB: What do you feel is the most rewarding experience of your life?
HRP: That’s gotta be my family. I mean, that’s a cliché, but it’s so true. The joy they bring me, the freedom they give me to be who I am and the comfort I feel when I am with them–the love.
HB:You truly seem to have it all…
HRP: There’s no such thing as having it all. There’s always something you’re gonna want more or something you wish was better in your life. But the reality is, the more you can appreciate what you have and focus on what you do have, instead of what you don’t have, that really is what brings you happiness in the end. It’s often unbalanced and most days I’m a real hot mommy mess. But the reality is, you appreciate those days that are really good, and when you have a bad day, you pick up and you get another shot.
HB: What advice would you give a woman who’s turning 30?
HRP: 30 is gonna be the decade when you start not worrying about being right all the time. Thirty is gonna be the decade that you start appreciating who you are and you become a lot smarter.
HB: You’re working on NFL apparel for women…
HRP: I mean that’s part of Homegating, wearing the apparel. The shirt that I’m wearing is a great line. Homegating is everything from pillows to lamps and décor. You’ve got so many great things that can put on an awesome Homegating party.
HB: What tips would you give a woman who’s trying to get a man and his focus is sports?
HRP: I would say that you gotta be authentic. You can’t go in there faking the funk like you really know what’s going on. So you learn a couple basics about football and you don’t have to be an obnoxious, crazy football mom like me. You can know the basics–what’s the first down, a little bit about each team. It’s easy to find out with Google these days. The reality is that you wanna be authentic. You can’t get a man by being inauthentic, because eventually he’s gonna figure that out.
HB: Is that how you got your husband?
HRP: Yes. I knew football, but after I met him, then I really figured it out., because I got into the playbook and I understood.
HB: What would you say is the sweetest part of your marriage?
HRP: The mutual support, the partnership and the fact that he allows me to be who I am and be free. I don’t feel suffocated by him.
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HB: What is your favorite show that you’ve been a part of?
HRP: I have to say, “21 Jump Street” because it was my first and it was a show that put me on the map. But as far as a show that I wish I could still be doing, it would be a show called “For Your Love–” which a lot of people didn’t see. It was an amazing show about love, couples and relationships. It got almost 90 episodes and they’re not sold anywhere.
HB: You came up in the business in a time when there were lots of sitcoms. And nowadays it’s more about reality shows. How do you feel about that switch?
HRP: I don’t mind reality shows. I understand the economics of them. They’re cheap to produce. They also don’t produce re-runs. They don’t do re-reuns. But I get it, and I watch them. I’m not too in love with the ones that show black women ripping each other’s hair and flipping tables. But I get that people like the drama, and they’re here to stay.
HB: Are we gonna see you on any?
HRP: I’ve been approached many times to do a family reality show. And I’ve thought about it. You never know. You never say never.
HB: “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” was one of my favorite shows! How’s Mark Curry?
HRP: I see him everyday because our kids are in the same class at school. So I hang with Mr. Cooper every single day at 8am sharp. So to still have him in my life, because he one of my favorite people that I’ve worked with. To till have Mark in my life every single day is such a blessing. I don’t know if the people at school go, ‘Mark! Vanessa!’ I don’t think they even get that, but it’s just such a natural connection to be with him everyday. I love it.
HB: Do you have a favorite Mr. Cooper moment?
HRP: Yes, it was the lottery show called, “Down In The Dumps.” We thought we won the lottery, Mark and I and I gave something away and we lost the ticket and it was crazy. We had to go to the city dump. It’s still my favorite episode.
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