Pretty & Passionate! Edwina Findley Dishes on Life, Success, & “If Loving You Is Wrong!”

The streets of Hollywood are often paved with stars, but seldom does anyone mention that they are also mean! The glitz, the glamour, and the lights that come with the entertainment industry all too often mask the blood, sweat, and tears many actors painstakingly pay to make their dreams come true. All of their stories are interesting, but few are charming. Here is your chance to get to know of one Hollywood’s most charming and talented actresses, Edwina Findley! You may think you know her as “Kelly” from Tyler Perry’s new hit show, “If Loving You Is Wrong,” but honestly you would be selling yourself short. This lovely lady is a master of her craft, has an impressive body of work, and is well on her way to becoming America’s latest household name!

© Benjo Arwas Photography 2014 // @BENJOARWAS // http://www.benjoarwas.com

For many people acting is something they fell into. For Edwina this definitely is not the case. She always knew she wanted to act. In her youth, she appeared in many plays, went to a theater based high school, and finally studied at the Duke Ellington School of The Arts at New York University. “My education was very important in helping me hone my craft and skills…I think it shows in my work and it is good to have that foundation and training if this is really what you want to do…it’s a great investment…” Sentiments similar to her previous statement, have stirred some controversy in the entertainment industry between trained actors and other celebrities (reality television stars, rappers, etc.) who want to act. For the former, it has cost many of them jobs and opportunities.

© Benjo Arwas Photography 2014 // @BENJOARWAS // http://www.benjoarwas.com

However, for Edwina, this has not been the case, nor has it deterred her career in the least. In fact, she welcomes anyone who can act and deliver quality work; whether they were formally trained or not. “It really doesn’t bother me any…I can see why it would bother some trained actors, but I think if they can do the job—and well—then they should be given the opportunity…” She goes on further to explain why this influx of celebrities is happening; “You have to realize that entertainment has two different aspects to it—an artistic side and an industry side. The artistic side sees acting for what it truly is –an art form– the industry, however, is about numbers…doing what is best to get those viewers, money, and revenue…So when these other celebrities have a huge following then you know it’s a business move to give them an opportunity…”

Tyler Perry and the cast of "If Loving You Is Wrong"
Tyler Perry and the cast of “If Loving You Is Wrong”

Edwina loves acting and thanks to her late mother, Rose’s, encouragement and inspiration; and her own hard work, she has an amazing body of work to her credits. As you might recall, she was “Tosha Mitchell” on HBO’s “The Wire” and “Rosie” in “The Middle of Nowhere.” However, she has made dozens of television cameos on everything from soap operas to crime dramas. Needless to say, the girl is versatile with her work! As aforementioned, she currently appears on OWN in Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong,” as “Kelly.”  Edwina acquired the role by auditioning in front of Tyler Perry himself. He recognized her from her previous work, hinting he was a fan. Before she could finish she was dismissed and assumed she did not get the role. Later that day, she received a phone call offering her the role with Tyler telling her she had it the moment she walked in. “…it shows you really just have to walk in faith! I feel honored to be able to come into people’s home weekly and portray a character so many women can relate to…”

Edwina Findley (r) as "Kelly," Denzel Wells (l) as "Travis"
Edwina Findley (r) as “Kelly,” Denzel Wells (l) as “Travis”

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Kelly is a fan favorite on the show due to her unwavering morality, independence, and intensely emotional scenes. On the show, she falls in love with Travis (Denzel Wells) a younger man with a domineering mother. Kelly purchases a home, believing he will soon propose to her only to have him blow her off and announce he is marrying another woman—that his mother approves of! If that sounds like a lot, that is because it is. Herein is the magic of Edwina’s talents as she breathes life into Kelly, while simultaneously putting fire onto Travis’s shenanigans. She finds Kelly’s strength and determination to be similar to her own, but reveals she is never that naïve. “…I really like playing Kelly, but there are just signs and clues she completely overlooked…I would have just been over it and moved on with my life…a lot of women are like that though unfortunately…” Kelly was a key player in last night’s first season finale, where she inadvertently revealed the torrid affair between two of her married neighbors! “If Loving You Is Wrong” will return in March 2015, but Edwina reveals they have not been renewed for a second full season yet. The show’s premiere was the highest rated in the history of OWN, thus we are sure they will be picked back up!

20140830160401!Kelly

Labeling Edwina Findley as a “rising star” is an understatement. She has always been a woman on the move; and now she has truly arrived. Besides her current work with Tyler Perry, next year, you can expect to see her co-starring alongside Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell in “Get Hard.” The film has already generated some major buzz and is sure to be a success with these two comedy giants attached to it! It is indeed hard to find a celebrity who is talented and down to earth. Entertainment is her job and not her entire identity. Interestingly, she is a rare mix of pretty and talented, which can mix to be quite the love potion—perhaps that’s why she is married. Yep, sorry guys she if unsurprisingly off the market! Edwina is truly a woman in “Kontrol” of her destiny and we are happy to watch her rise. To stay up on Edwina you can follow her on Twitter/Instagram @EdwinaFindley and check out her website www.edwinafindley.com. Catch her Tuesday nights this upcoming Spring on “If Loving You Is Wrong!”

© Benjo Arwas Photography 2014 // @BENJOARWAS // http://www.benjoarwas.com

Hey Mikey!

WHO AM I? That’s probably what you’re thinking? It’s simple I’m this generation’s “Dear Abby!” I was raised in the Fourth Ward of Atlanta, educated in the School of Hard Knocks, and rescued by the concrete and steel of New York City. Life at best will always be bittersweet. The sooner you accept that, the better off you’ll be. I’d prefer to be on your sweeter side. Everyone needs a listening ear, extra shoulder, and open arms when life gets rough. I’m your new best friend, whe it all goes south remember I’m a mouse click or tweet away. Hang in there kids, you’re gonna love kickin’ it with me!!! -MIKEY

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