Last summer, Vh1’s scripted series Single Ladies, about friends dating in Atlanta, became a big hit for the network, which quickly greenlit a second season. But star Stacey Dash (Clueless) shocked fans when she announced in August that she wouldn’t be returning for another year of the show in order to spend more time with her children in LA. Enter actress Denise Vasi, from USA’s White Collar and ABC’s All My Children, who has stepped in to complete the titular trio. Vasi will begin shooting the second season of Ladies this January and will take on the new role of Raquel, a pal of returning castmember LisaRaye McCoy’s Keisha. EW talked to Vasi about being the newest Single lady.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this come together?
DENISE VASI: Obviously the show was a huge success and I had the conversation with my manager. “Let’s keep an eye out if anything comes up even guest-star wise for the show.” A casting sheet went out and I went in and read the first time and I was lucky enough to come back again and read a second time. Then I read in New York and I read one more time in LA. We had a few work sessions and then I screen-tested.
It sounds kind of intense?
It was but it was fun. When you see a network take so much time and they’re really specific, you know that they care about het show and it makes you wanna get the job even more because you know they appreciate who their audience is and what they’re looking for.
Did you get a chance to read with the other actresses?
I got the great opportunity to screentest with LisaRaye which was really fun.
So your character Raquel is a friend of Keisha’s right?
Yes. A long time friend of Keisha’s.
So how will Raquel be introduced?
Raquel is going to come back and stir the pot in a different way and bring some exciting new energy. We don’t wanna say too much.
Is she kind of a villain?
No no she’s not at all but the way she’s discovering herself will be different than what we’ve seen before.
You actually look a little bit like Stacey Dash. Has anyone told you that?
Thank you. Yes. We have similar features so that’s a great compliment, yeah.
Are you gonna have to relocate to Atlanta?
I am for the shooting time which is January to May. I’ve really excited to explore a new city. I hear there’s great food and good shopping.
This seems like the biggest role yet of your career. Is that exciting?
Yeah it’s the big next step which is very exciting.
Are you single lady in real life?
Well I’m not a married lady [laughs]. Trust me I’ve done a lot of dating. I’ve got a lot of stories. I definitely have a lot to pull from.
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