Nicole Ari Parker has an enviable life. Not only is she married to gorgeous fellow actor Boris Kodjoe – who we all saw fall in love with her on the hit series “Soul Food” – but she has two beautiful children with him and her own career.
The Baltimore-born beauty is heading to Atlanta to appear at a special free screening of “Remember The Titans” at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a supporter of the Atlanta Football Classic, which takes place this weekend. Parker appeared in the 2000 movie, which explored the struggles of the first black coach of a high school football team in Virginia.
Parker has several projects coming up – she’s hosting the Bronze Lens film festival in Atlanta in November – but she’s most excited about her Broadway debut. Next spring, she, Blair Underwood and Wood Harris of “The Wire” will star in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the latest adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play. She says it’s her dream role.
In the midst of her busy life, Parker took time to talk while driving to acting class on an L.A. freeway. Here’s what she had to say.
BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM: Nicole, how do you do it all? Husband, kids, career? Is it time management? Is it planning? Is it rolling with the punches?
NICOLE ARI PARKER: I used to try and roll with the punches, but that’s just fantasy land. I had to make a schedule and make a lot of lists, and I don’t like to overwhelm the day or myself, so I ask, What can I really do today? I get the most important three things done and the medium important three things done, and, lo and behold, it’s time to get something like … a manicure. Something always gets sacrificed. My nails are a little raggedy right now, but such is life. My daughter’s homework project is done.
Are there specific techniques you use to keep everything straight?
I have an iPhone, an iPad and a laptop, but I’m still a paper and pencil kind of girl. I write everything down. I will literally write down the three most important emails I have to answer. A large part of it, though, is that if you want a bigger life, you have to become a bigger person. If I want to be in shape, look good, be a good mother, be a good wife, be a good businesswoman, then I might have to wake up at 5 in the morning. I can’t wake up at 7:30 anymore and hurry up and make pancakes and get the kids off to school. I’ve got to get up at 5 a.m. because that’s when my gym opens. I’ve got to know exactly what I’m going to do at the gym that day. I’ve got to come home, take a shower, wake the kids up, get them off to school and coordinate with Boris.
Having a supportive partner really helps. I have a daughter with special needs, and he’ll do the 11 a.m. catherization (Their daughter, Sophie, has spina bifida, a birth defect that requires her to use a catheter) at the school, and then I might be able to pick up my dry cleaning. And I do have help that I can delegate responsibility to.
Do you have a chance for “me” time at all?
I don’t have Nicole time until 9 at night. But I have to remember I’m not one person, so my Nicole time becomes Nicole and Boris time. We both have to watch TV together. If I’m upstairs watching “Law and Order,” and he’s downstairs watching “Entourage,” …..
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