Arizona Health & Living Magazine 11 Year Anniversary Issue August 2020

Page 52



By Jenna-Lee Neff

Melissa L. Williams Chasing dreams and inspiring change

Melissa L. Williams is breaking into stardom and being described as “Tyler Perry’s new muse” after landing dual roles for his shows “The Oval” and “Ruthless.” But how did she get there, and what sets Williams apart from the crowd? The oldest of six, she grew up in Oklahoma City where she would put on her own talent shows for family gatherings. A natural performer at an early age, she sought out local theatre before moving to Atlanta to study the art at Clark University. Even after she graduated, Williams stuck with her dreams and passions by continuing to take opportunities to improve her technical and acting skills. Williams auditioned for roles on “The Oval” and “Sistas,” where she impressed everyone enough to land the role of Denise first and was asked to play Ruth shortly after. What was really unique about the experience was what happened next. “I got another call from Tyler Perry and he asked me what I thought about Ruth and Denise being twins,” Williams shares, “I think the roles ended up choosing me; I don’t think that’s ever happened to anybody the way it happened to me.” Once the wheels were set in motion, Williams had to officially audition for the role of Ruth before they moved forward. After that, she just had to find her place in both roles. “They are both alike in that they have a passion and drive about them, but they are driven to two totally different subjects,” she says before explaining that Denise’s drive is about wealth, fame and status while Ruth’s drive is living a better life for her and her daughter. Williams shares that, for her, the most exciting part of the experience was playing Ruth, and how the song “Bring All the Children To Me” resonated with audiences.


August 2020 |

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.