If you love film and television, then you know legendary actress Vivica A. Fox. From Born on the Fourth of July and Kill Bill Vol. 1 to Fox’s Empire, Ms. Fox has had a long-lasting career that has stretched across decades. This Friday June 24th, she will be reprising her role as Jasmine Hiller from the 1996 blockbuster hit Independence Day in its sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. Recently, Ms. Fox chatted with Hollywood.com about returning to her role 20 years later, the Twizzlers Jet and some insider secrets for a long-lasting career. Check out the full interview below!
Hi Ms. Fox, I’m so excited to be speaking with you today. You’ve been such an amazing talent and a veteran in acting for almost three decades now.
Vivica A. Fox: Aww thank you! I appreciate all of that love.
Independence Day was the highest grossing film of 1996, and twenty years later you’ve decided to return to that story. I know that you’ve done other sequels and trilogies like Kill Bill and Two Can Play That Game, but what made you want to return to this science fiction disaster film?
VF: Gosh, I mean when I got the call, I absolutely jumped at the opportunity because the fans have been requesting the sequel for the last fifteen years. We’ve also been hearing about it happening on and off for the past five years. So, when I finally got that call that said, “Yes, this is gonna happen,” I was thrilled. I felt like it was twenty years ago, and I was that same young girl who got the call for the biggest blockbuster that totally changed my life. It made me a household name. It was that same feeling, I thought, “Yes! We’re back, I need this! I need a popcorn movie.”
Fantastic! So let’s talk about your character Jasmine. One thing that I’ve always loved about the character was the fact that she was so well-developed. She was an exotic dancer, but she made no apologies for it. She’s also a mother and she’s extremely fearsome. How has Jasmine grown into herself over the past twenty years, and how did your approach to the character change this time around?
VF: I was so glad to discover that twenty years later, they really allowed my character to evolve. Hats off to Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, for letting all of the characters evolve. Dean Devlin was the writer and co-creator of Independence Day. All of the characters have grown, and you believe that this is happening twenty years later in their lives. My character is no longer working the pole honey! No, no, no! She’s not collecting any more dollars! I didn’t have to dust off that red g-string. (Laughing) She’s now a hospital administrator, and she’s mentoring her son who is played by Jesse T. Usher. He’s stepped into the shoes of Steven Hillard who was played by Will Smith in the original film.
Let’s talk about technology since it has changed significantly since 1996. Obviously, this means that Resurgence is going to be a bigger and brighter film. Also this time around, you got the opportunity to partner with Twizzlers on the Twizzlers Jet. Can you talk a bit more about the Twizzlers Jets design?
VF: Oh wow! In connection with our partnership with Twizzlers, I am going to be unveiling the hybrid fighter pilot jet. It weighs 372.5 pounds, it’s 7 feet tall and it’s all made of Twizzlers. But, I will tell everybody, “Don’t take a bite out of it.” It’s a wonderful marriage, because when you think of movies, you think popcorn, Twizzlers and of course Independence Day: Resurgence. I’ve loved Twizzlers since I was a kid, so when they asked me if I wanted to do the unveiling I was like, “Absolutely!”
That’s wonderful! Well, let’s talk about your new castmate, Jessie T. Usher. He’s taking on the role of your Jasmine’s son Dylan in the film. What was it like working with him? It’s really striking how similar he looks to Will Smith.
VF: Well I will tell you, there was one day when I had to do a double-take when he walked by. For a second it was like, “Oh my Gosh!” From the back, with the head and the ears, his entire physically was just like Will’s. I had to say to myself, “No, that’s Jesse. He’s playing your son.” So the casting was just perfect for that, and we got Will’s blessing. Recently, Jesse and Will met at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner; we were all there. He was just like “Do your thing!” Will just wanted to do Suicide Squad because he’s been doing sequel after sequel, so he just wanted to do something new for himself, but we carried on.
VF: Yes, and Jessie did a great job! I so believe that he has next. He has a great presence and great smile, and a wonderful work ethic. I told him, I said, “Get ready kid, twenty-years ago this movie changed Will’s life and my life, it’s going to change yours as well, so get ready.” He’s like, “I’m ready! I’m ready Viv!”
(Laughing) That’s perfect. You’re truly a veteran in the game, and you’ve continually worked and have been a part of such profound projects. What’s your secret? How have you managed all of that with such grace, while always being authentically yourself?
VF: Well I have a wonderful team that have been really loyal, and who have worked to keep me real. And also, I am really close to my family. I’ve seen so many people come and go in this industry, that I’ve just watched and said, “No, that is not going to happen to me.” So you kind of watch and look and learn, and I’ve always been a hard worker. I’ve got a wonderful work ethic and, like I said, my team, from my business manager to my executive assistant, to my publicist to my hair and makeup, they are people that I have worked with for years. We’ve all evolved and we love doing this journey together and, we’re honest with each other.
We’re all so excited about Resurgence hitting theaters on Friday, but what is next for you? I’ve heard that you have a show that will premiering on Lifetime in the fall called Vivica’s Black Magic.
VF: Yes, honey! That’s for the girls so ya’ll are going to be really happy to talk about that. (Laughing) It’s where I take eight male exotic dancers, I call them my elite eight, on a wonderful journey to getting a residency in Las Vegas. It was actually really challenging at times because dealing with eight guys, I had to make them check their egos when they thought they knew more than I knew some days. I had to say, “Wait wait! Hold up boo, listen to mama, listen to me, I got ya.” That was in itself a trip, and a lot of them were used to being stars in their own right. So, for them to work in a group atmosphere was difficult at times. But, we made it through and we’re going to be coming out this fall. I can’t wait to share it with the girls, I really can’t wait to share it with the fans.
Well I’m exited to see it because I loved Chocolate City. (Giggling) This will be really great.
VF: Well you know the reason it came about was because the director of Chocolate City, Jean-Claude La Marre and I were brainstorming, and I told him, “This is a gift that can keep on giving, we could do a tour, we could do a reality show.” He said,”Ok! Would you like to do it with me?” And I said, “Sho nuff!” So we started brainstorming, and took a couple of pitch meetings and Lifetime took it immediately. They were like, “Excellent, yes!”
That’s wonderful, I really thrilled for you Ms. Fox. Thanks so much for speaking with me.
VF: Thank you! And make sure you go see Independence Day: Resurgence it drops June 24!
Want more details on the Twizzler Jet?! Keep reading below.
How long did it take to make the Twizzlers Fighter Jet?
It took roughly six months of planning, and six weeks of around the clock production – sculpting, snacking and building.
How big is the Twizzlers Fighter Jet?
Approximately 7’ tall and 6’ from nose to tail.
How many Twizzlers did it take to make the Twizzlers Fighter Jet?
168 bags 16oz Strawberry twists
24 bags 6oz Liquorish Nibs
24 bags 6oz Cherry Nibs
18 bags 12.4 oz Cherry Pull-n-Peel
24 bags 16oz Liquorish Twists
24 bags 124oz Rainbow Twists
For a total of 282 bags weighing 362.5 lbs
What’s inside the Twizzlers Fight Jet?
American know-how, combined with alien technology, in the form of modeling foam.