Jenifer Lewis is a whole lotta woman. She’s a powerhouse actress, a groundbreaking performer of stage and screen, and a legend who has worked with the best in the business. And I can tell you from personal experience, she gives AMAZING quotes in interviews. I learned that from personal experience when I interviewed her a while back. Click here to read my interview with Jenifer Lewis!



She was pulling no punches then, and in this video that’s been floating around the blogosphere lately, she’s still the same fierce voice of experience and force of nature that she’s always been.

During the press interviews for her latest film, Baggage Claim, Jenifer was asked what advice she would give to aspiring actors who want to get into the business. And she laid every card on the table in a way that only she could. Sit back, strap yourself in, and absorb all of this knowledge. Be forewarned, there’s a smattering of strong language.


Here are the top takeaways.

1. “You have to love what you do with your entire molecular structure. Find your passion. You have to be in it to win it.”

2. “The elevator to success is broken. Take the stairs.” Work hard for your success and it will last.

3. “You can have anything you want. Anything you want, you can have.”

4. “Don’t let life drive you crazy. You drive that ************. It’s yours.”

5. “Look in the mirror and love what you see, or stand there until you love it. If the tears come, let them come. But stand there.”

6. “Don’t think it’s gonna come overnight, it’s NOT. Your job is to do the work. Who am I? Cause if you don’t know who you are in the back of that limousine, it doesn’t matter”.

7. “I’m done, y’all gotta pay me.”


Jenifer Lewis Baggage Claim

Photo credit.

I love a woman who knows her value, knows the power of her voice, and knows what needs to be said. Jenifer is ALL THAT AND THEN SOME, OK? She came to a press conference, preached a word, dropped the mic and walked off stage. It gets no realer.

Can someone give Jenifer Lewis a show? I want to see her in all her wit and wisdom on OWN. Can this happen?


Baggage Claim will be in theaters September 27. You can like Jenifer on Facebook — there she’s Jenifer Lewis For Real — and you can follow her on Twitter @JeniferLewis.

For Jenifer’s words on her natural hair, favorite beauty products and more – click to read my interview with her!


Luvvie says:
September 23, 2013, 5:05 pm
Tafari says:
September 23, 2013, 5:21 pm
Ive always loved Jennifer Lewis and now I love her down to the white me for starting off with "Let me be honest with y'all. You laugh if you bang, but Im a talented mutha fucka! And I know." That was the best shit ever!
bella says:
September 23, 2013, 10:30 pm
she is always 100% herself and I LOVE that!
bella says:
September 23, 2013, 10:53 pm
Aunty Jenifer preached a word!
Christina says:
September 24, 2013, 11:06 am
LOVEEEEEE HER!!! She preached!
Chai says:
September 24, 2013, 12:25 pm
I've watched this several times since hitting play yesterday & I love this woman more each time i do!
Jessica says:
October 3, 2013, 9:53 am
Jessica says:
October 3, 2013, 9:54 am
She kept it totally 100% and THAT'S what missing and what a lot of people don't get.
ntasha says:
October 6, 2013, 8:11 am
I love her spirit very outspoken and outrageous on and off camera
LadyShawann says:
October 11, 2013, 7:52 pm
Mama just fed my Soul!
April says:
October 15, 2013, 11:04 pm
Thank you for sharing this! Loved it.
J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive says:
October 20, 2013, 1:54 pm
I literally LOVE that woman. Not only because we share the same name, but she's beyond talented. I love how bold she is. She's sassy without being stereotypical. And if you've never watched "Jackie's Back" find it and rent it now. It's hilarious. I also remember quite vividly an interview she did on Oprah about suffering from mental illness. We don't see women of color admitting to that often. She needs to be acknowledged more than media chooses to.
Tanya Mitchell says:
October 27, 2013, 6:11 pm
I have to agree with all of you. That Jennifer is something else and I just saw her for the one hundredth time yesterday in Poetic Justice! If I'm ever sad and I need some comforting and deep belly laughs, I pop in a DVD of one of her movies and I forget how sad I was!! That's power!! You go Ms Jennifer Sista Girl! Blessings Namaste
inkomation says:
November 3, 2013, 9:02 am
Absolutely loves her and I love the truth!
Robin says:
January 2, 2014, 7:56 pm
i love everything about Jenifer...she has always been as you see her onscreen...she's my babysister
Sonia Rosales says:
April 27, 2020, 1:34 am
sharing this article to the WoC Theatre age on facebook! <3