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Loni Love Dishes On ‘The Real,’ The New Documentary About Her Life, Ellen DeGeneres, Garry Marshall And More! [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Get to know comedian, actress and “The Real” co-host Loni Love in this exclusive HNGN interview!
By Cheryl A. Hoahing c.hoahing@hngn.com | Sep 25, 2015

It’s been a little more than 10 years since comedian Loni Love first came on the scene, but she’s finally getting the fame she deserves thanks to a daily gig co-hosting “The Real” — and with a new game show on deck, as well as a key role in an upcoming major motion picture, it won’t be too long before she becomes a household name.

Love, 44, grew up in Detroit’s tough Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects with her single mother. In high school, while working on an assembly line at General Motors, she discovered an interest in electrical engineering and decided to study the subject in college after smartly earning a scholarship to Prairie View A&M University in Texas. While working on her bachelor’s degree, Love began dabbling in comedy. After graduation, she moved to California where she could work full-time as an engineer (at companies like Xerox) and part-time as a stand-up comedian. She became a finalist on the revived “Star Search” in 2003, and quit her engineering job soon after that to devote all of her energy to being a comic. Appearances on television shows like “Chelsea Lately” and “Comics Unleashed,” and in movies like “Soul Plane” and the “Bad Ass” franchise, led to bigger and better projects.

In the summer of 2013, Love scored a co-hosting spot on new talk show “The Real,” which began with a four-week trial run before entering its first official season in September 2014. The one-hour chat fest features a diverse panel of women — Love, Tamar Braxton, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jeannie Mai and Adrienne Bailon — discussing hot topics, doling out fashion, beauty and relationship advice and interviewing celebrity guests. Airing during the day on Fox TV stations and in national syndication, and nightly on BET, “The Real” is a more lighthearted, fun and hip alternative to rival shows “The View” and “The Talk.”

Love also co-hosts the radio show “Café Mocha,” wrote the 2013 tome “Love Him or Leave Him, But Don’t Get Stuck with the Tab: Hilarious Advice for Real Women,” continues to act and still enjoys touring the country to perform her stand-up routine for audiences (click HERE for dates). Phew!

With so much going on in her life — and the premiere of a new Centric documentary about her life, “Being Loni Love,” — Headlines & Global News decided it was time to catch up with the funny lady and discuss the second season of “The Real,” her upcoming game show and so much more!

The documentary “Being Loni Love” premieres Sept. 26, at 10 p.m., on Centric. What made you want to open up for the cameras?
I wanted to give inspiration to women. There are not a lot of stories out there like mine. You can come from virtually nothing and work your way and make your dreams come true. “Being Loni Love” is just going to reveal a little bit of my story. I just wanted to do it to actually inspire women and encourage them, no matter what they’re going though, to still try to reach for their goals.

Love also co-hosts the radio show “Café Mocha,” wrote the 2013 tome “Love Him or Leave Him, But Don’t Get Stuck with the Tab: Hilarious Advice for Real Women,” continues to act and still enjoys touring the country to perform her stand-up routine for audiences (click HERE for dates). Phew!

With so much going on in her life — and the premiere of a new Centric documentary about her life, “Being Loni Love,” — Headlines & Global News decided it was time to catch up with the funny lady and discuss the second season of “The Real,” her upcoming game show and so much more!

The documentary “Being Loni Love” premieres Sept. 26, at 10 p.m., on Centric. What made you want to open up for the cameras?
I wanted to give inspiration to women. There are not a lot of stories out there like mine. You can come from virtually nothing and work your way and make your dreams come true. “Being Loni Love” is just going to reveal a little bit of my story. I just wanted to do it to actually inspire women and encourage them, no matter what they’re going though, to still try to reach for their goals.

Were there any topics off limits?
No. I’m basically an open book. I’ve been that way for a while, especially because I’m on a talk show. I think people get me now. I think this country has been dealing with the cookie cutter-type thing when it comes to females. I think it’s a new day for us — for all types of females, whether you want to be married, single, a mother…. It’s just a new day, and we’re embracing it. There are a lot of things people don’t know about me. It’s even more opening up that they’ll get in this documentary.

Congratulations on Season 2 of “The Real.” Are you doing anything new or different this season?
Thank you! This season, we’re a lot more topical and more timely. We’re still having fun with our show, still have the hip-ness, but we’re also doing a lot more human interest and celebrity interviews than what we did in the past. We were able to get the exclusive from Bobby Brown — we were the first show to get an interview with him since the passing of his daughter. The “Girl Chats” now are moderated by one of the hosts. She gets to talk about what she wants to talk about, and it gives you a different feel every day.

Can you tell us about any upcoming guests?
We’re going to be doing previews from “Empire” and a bunch of people from the show will be on “The Real.” We’ve already had Yazz the Greatest, Grace Gealey and Kaitlin Doubleday. Because Tamar is doing “Dancing with the Stars,” we’ll have different people filling in for her for some of the shows she can’t make. We like to have guest hosts because that gives a different spin on things. It’s just exciting to have this type of show because a lot of the daytime talk shows are not catered to the urban audience. We feel it’s important to have a show like ours because it allows a showcase not only for mainstream people, but also the urban acts that you normally don’t see on daytime television — we try to be open about that.

Do you find that mainstream celebrities don’t want to visit “The Real”?
No. The thing is, because our show was [in its] first season, there was some hesitation because you don’t know what the show is going to be like or if it’s going to be successful. For example, I was at Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards and ran into Sanaa Latham and talked to her about the show. I said, “I would love for you to come on.” She said, “I’m going to call my publicist right now.” And she came on the show for our premiere week. I tend to just go out and ask people myself [to come on the show]. I have a lot of friendships because I’ve been doing television for so long, and a lot of people come on and trust that they’ll have a good time and be represented well. That’s what happened with Bobby Brown — he trusts us. It was a great interview. He needed the release. He needed to talk about it. This is the beginning for him. I’m glad I have a show like this that [celebrities] can come to if they need to.

Did you get to see your fellow co-hosts during the summer break?
Yes, we did. Tamara had her baby — I was there for that. Tamar performed at the BET Awards — I saw her for that. Adrienne was in Paris, and I talked to her every Saturday. Jeannie and I met up usually twice a week. We all are really friends and, I think, that’s what you actually see in the show. We’re all different women, we all have different careers, different goals, but we have just a natural chemistry. Support for each other and still being able to do our own separate things is the magic of the show.

Fans can actually picture you gals hanging out together unlike the ladies on some of the other talk shows.
I don’t think necessarily that you have to do that to have a good show, but for us it works. It’s just what we like to do. We’re becoming this group of more than friends now. It’s more family, and that’s because we wanted it to happen. But I don’t think it has to happen for everyone on every show.

In January, you’ll begin hosting the new Ellen DeGeneres-produced game show “Heads Up!” for HLN.
It’s based off of her app, which has been downloaded over 16 million times. They’re not a lot of female game show hosts, so I’m excited to actually work with Ellen and her team and help develop the game show. We’re giving away prizes to contestants, and I have celebrities working with the contestants. We had people like Lance Bass, Mel B, Keke Palmer, reality show stars, a lot of people from “Scandal”… a nice little variety of people, young and old. To be able to develop a show virtually from scratch, to see it to the end, was just something I was happy to experience. I believe the public will really like it. It’s really a fun, funny and entertaining game show.

How did you connect with DeGeneres?
I’m a frequent guest DJ on her show. When I have time, when I’m not on “The Real,” she still lets me come on her show, which is really great because it’s a different demo. She supports me and what I do. She just wants to help me, and I really appreciate that. When she came to me with this opportunity, I jumped on it. It came out to be really, really fun. It’s another side of me that people haven’t seen. It was nice to see the celebrities in a different light, which is interesting.

Tell me about your role in the 2016 movie “Mother’s Day.”
It was just a great experience! It’s based on four separate stories starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Julia Roberts and Kate Hudson. I am in the story with Jason and Jennifer. I play Kimberly, a mother, that helps Jason get over the loss of his wife. It was directed by Garry Marshall, and you could have never told me in a million years that I’d be directed by the man whose shows I loved growing up. He directed “Pretty Woman!” It was just a dream come true to actually be able to work with him and to have him say I was funny. It was just an amazing time. And, here again, it’s just another side of me that people will see. I call my fans Love Bugs, and they are just so great to me. I just want to be able to entertain them in as many ways as possible. It’s a really heartfelt and heartwarming movie that I think people will enjoy.

Lastly, what’s going on with your love life?
Like I state on the show, I am a satisfied single. I date, and I believe in multi-dating for single women that are not monogamous. I don’t want to get married or have children, so this is what I do.