Denise Boutte is returning to our screens in her latest, lead role as Tasha Jackson in BET’s new movie, Her Only Choice, airing October 6 at 9pm. The movie focuses on Tasha’s tough battle with Breast Cancer and her pregnancy. The movie also stars Timon Kyle Durrett who plays her on-screen husband.
We sat down with Denise and got the inside scoop on the movie Her Only Choice and discussed all things off-screen as she told us of her dreams to expand her ever-growing cooking and culinary empire.
You have a TV movie, Her Only Choice, coming out on October 6. Can you tell us a bit about that?
I don’t mean to come off cheesy, but Her Only Choice left me with no other choice. Life had inevitably prepared me for this role, so when presented with it, my only answer was yes. As emotionally taxing as it was, I tapped into past experience and at times, had to hold back. The purpose of this film is to inspire hope, to advocate, and educate. While playing the vulnerable notes, I was very conscious of showing this character’s strength and courage. Tasha Jackson’s got too much to live for and is not going down without a fight!
Her Only Choice is about facing a tough battle. How was it working on such an emotional movie?
Portraying Tasha Jackson was by far, the most emotionally taxing yet gratifying character portrayal I’ve had to date. That said, I’d wake up each morning, reminding myself that this project was ‘bigger than me’ and was a tribute to the brave women who have fought and won, battled but were overcome, and those who are currently fighting, advocating, educating, and will inevitably cure breast cancer.
Do you still get nervous when starting something new? How do you adapt to the different roles you take on?
I see nerves as a sign of excitement and adrenaline! When, and if I ever lose that, it’ll be an indication that my passion for the craft, has been lost. Past experiences with my Mom, a proud, blessed survivor, fed my portrayal and helped me discover how fearless I truly was in depicting such a complicated character.
It’s funny…when the public associates you with other beloved, more glamorous characters, unfamiliar with grittier, embattled portrayals, it’s hard to convince them of your range and ability. While I’ve been professing my preparedness for some time now, I must remind myself that I’m on HIS time, not mine.
One of your latest ventures is a cookbook, Southern Modified. Where did the inspiration for this come from?
It wasn’t until I moved to Dallas, Texas that I began to re-create family favorites, to ease being homesick. By the time I moved to L.A., I’d developed mad skills in the kitchen, which were taken to yet another level, once I joined club mommy. Cooking became more than just a passion. It was a way for me to reconnect and realign with pre-baby Denise. It was an outlet, an alternate haven for expressing my creativity.
The idea for Southern Modified: Southern inspired dishes, modified for today’s healthier lifestyle, was birthed from a conversation I had with Mississippi born Chef Jernard Wells. We discussed how we’d both adopted healthier eating habits as adults, for ourselves and our families. Eating healthy, does not have to mean sacrificing taste!
In Southern Modified, you’ll find everything from Gumbo to Tortilla Soup; Smothered Okra to my personal secret weapon, Camera-Ready Cabbage Cleanse. I eat this soup, and this soup alone, the week before I start every shoot!
Can you tell us a bit about the journey of creating your own seasoning line?
For me, diversification is key and thanks to my passion for all things food, I’m in the thick of creating a culinary empire. When I couldn’t find the perfect natural yet flavorful, off-the-shelf blend I desired, I created my own! Nearly a decade ago, I grabbed an empty container and got to mixing the perfect blend for my family and palate. After dozens of years and mixing countless batches of this all-natural blend, in my kitchen for self and family/friends that desired bottles of their own, I figured it was time to think bigger.
Should we expect any more cooking-related projects?
Absolutely! Long before Southern Modified, was even conceived of, I’d been compiling recipes, with the intention of writing a cookbook for over 10 years. That said, I’ve already put pen to paper, on my next cookbook. I already have a title, but I can’t share just yet. I’m looking forward to the Holidays, as this special time with family will also serve as the perfect backdrop, for unveiling the Original, Spicy, and Cinnamon/Sugar blends. Weeziana Girl is just getting started!
Following the movie release, what will be next in your acting career?
Only God knows and I can’t wait to see what blessings he has in store! That said, I continue to work…plant seeds, train, and prepare for the harvest. So, stay tuned!
Finally, here at BELLA magazine our saying is Beauty Defined by You. What would you say beauty means to you?
Beauty… Beauty is Diversity, Perseverance in discovering Your Truth, and Conviction to stay the course…YOUR Course!
We loved chatting to Denise about her new role and what we can expect from her next!
Southern Modified is currently available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and on Denise’s own website www.WeezianaGirl.com, where you can also buy her Seasonings. Follow Denise on Instagram to see what exciting projects she gets up to in the future @denise_boutte.
Photo Credits to – Matthew Brandon