Actress Tina Lifford plays the vibrant, protective family matriarch, Aunt Violet aka “Aunt Vi”, on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) series, Queen Sugar.
Queen Sugar Star Tina Lifford
I had a very candid conversation with Tina Lifford. What started out as a basic Q & A quickly turned into a conversation. We talked about many things such as health, her Inner Fitness Project, Queen Sugar and more. Ms. Lifford is very self aware and it was interesting to talk to her. I simply adore her character, Aunt Vi, and I am a big fan of the show.
She is proud of the fact that she has been able to experience longevity in the film industry. After all, she has been a Hollywood actress for 20+ years. As a Black woman this is not always an easy task with Hollywood standards being what they are. When I asked Ms Lifford how these standards affect her she said, “It’s not easy…I just keep doing me.” She further explained how the brain automatically looks for known routes to keep us safe, even if that safety is bad for us. Understanding this reminds her to push past her habits and imposed conditioning.
Your job is to constantly aim for the best in you. ~Tina Lifford
Her focus is not on how the world perceives her. Instead she asks the Universe: “How do I leave this planet fully alive?” She believes that everyone should ask their own question. In order to find the right question for you, you must focus on who you want to become.
You look phenomenal. What do you do to stay fit and healthy?
I am always aware of what I put into my body. I eat chicken and fish mostly (no pork for the most part – I can’t give up 4th of July ribs). I hate the gym. I love to walk and hike. I walk or hike 4 times per week. I know the importance of physical fitness. I believe that inner fitness is just as important as physical fitness. I make sure I have regula r inner fitness practice as well.
What are some of your hobbies?
Hiking, walking, going to the movies, being with my family, long conversations and vacations
In what ways are you similar to Aunt Vi and what ways are you different?
Well, Tina can’t cook! Our styles are different. Tina would never wear her hair the way Aunt Vi does or dress in the same style. Tina and Aunt Vi are both ride or die for family. Aunt Vi teaches Tina Lifford how to love a man. Tina teaches Vi how to love humanity and be less judgemental.
The character of Aunt Vi was created by Ava Duvernay and I am honored to be a part of their vision. ~Tina Lifford
“Queen Sugar” is a story about a somewhat estranged family coming together. Both Oprah and Ava recognized that it is important to show Black families working through things with their eyes on the future.
Off camera Ms. Lifford is a well-being expert. She created The Inner Fitness Project as a resource to help women thrive by freeing themselves of their deepest fears and other reactionary behavior. She also wrote a book called The Little Book of Big Lies which teaches people how to navigate challenges caused by hurts from the past.
I am happy to see her representing mature Black women with such elegance and class and I look forward to seeing what she will be involved with in the future.
To learn more about Ms. Lifford’s initiative to help you achieve Inner Fitness go to TinaLifford.com
Of course you can also watch her as Aunt Vi on OWN’s Queen Sugar. The 2nd season premiere is scheduled to air in June on OWN. Check your local listings for times.