INTERVIEW: Vivica A. Fox Talks ‘Independence Day 2: Resurgence’
By Isha Thorpe
June 24, 2016
On July 2, 1996, Independence Day hit movie theaters and the rest was cinema history. Starring Will Smith, Vivica A. Fox and many other incredible actors, the movie became one of the highest grossing movies to premiere on Independence weekend by making over $50,000,000 domestically in opening weekend and a total of over $800,000,000 worldwide.
Believe it or not, that was 20 years ago. But now, after two decades of fans begging for a sequel to be made, 20th Century Fox decided to bring back the ‘Independence Day’ cast and crew members in a new sequel that is set for a world wide release.
Today, June 24, 2016, Independence Day 2: Resurgence has finally hit theaters. The movie brings back several actors and actresses from the first ‘Independence Day,’ as well as writer/director Roland Emmerich. One of the stars from the original movie, as well as the sequel, Vivica A. Fox—who plays Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller—exclusively spoke with iHeartRadio in an one-on-one interview about part II of this exciting, action-packed franchise. Check out the convo below.
iHeartRadio: Your movie is coming out. Are you excited for it? Are you nervous? What are all of the emotions you’re feeling right now?
Vivica: How about all of above of what you just said. I'm nervous, I'm completely excited, and I mean this has been a film that the fans have literally been requesting the sequel, sequel for the last fifteen years. And then I've been hearing about it on and off happening for the last five years. So the fact that we finally got it done, we got to film it last year in Albuquerque, New Mexico for four months. I mean like, this has just been the most amazing experience. Last week we were in New York and we rang the NASDAQ bell, "Good Morning America" did a solute to the troops. It's awesome. I'm gonna hate for it to somewhat come to an end, but I'm enjoying the ride.
iHeartRadio: Yeah, you seem like you're just super ready to get it out there.
Vivica: And the fact that my storyline was kept alive made me even more happier, you know, because when we found out that Will wasn't coming back, I hate to be the selfish actor to be like, ‘Oh dang, there goes my storyline,’ but I thought it. So when I got that call from Roland saying that, ‘Hey, no, we're gonna continue your storyline with your son. There's gonna be a wonderful, relationship with you and your son, you mentoring him, being the glue that keeps both of you going forward and that your character has evolved and she's a hospital administrator. ‘ I didn't have to dust off my red g-string and get to training, (laugh).
iHeartRadio: She's not working the pole anymore.
Vivica: I'm not working the pole, honey, she's evolved!
iHeartRadio: Did it feel a little weird working on the film without Will?
Vivica: You know, I'm gonna say the only weird thing I had that one time Jessie was walking past me with the fighter pilot outfit on and I had to do a double take because for a second I was like, ‘Oh my God, he looks just like Will.‘ It was like taking me down memory lane from his little ears to the physique. You know? Just the whole presence was just like, (Gasp) ‘Oh my gosh! How wonderful!’ You know? So that was the only time that it was, that I kinda went, ‘Oh wow, that was kinda weird.’ But overall it was just it was a joy to be back with the original cast. It was like quite literally having like a wonderful high school reunion because everyone showed up just glad to be back, no egos, everyone checked their ego at the door, and was happy to be back.
iHeartRadio: Yeah, that sounds amazing. So, since Will isn't in it anymore, does Jasmine have a love life in this movie? Who’s she kissing in this one?
Vivica: (Laugh). Uh, no, damn, no more MTV awards best kiss award for me, huh? No, no, she's just really focused on work and mentoring her son, which I thought was good to see a good, you know, especially for African Americans, a good mother-son relationship. So that made me really, really happy.
iHeartRadio: Yeah, and you said Jasmine's new job is a hospital administrator?
Vivica: So she's there saving lives and, and doing good, and still looking out because you know, in the first film Jasmine was like the, the stripper with a heart of gold, the next door neighbor girl who just so happened to be a stripper who saved a dog and the first lady.
iHeartRadio: It's good to see that her life is evolving, and she didn't remain stagnant, you know?
Vivica: Uh, tell me about it, (laugh). You, I was happy when I read it, I really was.
iHeartRadio: Yeah. And there's also a female president in the movie too, right?
Vivica: Oh, played by the fabulous Sela Ward, holy cow. When you found out that the cast was going to be the original gang, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner who they brought back miraculously from the dead who was, well now we know was in a coma. The scientist that everyone loved, he's back and then we've got the new whippersnappers from Jessie T. Usher, Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Sila Ward playing the first female president of the United States. You know, they were just thinking about everyone, and thinking forward, because in my lifetime I got to see the first African American president. For us to have the first female president is the best thing that could happen. And for them to cast Sila Ward to play the president was just prefect.
iHeartRadio: Yeah, so the female president and then you're like a boss now it seems like women have like a good look in this new movie.
Vivica: Girl power is alive and well! Even in Independence Day Resurgence! Yeah! Yes!
iHeartRadio: So, Jessie Usher is playing your son. How is his character because the last time we saw him he was a boy. How is he now as a man?
Vivica: He ain't a boy no more! We gon' say that! (Laugh). He's like leading squad of fighter pilots and he's stepping into the shoes of Steven Hiller, which was played by Will Smith. And so those are big shoes to fill and they’re times that he kinda has his doubts. But you know, my character's like, ‘No, be all you can be. You can do this.’ And that was like really cool for me to play because Jessie is, I feel like this guy's got it. He has got the best personality; he's a good actor. He's enjoying this challenge. You know, a lot of people are like, ‘Well what's it feel like to be, you know, are you gonna be like the next Will Smith? Are you playing Will Smith's role?’ It's like, no, he's playing Dylan's role, and Dylan as a man. And he did a wonderful job. I was very, very proud of him.
iHeartRadio: Did you give him any advice for this new movie since he's still pretty up and coming and you're a vet?
Vivica: Sure, I said, ‘I hope you're ready’ and he said, ‘Whatchu mean, Vivica?’ He loves to say that, ‘Whatchu talkin' bout, Vivica?’ I said, ‘This is going to change your life kiddo. I hope you're ready. Be prepared that you know, what Independence Day did for Will and I's career twenty years ago is about to happen to you. People love this franchise and I just want you to be ready and have a good time and keep your feet on the ground, but enjoy it.’ And he's like, ‘You got it.’ And so, that was the best advice that I could pass to him was to just enjoy the ride. And I love that when we were filming in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that he was having the best time. When it was time for him to put on his poker and his game face, boom, he did that.
iHeartRadio: I also heard that you are doing your own stunts in this movie, is that true?
Vivica: Yes, it is, I mean come on, after all that training that I received for Kill Bill. There's no way that all of a sudden, you know, Jasmine, okay if I wasn't working the pole I was gonna work something, so ... (laugh). And I didn't even realize that the adrenaline had been pumping so severely that I had totally bruised the right side of my body. Like ouch.
iHeartRadio: So people can't really get enough of these types of action movies. Especially like with sci-fi the audience base is really, you know, committed and focused to it. So do you believe that aliens exist?
Vivica: Oh, absolutely. We ain't enjoying all of this by ourselves! I definitely believe that we have other beings that are sharing this fabulous world. But, if they come to earth they need to know that we ready! So, you know, but there's a reason why there's an Area 51 and all that stuff. Yeah, I totally believe it. And what I love, as you just said, that the sci-fi fans are so loyal that they just love, they just eat these kinds of films up.
iHeartRadio: Yeah, so you're saying that if aliens were to invade you would be ready to fight, right?
Vivica: Oh yeah, no doubt, well I would go call my son, I'd be like, ‘Son, I need you to go, go, go get 'em, one more time for me.’
iHeartRadio: So who are some rappers or some singers that you would want on your squad?
Vivica: Oh, Beyoncé first of all! We would have to have point B in there, honey because you know, besides we get her legions of fans that come in there, (laugh). You know, we have the BeyHive just stinging them. So then that would be a whole other thing that they wouldn't want to have to deal with. Then you know, I love my Rihanna, because she's just got a little spitfire herself. We would get Liam Hemsworth's brother, Chris. We'd go get Thor. We would definitely probably go get some of the gang from the Marvel comics. We would get Iron Man, we would get Thor, and we would Get Captain America. Then I would definitely go get our military. So, we would be good. Yeah, and then I would have Drake throw the after party.
iHeartRadio: (Laugh). An alien fighting after party…with his pool.
Vivica: Okay? Exactly! Get it Drake.
iHeartRadio: So what are some songs that you would feel like you need to hear to get pumped up and ready to go?
iHeartRadio: The baddest.
Vivica: You know Trina old school and new school, yes, gotta love us some Trina. I like to mix a little of the old school and the new school together, I like Chris Cross, 'Sailing takes me away ...(sings)' Yeah, because I would probably need a little vacation, go get me some beach time to balance it all out.
iHeartRadio: To turn down from it.
Vivica: That's another too, Turn Down For What! Oh I love that, yeah. That's the jam too, you just remind me of that.
iHeartRadio: Yeah, that’s the song.
Vivica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
iHeartRadio: Well it was so nice speaking to you, Vivica.
Vivica: You're so welcome, and thank you so much for the support. Independence Day is back. We are back, bigger, badder, and bolder than ever!
Photo: Getty Images