Tyra Banks's path from supermodel to reality TV icon was, according to her, riddled with career missteps and a broken promise from a mega-producer that she hasn't forgotten to this day.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News' Profile that aired Sunday, Banks joked that some past professional mistakes can be credited to trying to model her career after likes of Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez.
The star of the recently released television movie Life-Size 2 on the network Freeform — a sequel to the Disney Channel's popular 2000 film Life-Size — said the reason she didn't immediately agree to do a second film was because of Berry's trajectory.
"It's Halle Berry's fault," Banks said before addressing actor directly. "Yeah, Halle Berry, I have a bone to pick with you, lady."
Seeing Berry go from beauty queen to a breakout role as a crack addict in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever convinced Banks that, rather than make a sequel to Life-Size, she needed her own "crack addict role, because that helped Halle Berry to transition."
When she told her mother she couldn't play a doll again, she replied, "You're making the biggest mistake in your life. People want this. [Life-Size] can be a huge franchise."
It only took Banks 17 more years to admit her mother was right and sign on to make a sequel. But during that time, Banks said she also spent six years trying to transition into being a singer because "J.Lo did it."
She hired Britney Spears' manager, worked with the same producer used by Brandy and Whitney Houston, and even made songs with Pharrell and Wyclef Jean.
However, Banks said the Pharrell song will never see the light of day because when he flew her out to his New York City studio to record, she froze. He had written a song called "Playboy" for her and as she prepared for the session with her mother, things immediately went south when she locked eyes with the producer.
"I see his fine ass through the glass, and it was Pharrell, and he's the hitmaker, and I just was like... I couldn't find the air," Banks said. "And I couldn't, I couldn't finish the song."
Now with Life-Size 2, Banks has returned to acting and singing, even writing the "Be a Star" remix on her own, which she is proud to hear is "a bop."
Despite all her success on reality TV (America's Next Top Model) and in other ventures, though, she hasn't forgotten about a promise she claims mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer reneged on for promoting Coyote Ugly.
Banks told Profile how she didn’t want to appear on the film's poster because her role was so small and she didn’t want to mislead fans, but that Bruckheimer insisted, saying she was the only actor who could have global appeal. In exchange for doing so, the supermodel said, Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Top Gun) promised her a starring role in one of his next three movies.
So might another sequel be in her future?
"Still waiting on that role... But you know what? Scrap those [other] movies, you control the rights of Coyote Ugly 2, so let’s do it, boo!"
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