LADY IN RED: "This year I plan to do smarter, not harder. Remove myself from negative and stay focused on this wonderful thing called life," shares Hunt.
Drawing on her abundant talents and proven star quality, Denise Hunt has consistently demonstrated that she is a force to be reckoned with in whatever sphere she sets foot – media, the theatrical arts, product endorsements, you name it. Now she is ready to flip the script as she makes her foray into unconquered territory – health and fitness – with the opening of SizzleFit, her very own state-of-the-art gym, available to interested members of the general public. TALLAWAH recently dished with the notoriously headstrong Miss Hunt about the new project, body image, her return to acting, and how she plans to live smarter.
So, a gym. Where did the idea spring from? Was it always on your "bucket list," one of the ten things Denise must do before she quits the planet?
You know, I have never thought about a bucket list. I know that for the last three years I enjoyed the idea of training people, and to do that properly I had to be trained and certified. Then last December I got to a decision-making crossroads when I was forced to leave NewsTalk due to health concerns. Do I seek employment or create my own? Enter SizzleFit.
With this new health and fitness initiative, are you reaching out mainly to the female population?
I am reaching out to overweight children and persons with the kind of schedules I have...who have adjustments they need to make in their physical appearance.
Is body image an issue you've ever struggled with in your evolution as a Black woman?
Body image issues?! Nope nope nope. Okay, yeah. I have struggled to put on and maintain weight my whole life. It’s so easy to lose weight; just have a little stress or work too many hours and I start to shrink. To put on? Oh my God! You have to eat whole cows and horses!
Last year you impressed audiences with a knockout performance in the play Second Chances. How did you feel about returning to acting and the reception you received, including a recent Thespy nomination?
Second Chance was my second chance. As you know, theatre had taken a break from me for nearly six years, and I yearned during that time to return. Yearned! I literally put my soul into that piece; I went deep – after I begged my director David Tulloch to make sure he dragged me back if he saw me crossing the dark side (Laughs). The Thespian nomination! I have been so out of it that when I saw the notification I didn't even register it was me. It was only after a member of the theatre community called me to congratulate me that I understood. Wow!
Reflecting on that role a bit, what was the most demanding aspect of authentically pulling off such a character?
The most demanding thing about doing Second Chance was the fear of losing my voice – I was dealing with some vocal issues at the time – and, of course, taking the character home, which I did.
Besides the gym and naturally taking your acting and media careers to new levels, how else are you planning to spread your wings this year?
This year I plan to do smarter, not harder. Remove myself from negative and stay focused on this wonderful thing called life and giving. Is that spreading my wings, or tucking them in? (Laughs).