Wednesday, 18 July 2012

BACK IN CHARACTER: Suzette Barrett talks family, her passion for karaoke, and playing tough in her latest role

Almost two decades after portraying the side-splittingly hilarious and no-nonsense Granny Fowler in the roots classic Granny Rule, versatile actress Suzette Barrett has nabbed her latest stage role – playing the ruthlessly vindictive Pearlie in the new revival of Gloria Lannaman’s Stanley, Fay, Pularchie & P. To say the very least, the 40-year-old Barrett nails the part, adding a fiery jolt of pure dramatic bliss to the production. TALLAWAH rang up the actress to dish about the show, and more:

TALLAWAH: Your scene-stealing performance as Pearlie in Pularchie is one of the many pleasures of watching the production. Did you think twice about accepting the role?
Barrett: I jumped at the opportunity because I thought [the part] was very interesting and challenging. That character has a little bit of Suzette in it.

Really? What did you find that you had in common with Pearlie?
What I share with Pearlie is the fact that she is firm. She is a very serious individual. She sticks to what she believes in at whatever cost. And that’s a part of Suzette; I’m a strong and firm person.

Do you believe you will ever live down Granny Fowler from the roots classic Granny Rule?
(Laughs). The funny thing is that people remember me more from Passa Passa, which I did in 2000, than from Granny Rule. And the coincidence is that I played a character named Pearl in Passa Passa, and now I am playing Pearlie in Pularchie. But playing Granny Fowler was a very fun challenge for me because I was in my 20s playing someone much, much older. I wasn’t sure how to speak as an elderly person so that was probably the most challenging thing. And that’s what I liked about it.

What do you do for fun?
I like karaoke. For fun, I enjoy doing karaoke. In fact, I am a karaoke host. Whenever I get a chance to do it, I freelance as a host. I’m not a singer, so I feel that that is why I gravitate towards karaoke.

How are things on the family side?
The family side is great; they are very supportive. I actually live with my mom, my brother and my sister, my niece and nephews and my son. We all live in Portmore.

Back to the show: How has it been working with such a big and talented bunch of castmates?
It is an honour. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m so grateful. Trust me, each and every one of the actors in this show pull their own weight, and that is so fabulous. I really, really appreciate working with these people. I’ve tried my best with this role and I’m hoping for better to come.

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