Interview

ICYMI Karrueche Tran Interview

Credit: Getty

As a “regular, normal kid” growing up in Los Angeles, Karrueche Tran didn’t have dreams of making it big in Hollywood. “It’s funny,” she reflects. “A lot of people grow up wanting to be an actress or a singer. I used to be kind of shy, so I never expected to get into acting.”

Tran was working in retail before she ever thought about breaking into the biz. “I had two jobs,” she says. “I actually worked for Nordstrom for three years as a personal shopper, and I was also a personal assistant. I like to be practical, so for me, it wasn’t a reality to think, ‘Oh, I’m going to be a star or famous,’ or anything like that.”

However, the natural beauty ultimately found herself in front of the camera. “I modeled in my early 20s for local companies, local brands in L.A. on a smaller scale, and then I had the opportunity to work with Wilhelmina [Model and Talent Management Agency], which worked out great,” she recalls. “So, I’ve been signed with Wilhelmina L.A. and New York for the past three years.”

Eventually, she made her way into performing, and decided she wanted to pursue it as a career. She booked a small role in THE FRIGHT NIGHT FILES, and was hooked. “It definitely has been a long journey; there’s a lot of work that goes into acting,” she notes. “When you watch movies and shows, great actors make it seem so easy. So, it’s a lot of work and I’m still on that journey, and luckily have also been able to progress a lot, as well.”

Landing THE BAY’s Vivian in 2013 came as somewhat of a surprise; the budding actress had gone in for another part. “I had an audition for a smaller role, and I auditioned for Gregori [J. Martin, executive producer/creator] and Kristos [Andrews, Pete/co-executive producer],” she recalls. “I didn’t get the role but they did like me, and they did see an interest in me, so Gregori brought back a character from a previous season, and that’s how I gained the role of Vivian.”

Tran is grateful that Martin gave her a shot. “Thinking back from when I went to that audition until now, I’m so happy that Gregori believed in me and saw something in me, because this was in my very, very beginning stages of acting,” she concedes. “So, luckily enough, he believed in me back then, and from there I just kept growing and growing.”

The actress is enjoying developing her alter ego and finding out what makes her tick. “Vivian is like the girl next door. I like her because she’s very relatable to me,” Tran observes. “She’s very caring, very thoughtful, very loving. She’s a sweetheart and very personable. I can use a lot of who I am  in Vivian’s character. Gregori has created this bigger storyline for me, for Vivian and Pete. We just wrapped the last season, and so now I’m more involved in the show. I have more scenes, so I’m able to really put more character into Vivian.”

JPI

THE BAY isn’t the only project Tran is busy with these days. She recently appeared on E! doing fashion commentary at the Golden Globes, and shot a pilot for TNT called CLAWS. “The show has been picked up, and it’s really amazing to be part of that production,” she smiles. “We start shooting this month for about five months.”

INSTAGRAM/TRAN

As for the future, Tran shares, “I’d love to just be on the path that I’ve been on, being patient and growing as an actor, hopefully winning some awards myself. I’ve learned that experience has been one of the best teachers for me. So, the more that I do, the better that I’ll become. I have a great platform already, so I just want to keep that momentum going.”

Camera Ready

As the ex-girlfriend of singer Chris Brown, Karrueche Tran has gotten used to the paparazzi following her around. “You kind of just roll with it,” she shrugs. “Yesterday I left my house to go to my P.O. box and take out my mail. I live in a popular area of the city, and all of a sudden I see a paparazzi guy just taking pictures. I had no idea that they were following me or where they came from. I went to the mall the other day — an outdoor mall — so there was a paparazzi there. They’re everywhere and you kind of just get used to it. Just put your best face on and smile.”

Just The Facts

Birthday: May 17
Hails From: Los Angeles, CA
Home, Sweet Home: “I’m a homebody. I travel a lot, I’m at events and stuff like that, so I like to be in my apartment, in my T-shirt and underwear with Netflix on, zoning myself out from the outside world.”
A Dog’s Life: “I have a French bulldog named Pepper, but because I work so much and I travel, she’s staying with my mom.”
The Shape Of Things: “I work out three times a week with a trainer. It’s so hard to diet because I love food.”
Must-See TV: “I’m not much of a TV show person, but lately I’ve watched INSECURE, and I’m currently in the middle of THE NIGHT OF.”
Favorite Spa Service: “I love intense, deep-tissue massages. Any kind of foot massage, body massage, I’m into it.”
Soap Bubble: “My godmom who raised me watched GENERAL HOSPITAL and DAYS OF OUR LIVES. I was too young, I didn’t watch the show, but I remember it always being on the TV, and she would always record them on VHS.”

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