Tasha Smith: Tyler Perry’s Muse Puts Work Into Her Marriage (Literally)

The actress teams up with her husband for her latest business ventures



Tasha Smith and her husband Keith Douglas strike a pose for their fragrance, Us.


Yourfragrance is unisex and affordable. Were those intentional business decisions?
Absolutely because that particular fragrance my husband loves and he felt like, “wait a minute this isn’t just for women,” even though it has a citrus, sweet smell to it. But on a man it’s sexy! I wanted it to be affordable too. I know people are dealing with all types of stuff in the economy. I didn’t want my fans to want it but say, “I can’t afford it.”

What kinds of recipes will you have in your upcoming cookbook?

If you’ve been to Crustaceans in Beverly Hills, I feel like I can put [them] to shame with my garlic crab. It’s sick! I make barbecue chicken, I make a stuffed chicken with mushroom sauce, marinated in a maple or rosemary glaze. I can keep going! That’s just a little taste.

The majority of black women portrayals on television are represented in reality shows. As an actress, do you think the reality TV culture has hurt business for actresses such as yourself?
I’m not completely mad about it. Everybody has to make their money but when you think about all of the reality shows on TV, they usually replace either a half-hour comedy or an hour drama. So yes in reality, it’s taking away the programming for other scripted shows. Maybe this is the season our industry is going through, but hopefully it won’t last forever so more actors and actresses can work.

What do you think of the level of diversity of African-Americans on television? Do you think the industry is doing enough to diversify television?
These days I see more diversity with The Game, For Better or Worse, House of Payne…I know Byron Allen has a few shows that he’s producing that Vivica Fox and Bill Bellamy are starring in. You have Infamous that Meagan Good is starring in with Laz Alonso and you have Kerry Washington now with Scandal which is fabulous, so I see more diversity right now on television. I’m not complaining. I’m loving see us on television more.

What advice would you give to working women who struggle to balance their work life and personal lives as mothers and wives?
You have to schedule your date nights if you’re working all the time. You have to make time for your boo. You can’t just keep giving into everything else but you don’t want to take care of your man, OK! If you don’t take care of him some hoe will! Put the Blackberry down sometimes. [Work] ’ain’t going nowhere. Try to have some intimate time with your family. Be realistic about your time. Say no to some things.

Considering it’s Fashion Week in New York, what are some of your favorite designers and what styles best fit your personal brand?
Elie Tahari is someone that I’ve been wearing a lot lately and I’m really loving the classy, sexy woman look [he] has. I’m appreciating YSL, they have great shoes. I love me some Brian Atwood as far as shoes are concerned. Rachel Roy is affordable and beautiful. I have her dress on now actually.

Where do you see the Tasha Smith brand in the near future and what is on the horizon?
I see my fragrance line, wig line and speaking bureau company doing amazing. I see [myself] producing, directing…more movies, TV and continuing to do what I love. I’m in a new movie called Addicted (directed by Billie Woodruff) that I just signed on to do with Lionsgate, which is based on the book by Zane.



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