Actress Essence Atkins is an OG in the entertainment world. You know her for her roles on “The Cosby Show” and “Smart Guy,” and most recently for “Marlon” and OWN’s drama, “Ambitions.”
In the latest series, Essence’s character Amara sizzles on camera in steamy sex scenes, but in real life, the 47-year-old doesn’t get nearly as much intimacy as she would like.
In a recent sit down with XONecole, Essence how she how she navigates the emotional toll of not dating while portraying a vixen on screen. The mother of one explained that keeping her body in shape helps her feel bold when shooting a hot scene, but it’s still hard leaving set to return home to her solitude.
“There’s the outside confidence, which is just making sure that I feel good and look good to me and that I’m proud of how my body is and not feeling any kind of shame so I can be unabashed in that dynamic. But there’s also the prayer aspect, which I really say honestly, because I don’t have regular intimacy in my life and to go to set and kiss all day and be hugged up on somebody and then go to an empty apartment…there was a lot of pain in that for me because I’m pretending to be in love and have this great relationship but in real life, there’s a deficit,” she told the site.
Continuing, “The contrast of what was happening onscreen versus what was happening in real life was glaring at times. You make out all day, but in real life the only people kissing you are being paid to do so, and that can be excruciatingly ouch (laughs). I have incredible friends who get it. When you’re talking about whatever your obstacles or problems are, you want people who are going to encourage you but who also aren’t going to dismiss it. There’s sadness in that, and the people in my life get that.”
Despite the waves that come with being single, Essence is forging forward with her new produced projects.
“I just produced an independent feature called Open along with my friends Terri Vaughn and Cas Sigers who have a production company in Atlanta called Nina Holiday. It’s about a couple in an open marriage, and I’m really excited about that. We just started putting together a rough edit, and it’ll be coming out next year,” she told XO.