ENTERTAINMENT: TV & FILM
Atlanta "Housewive" Lisa Wu Hartwell
A grocery lists of activities, occupations, skills, hobbies, passions, companies and accolades precede this Los Angeles native who operates with a self-described "ball of energy". She is many things to many people; a mother, wife, fashion designer, real estate broker, certified fitness trainer, actress, film producer, screenwriter, and painter.
A notorious speed talker and chronic multi-tasker, Hartwell's activities have all spurred from one interest to another. For example, Hartwell would often times give advice to friends for hours at a time.A grocery lists of activities, occupations, skills, hobbies, passions, companies and accolades precede this Los Angeles native who operates with a self-described "ball of energy". She is many things to many people; a mother, wife, fashion designer, real estate broker, certified fitness trainer, actress, film producer, screenwriter, and painter.
A notorious speed talker and chronic multi-tasker, Hartwell's activities have all spurred from one interest to another. For example, Hartwell would often times give advice to friends for hours at a time. After awhile, she realized that she could make better use of her time. She would paint paintings as she counseled friends and loved ones to the extent that she has now created an impressive collection of abstract art.
The bridge that binds her interests together is a vivid curiosity and a can-do attitude that trumped naysayers' negativity. Lisa took this approach to her jewelry design business, EastMeetsWest.com. Shopping at retailers such as Neiman Marcus led her to attempt to design high-end style jewelry at a fraction of the price. After working to make unique pieces and selling them to friends, family, and business colleagues, she even encouraged friends to start their own collections and add them to her online store.
Lisa's first love has always been writing and that has been the binding force for her success in music, television, film, and stage. The baby girl of eight started writing short stories, poems, and rhymes as a pre-teen and by the end of her grade school years, she was involved with a budding hip-hop girl group named "19". A change of spirit persuaded her to disengage from the music industry; even with a major record deal pending and a project with music master Teddy Riley in the works. This change of heart proved to be significant as she moved to Atlanta to "settle down". While in Atlanta, she enjoyed a booming career in real estate and continued to develop her hobby of writing plays. This launched her into a new area of success that would continue to flourish 15 years later.
The play "Change Is Gonna Come" was written and produced by Hartwell and directed by a then, little known director named Tyler Perry. The UPN show, "The Industry" soon followed with a two-year run along with the movie "Black Ball", which she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in. Her latest foray into Hollywood is her participation in the next installment of Bravo's hit reality series "Real Housewives", the popular Bravo reality television series which has resided in Orange County and New York City in previous seasons.
Lisa is half Chinese. She is married to NFL football player Ed Hartwell, who is also her business partner. Asiance interviewed Lisa and Ed, sort of (he was listening), to learn a little more about the woman who is "bouncing off the walls" on the number one show on Bravo TV today.
ASIANCE: Can you tell us a little bit about your background. Where your parents met where you grew up?
Lisa: My dad is Chinese and my mom is Black and they met in Baltimore, MD. My dad was in the service. He met her out there. I have other siblings too. She was previously married to a Spanish guy. She had some children with him but when my father married her, he basically raised all the children as his. Then they moved to Los Angeles. Dad was in the Army.
I have a sister who is drop dead gorgeous. She should be gracing every magazine. She's taller than I am. I'm like, "Why did you get the height?" She's Asian and Black as well. I have 5 brothers and I have another sister. My other sister is Mexican and Black.
ASIANCE: Do you incorporate any of your Asian heritage into your life? Like food, customs, holidays?
Lisa: It's funny because I had a reporter ask me the same thing. She said, "Well we see the other side will we see the Asian side?" That's kind of hard. It's like you're asking me if one day you are going to see the Black side or the Asian side. I think that question is crazy. Of course in my house, I don't know if you can see it, but there is a lot of Asian influence. There are a lot of things we do as far as Asian culture. You know what we do with the shoes, we take our shoes off. We do a lot with the red envelopes and we incorporate that into birthdays. So we do a lot of the customs. My dad was Americanized but my grandfather was orphaned into the States from China. He was really Americanized. He wasn't strict. Since my grandfather was an orphan, he wasn't prejudiced. So when my dad married a black woman, he said make sure you love her and treat the children as your own. Now my grandmother wasn't as welcoming at first but once she had grandchildren, then that changed. She became a little better. She's still alive and we visit her all the time. Initially, it was like, "whoa wait a minute." It was kind of hard for her to take.
ASIANCE: How did you and Ed meet?
Lisa: We met at a basketball game. I have been in the entertainment industry (television and film) for awhile. When I did come out, there were a lot of people approaching me who hadn't seen me in a while. I ran into his publicist. So she goes over to Ed and says, "I have this girl that you have to meet." So she approached me and said, "I have this guy I want you to meet and he's great and he's wonderful and he's so fine and he's so sweet and he's so fine." I said, "Is he nice?" And she said, "Yeah and he plays football." I was like,"uh". My husband was a singer, so I really didn't want to get into the athlete, entertainment thing. It was like here we go again. But then she said well he wants you to go over there and meet him. I said, "Absolutely not. I don't do that." So he came over and was like, "Hello". He was really sweet. All the other guys were approaching me that night, and saying, "Oh I want to take you to dinner. I want to take you shopping," but he was really sweet. He hurt his achilles tendon. So he's on injured reserve. He is younger than me and he wanted to keep in contact. So I said, "Yeah I can be your big sister!" After a few days of talking on the phone, he said, "You know I don't want to scare you but you're my wife." Even though he plays sports, he is so humble and is such a beautiful person. He was different from anyone else I ever met.
ASIANCE: What businesses are you currently working on now?
Lisa: All are a main ones. I'm a real estate broker of Hartwell and Associates. I have Hart 2 Hart Baby, a clothing line for children. Wu Girls is my jewelry line. I write and I'm an actress. I shot a movie several years ago and I'm shooting a movie in February.
I wrote a play about 10-12 years ago that actually Tyler Perry directed. Then I did a movie that went straight to DVD but the next movie I'm doing is "Root of all Evil" which will be in theaters. We'll shoot in February. I'm very energetic. I have to put that energy somewhere.
I have a daytime nanny. Her name is Mimi. She's a sweetheart. I have 3 kids. Mimi used to teach Jordan and Justin in school. I've known her for years. So she comes in during the day so I can work. Sometimes if I have appearances at night, she'll stay.
ASIANCE: How has being on television changed your life?
Lisa: I used to host this television show called "The Industry", so I've been on television before and I've been in a movie. It's nothing new, although it is on a larger scale because the show is so popular. Everyone recognizes you and sometimes you don't want to be recognized. I went to a nail salon. It was so funny. It's in the back of my house. I threw on sweats and a baseball cap. I figured no one was going to recognize me. It's funny because I walk in and everyone said, "Oh you are the girl from that show!" It's a blessing but then it's a double edged sword. For example, there was a scene where I was showing houses. I had gum in my mouth but I didn't realize that I had gum in my mouth. It's funny because when I'm looking at it on television, I'm like oh god I didn't know I had gum in my mouth and the bloggers were chewing me up. They were like, "Oh My god she has gum in her mouth." It's like I can do both at the same time!
Then I had a fan who said, "I think you are the most sophisticated one on the show but tell me this, why do you have paper cups when you have guests over?"
I thought it was hilarious. I emailed him back. I try to get to all the fan mail but I had to answer him. I wrote, "LOL you have provided the laugh for the evening. I"m just a regular gal." I am. If it wasn't for family and close friends. Look I don't want to do the dishes. My maid does not come every single day. And I work a lot. When I have a formal event yes I bring out the good stuff but if it's just family and friends, you better grab that plastic cup and quit playing with me! (laughs)
We get our tape a week before. Sometimes I'm afraid to pop in the tape because I'm afraid what I'm going to see. If I do something wrong, they are going to attack me next week.
You become comfortable with the camera and then you think, "Omg I hope they didn't catch that."
This is our lives. You can't expect all these women to represent all of Atlanta.
ASIANCE: What is your beauty routine? Any tips?
Lisa: I do, there is this Dr. Coffey in Los Angeles. There is this soap and astringent that I use and it keeps your skin very, very clear. I drink tons of water. In fact, I condition my hair. Some days I wear it super super curly, and some days it is really really straight. I keep it really really conditioned, whether I wear it straight or curly.
ASIANCE: How did you get cast on the show?
Lisa: The other women all knew each other. They're socialites and they all knew each other. I heard they were looking for another Housewife. The producer had me on her original list but when she talked to Nene, I wasn't a friend of Nene. It's like there are these group of girls who are all friends. Then my name was dropped again and they thought to give me a chance. A few people knew me so they said you have to use her.
ASIANCE: Who are you closest to out of all the girls?
Lisa: When we first started taping, Sheree was the first person I met. So you'll see a lot of us together in the beginning. So when she didn't get Nene at that party, I didn't know what was going on because, I never met Nene. So I got a lot of backlash for not getting Nene but I didn't even know what she looked like. Nene and I are opposites. She's loud and I'm more business oriented. She and I talk a lot.
ASIANCE: Sheree's hilarious. With that whole party thing.
Lisa: Yes she's the diva. I'm less pretentious and Nene is the clown. She's hilarious. She's funny. She's funny to hang out with.
ASIANCE: Can you give 3 words to describe your cast mates?
Lisa:Kim - “ Pretentious, can be fun, wishy washy
Nene - “ Outspoken, real, funny
Sheree - “Diva, guarded, fun
DeShawn - “ Pretentious, Appears to be quiet, Calculating
ASIANCE: Really? Calculating? Does it come out in the later episodes?
Lisa:You have to look for it and have a good read for people to pick it up .
ASIANCE: Do you know who Big Poppa is? You don't have to tell us who he is.
ASIANCE: Do NBA wives really think they are better than NFL wives?
Lisa: Oh you see I said that but I was lead into the question. Someone asked the differences. So I said the NBA wives are snootier than the NFL wives and the reason why that is is because they think they have more money than you. They look down on you. You're beneath them. I said it but was lead into it.
ASIANCE: Is kim really 29?
Lisa: You know that is what she says. I don't really know her like that. I thought she was older, but ok. Now she is 30. She just had a birthday. I didn't now her prior to taping.
ASIANCE: What does she do?
Lisa: That's funny. We just did Extra. She's like, "Oh my job is... housewife."
ASIANCE: So is she supported by Big Poppa?
Lisa: Yes. She's on payroll by Big Poppa
ASIANCE: What are the secrets to a good marriage?
Lisa: Communication, trust and reinventing the flame. Keep the fire in your marriage. Romantic evenings. Sometimes we do the mundane things in life. He's my business partner as well. So sometimes we have to make romantic time for each other.
ASIANCE: Do you want to tell us about anything that is coming up on the show?
Lisa: Stay tuned. Relationships are going to change. It's good! I stay out of it but I'm shocked on some things and they ask me, so you'll see my commentary. It's definitely brewing.!
My sister said what if ratings fall off? I said fall off? You haven't seen anything yet.
Jul 6, 2012 @ 01:22 am Marisa Sung said:
I MUST CONFESS I NEVER SAW LISA WU OR THE HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA BUTT I RECKON THAT IT WOULD BEE SIMILAR TO THE HOUSEWIVES OF DALLAS OR HOUSTON OR MOBILE, ALABAMA IF THAT WAS REAL OR MAI CAR INSURANCE FOR MAI MAKE BELIEVE CAR IF I HAD ONE!! BTW CAN I COME UP WITH MAKE BELIEVE CAR INSURANCE THAT WOULD PROTECT A REAL CAR IN VERY MUCH THE SAME WAY THAT ILLEGALS COME UP WITH REAL DRIVERS LICENSES FOR FAKE CITIZENS?? MAI MAKE BELIEVE RACE CAR AND PAL "HERBIE" JUST ASKED MEE TO ASK YUE THAT QUESTION BC HE WAS WONDERING ABOUT IT!! :)
HERBIE MAI LUV BUG
Jul 17, 2012 @ 03:52 am Marisa Sung said:
IS THAT MEANT TO BEE A SARCASTIC REMARK?? I TOTALLY DON'T GET IT?? BTW JAYMIE, YOUR FAVE NON-HOUSEWIFE OF NYC IS GETTING DITCHED BY HER MAN AGAIN AND SOME FOOL GAVE HER A TALK SHOW!! ALL BETS ARE OFF WITH THAT WITCH BETSONMY UNLESS YUE BE GIVING HER A LOT OF LES FRANKS:(
WHAT ARE YUE A CLOWN?? YUE THINK THAT YUE ARE FUNNY OR SOMETHING??
Sep 19, 2011 @ 11:59 am Jessica (not verified) said:
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