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Eve finds her perfect match as she returns to TV with 'Queens'

Dawn Burkes, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

What year is this again?

There's Eve, rapping in her signature style while stalking through some wretched excess, flaunting a big house, a yacht and many scantily clad admirers in director Tim Story's video. It's as if "Now That's What I Call the '90s" has come to life.

But this is the opening scene for "Queens," a new ABC series that premiered Tuesday.

Eve plays one of four Nasty B—es, an all-female superstar rap group. Rounding out the party starters on the aforementioned yacht are Brandy ("Star"), Naturi Naughton ("Power") and Nadine Velazquez ("My Name Is Earl"). They also play the older versions of the women whose fortunes have shifted dramatically since their "one big album in the '90s."

It's an alternate history of sorts for Eve.

"I could never have thought that I would be in a show, kind of being a rapper from the same era that I was actually a rapper in," Eve says via Zoom. "But I have to say it's been fun for me, because I have been away from music for so long as myself."

 

Eve was living large in the '90s and throughout the early 2000s, being her "superhero self" onstage with platinum albums, Grammy awards and movies such as the "Barbershop" franchise and "xXx," and her eponymous TV show "Eve." Her real life parallels the show even more now, with her announcement over the weekend that at age 43 she's expecting her first child with her husband, British race car driver and entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper, with whom she shares four "bonus children."

Eve's Brianna, who was Professor Sex in that video, is a mother of five. Viewers meet her next as she navigates a hectic morning: doing hair, wrangling the children and cooking breakfast while reassuring (and fending off) her out-of-work husband as he tries to hold onto his tenure — and tries to tease out her old persona. Instead of the bikini — topped with a fur vest, natch — that we just saw her in, she's wearing baggy sweats. Such is life, huh?

The rich life of the character she gets to play, along with getting to work with creator and executive producer Zahir McGhee ("Scandal," "Stumptown"), were among the things that drew Eve to the show.

"I think I was the first person to sign on. When I read the script, I was like, 'Oh, my God. The script is actually amazing,' because it wasn't what I thought when I heard, 'Oh, it's a show about these women that were this big group,'" she says. "When I saw that the characters had these really incredible lives as well, as far as their story goes. And all these storylines, along with the fact that they'd be making amazing music, amazing videos ... that's what drew me in first.

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