Former pro basketball cheerleader is not the role most would expect from actress Kimberly Elise. But career range is nothing new for the woman who has robbed banks in Set It Off and portrayed the sister to a spirit in Beloved. As Sloane in the new VH1 series Hit the Floor, Elise, who was a dancer in her teens, is a former Devil Girl cheerleader who doesn’t want her daughter Ahsha (newcomer Taylour Paige) to follow in her footsteps. “I get to play a woman in all phases of life,” she says. “There’s funny, frustrating, mad, there’s just everything.”
There’s also more to Floor than choreography. “We have a lot of sexy on our show,” she says with a laugh. With costars like former “Superman” Dean Cain and an all-grown-up Logan Browning from Bratz and Meet the Browns, how could it not? But, as always, Elise brings something deeper and the creators have incorporated many aspects of Elise into Sloane.
“They’ve made my character vegan and I love to see a black woman on television who is,” says the mother of two, who was vegetarian for 13 years and has been vegan for two. Both Elise and her character rock natural hair. “All of it is in harmony with her and with me so it’s really nice,” Elise says. “And I like that [the producers] are supporting a black woman just being a black woman.”