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Interview: Demetria McKinney From Freeform's New Drama Motherland: Fort Salem

Posted by Iesha Marie on May 13, 2020 at 12:20 AM

MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)

Freeform’s new drama is worthy of your quarantine binge list. Motherland: Fort Salem is set in an alternate America where, in exchange for their freedom, three witches now work with the government to fight terrorist threats with supernatural strategies. We sat down with Ashley Nicole Willams, Jessica Sutton, Demetria McKinney, and Taylor Hickson to find out more about their new roles, how they got started in acting, and what they are doing to keep busy during social isolation.

MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)

GLITTER: How long have you been acting?

DEMETRIA: I’ve been acting for over thirteen years now.

GLITTER: What was your big break?

DEMETRIA: My big break came from House of Payne with Mr. Tyler Perry, I play the role of Janine Payne. This was definitely my launching pad and preparation for many roles to come over the years.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about Freeform’s new drama Motherland: Fort Salem and your character Anacostia?

DEMETRIA: Motherland: Fort Salem is set in an alternate today where witches, led by General Alder struck a deal with the government to fight the nation’s wars in order to stop persecution. My role, Anacostia Quartermaine, is a no-nonsense, loyal, sometimes dogmatic drill sergeant who is responsible for not only teaching the new recruits about their powers and war but also about loyalty and the need for one another.

GLITTER: How are you like your character?

DEMETRIA: I’m a lot like my character Anacostia, in the sense that I think I’m a very strong person, but our strengths are derived from different places. I’m very silly, relaxed, and empathetic to a fault sometimes which gives me the strength to find the good in people. She is strong-minded, loyal, determined, and unshakable which gives her the strength to build the good in people.

GLITTER: How do you prepare for your roles?

DEMETRIA: It depends on the role. I can’t move in a cookie-cutter fashion with each character. Janine required something far different than Anacostia. What I can say is with each person I do play, I learn something different about myself and that collaboration is exciting.

GLITTER: What is your approach to auditioning?

DEMETRIA: Whew! I go into each audition with the full knowledge of the words, a good sense of who I think that character is, but with an open mind and a yearning for notes. When it’s done, I’ve learned I need to let it go. I can’t second guess myself, I can’t wish for a second chance, I have to move on to the next and trust that whatever’s for me is for me.

MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)

GLITTER: What was your big break?

DEMETRIA: Playing Carissa in UMC’s A House Divided was my first stab at playing a villain. She’s crafty, manipulative, and determined to get what she wants at any cost. Diving in and portraying Whitney Houston in the Bobby Christina biopic had a duality to it. On one hand, it was an honor to play homage to someone who helped shape me musically, but on the flip side, it was terrifying. I was telling the story of someone who was often misunderstood and unable to be all that she was able to be.

GLITTER: Can you share highlights from some of your past roles?

DEMETRIA: Saints and Sinners, Tamera is the lamb of the squad. She is the good in the story and it’s always a great place to go back into that character.

GLITTER: How do you use your voice for change?

DEMETRIA: Much like the warriors in Motherland: Fort Salem use their voice to bring change, I understand that with my platform comes with influence. I’m very mindful of what I speak on to people and I operate in truth. Coming from homelessness, molestation, and single motherhood, I hope that my voice and choices shine a light on the path for others in those situations and let them know that their dreams can still come true.

GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?

DEMETRIA: Essence Atkins was on some episodes of House of Payne with me and she sat next to me in the makeup chair and said: “the day you stop saying please and thank you to everyone in this business is the day you need to get out of it.” It was a reality check before I even needed it and a reminder that my: career, lifestyle, and the things I’ve come out of are a blessing and never to forget that.

GLITTER: Who are you are looking forward to working with next?

DEMETRIA: I would love the opportunity to work with Don Cheadle, Charlize Theron, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, just to name a few LOL!

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign, and we want to know, what’s self-love mean to you?

DEMETRIA: Self-love means having the ability to accept the good the bad the ugly about yourself and love yourself enough to grow into who you want to be. We’re all flawed and that’s what makes us perfect.

GLITTER: What would be a dream role for you?

DEMETRIA: A character like Storm from Marvel’s X-MEN. Embodying powerful women still getting to tap into the fantasy space is a story that can live on through generations and shows a different aesthetic.

GLITTER: What’s on your playlist right now?

DEMETRIA: My playlist depends on my mood. Today I’ve been listening to Jasmine Sullivan radio. Quarantine has me in a good mellow space so I’m nestling right into that right now.

GLITTER: Social Isolation has become the new normal for now. What are your favorite things to do right now throughout the day?

DEMETRIA: Bothering my son, catching up on tv shows. I’ve taken up an interest in gardening and introspection has been something I’ve learned to embrace. when I come out of this and I’m able to be around people I hope to be better around them.

GLITTER: Favorite ways to center yourself and relax?

DEMETRIA: I’ve gotten back into exercise it’s an amazing stress reliever, especially yoga, understanding how to control my headspace is so much easier with that. I’ve also learned how to do spa treatments for myself; nothing like a good facial, and a soak in the tub with some soft music playing. It’s so soothing. Audiobooks have quickly become a favorite. I’m learning a lot with minimal effort lol.

MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM – Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” stars Demetria McKinney as Anacostia. (Freeform/Frank Ockenfels)

GLITTER: Favorite foods to snack on?

DEMETRIA: I love Dove dark chocolate with almonds, it’s my guilty pleasure. However, for the most part, I snack healthy: Apples, Kiwi, & Popcorn lol!

GLITTER: What are your top 5 binge-worthy shows?

DEMETRIA: Altered Carbon, Fleabag, Ozark, Motherland: Fort Salem, and Witcher.

GLITTER: Coffee or Tea?


GLITTER: Favorite fashion indulgence?

DEMETRIA: Shoes and bags! With those, you can transform a simple outfit into something spectacular.

GLITTER: Name your top 5 beauty products.

DEMETRIA: Cetaphil as a facial cleanser, Jojoba oil as a moisturizer, a highlighter for glowy skin and an eyebrow pencil because your brows got to stay snatched, and a moisturizing lip tint.

GLITTER: Any projects you can tell us about that you’re working on next?

DEMETRIA: House of Payne is returning soon on BET and I’m in talks about two other projects that I hope to be able to give details about soon

GLITTER: Any special talents outside of acting?

DEMETRIA: I started as a singer and my single, “easy,” went to #5 on the charts!

Interview by: Glittermagrocks

Categories: About Demetria McKinney, Interviews, Plays/Shows/Movies

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