Since her 2000 acting debut on television as Natasha on Felicity and the 2003 film debut Cradle 2 The Grave as Vanessa alongside her rapper/godfather DMX, Paige Hurd has certainly transformed in front of our eyes. Best known for her role as Tasha Clarkson on CW’s hit sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, Paige Hurd has made splashes across the entertainment industry from being featured in comedy Beauty Shop starring Queen Latifah to portraying Justin Bieber’s love interest in the Never Let You Go music video.
Today, the actress is starring in one of BET’s most critically-acclaimed series, The Oval, written, directed and executive produced by Tyler Perry, as Gayle Franklin. Paige Hurd has been dubbed one of the breakout stars to watch in the series since her role debut as the daughter of President Hunter Franklin and First Lady Victoria Franklin.
I connected with Paige on her 28th birthday on behalf of HelloBeautiful to speak with her about BET’s The Oval, her preferred style of dress off-screen and how she has grown over the years as an actress and young woman.
“It’s definitely been a journey,” Paige Hurd answered when I had asked her about how her acting skills have evolved from her acting debut to her newly snagged role on The Oval. “From a child and being in movies, you get the opportunity to work with the adults and big names and it’s wonderful, but you don’t really have much to say,” she continued about the comparison from her days as a child star to her 28-year-old actress self. According to Paige, as an adult on-set, you have more of a say, your voice can be heard and your life experience can translate into emotions to be used for your roles when conveying a feeling to your audience.
“Even if we’re talking about going from Beauty Shop to The Oval, that’s a huge jump and a huge transition from this sweet little girl playing a daughter who’s playing the piano and going to school to Gayle, who’s a hot mess,” Hurd laughed. “It’s been fun transitioning into being an adult and being able to still be here fighting and kicking and acting. I feel blessed and it’s been a great journey thus far.”
Paige gave a nod to the entertainment industry for uplifting Black culture and diversifying representation. She has observed everybody stepping up and showing out for the Black community and rightfully paying homage to Black culture. “I’m really excited to know that there’s a lot of networks now who are very dedicated to having more diversity on their shows. BET, as a whole, has done so well over the course of however many years and continues to push us and know that we’re talented, we’re beautiful and we have our own space. Nobody else is going to appreciate that,” she said. Though there’s a lot more in the entertainment industry that needs to be done, she recognizes the work that her network and other production companies are doing to put forth necessary change into the work for Black people.
Hurd’s acting chops are not the only thing that has evolved over time. As we transitioned into a conversation about fashion and style, she admitted that she tried to be cute as a kid and keep up with the little trends that were going on during each period in time. The Oval actress reminisced on her era of frilly shirts, fuzzy hats, purses from Claire’s and shopping sprees at Limited, Too.
“Limited, Too was my store. I would spend hours in there,” the A Girl Like Grace co-star admitted during our interview about her favorite childhood store where she would buy cute short sets with the words “cheer” or “basketball” on the backside with matching built-in bra camisoles.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Paige Hurd’s mother always kept her “cute and fly” as she recalled some of her early style memories from her early childhood. After the age of seven, Hurd and her family relocated to California. “All I remember, and I have pictures,” she started, “from when she dressed me for the JCPenny catalogues when I had the little fur coats and cute shoes with the matching stockings. It was all so tiny.” Once she moved to California, Paige Hurd began to come into her own and develop her sense of style.
These days, Paige Hurd will not be caught doing the absolute most and chooses to dial it back a bit. “Now, I really just honestly dress like a little boy. I have a great time in my Crocs, my little sweatpants, my high socks and just keep it chill,” the Hawaii Five-0 admitted. “A signature look for me would be leggings, joggers or shorts – whichever it depends – some type of baggy t-shirt or crop top, and Crocs for sure. If you’ve ever seen Crocs, it’s probably me. I have so many pairs. Even sometimes when we go out, I’ll wear a nice sweatsuit.” On the more dressy occasions, Paige Hurd keeps it minimal with a one-piece leotard with jeans, a romper or a jumpsuit.
“It’s one piece and it’s easy. You find that and you’re done shopping,” she exclaimed about the benefits of wearing a jumpsuit to minimize her get-ready routine.
As we bonded over our mutual taste in menswear and baggy boy-inspired fits, Paige and I learned that we both love heading to the men’s section of Forever XXI to see what best suits our needs as opposed to the typical form-fitting shirts provided as our only option in the women’s department. “Maybe I’ll start a clothing line for us, but like all boys’ clothes,” she laughed as I agreed to be her first customer.
Switching lanes to life on-set of Tyler Perry’s The Oval, she recalled some of her most memorable moments including Gayle’s introduction into the White House. “When she’s drunk, that was really fun for me and really memorable,” she admitted about one of her favorite scenes to shoot. Gayle Franklin is the beautiful, yet spoiled daughter of the President and First Lady in the series, who Paige Hurd deems as “a huge role in keeping her parents stressed out because she’s a hot mess.”
She continued to breakdown the relationship between her character Gayle and her mother Victoria, who is played by Kron Moore, and the clear depiction of underlying tension between the mother-daughter duo as the series unfolds. “I think for that to be unpacked would be really dope and to understand not only why she is the way she is, but why her mother is so evil, too,” Paige noted about the character development of Victoria and Gayle.
“We don’t necessarily relate that much,” she dispelled about her personal connection to her character. “I mean, yeah, I have my moments when I can have an attitude. I think the only thing we relate [on] is eye-rolling. I love to roll my eyes and Gayle rolls her eyes a lot, but we don’t necessarily have much in common.”
Off-screen, the actress appreciated the moments between and before takes while getting hair and makeup done by their incredible team. She continued to describe the vibe onset first thing in the morning: blasting hits by Erykah Badu, Tevin Campbell or Fantasia depending on the day and mood and the occasionally often praise and worship breaks, which Hurd really appreciated. As Gayle, some of the actress’ favorite looks have been a recurring theme for the First Daughter role in the last two episodes – white top, long cardigan and skinny jeans. She’s also a fan of Gayle’s introductory fit in the pilot episode when she first arrives at the White House consisting of a white shirt with a black tie and skirt to match.
Before starting her day at The Oval, Paige Hurd sticks to a simple skincare routine to maintain her flawless skin. In the morning, she washes her face with a warm towel alongside Epicuren skin care products including aloe vera and coconut milk. Her other beauty secret? “I get facials regularly. It helps me keep my acne to a minimum,” Hurd admitted about the added bonus to her skincare glow. After a full day onset, she removes her makeup with Neutrogena makeup remover wipes and coconut oil to get rid of as much as possible. Following these steps, she’ll turn to her Epicuren facial wash and use aloe vera and coconut milk for a moisturizing finish before bed. “It’s super light, super easy and it keeps my face clear. If I do too much with my face, because it’s very sensitive, it does tend to breakout [if] overstimulated,” she spoke on keeping the acne away.
“I’ve learned not to take things so personal,” Paige reflected on her biggest teaching moments as an actress. “I’ve learned that a lot is out of your control. With this business comes a ton of rejection. There’s this saying that says, ‘this business is several ‘no’s’ and the occasional ‘yes’ and with that, you try your best not to take it personal, but you do. You have to know that it’s out of your control and what’s meant for you is meant for you. Everything is always going to come in the right timing, which is God’s perfect timing. It’s just taking me a while and I’m still in the process of just understanding, learning that and knowing that this is my own separate journey. I’ve got to stay in my own lane and what’s for me is for me,” she closed out confidently.