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Vanessa Williams: I Hope My 'Desperate Housewives' Friendships Last
M&M's introduced its newest spokescandy during the Super Bowl, and if you thought the bespectacled Ms. Brown sounded familiar, you're right! The sassy and sophisticated voice belongs to none other than Vanessa Williams. [Watch the commercial below.]
"Actually, I couldn't be happier because M&M's is my favorite candy of all time, so that was just the kicker!" the actress says.
Williams, 48, talked to Parade.com about her sweet new role and dished on the final season of Desperate Housewives and how she plans to stay in touch with her co-stars.
On bringing Ms. Brown to life.
"The character description said they wanted her to be like Wilhelmina [Williams' character on the now-cancelled Ugly Betty], and I said, 'Hmm, I created the roll, so I think I could probably do this!' It was a perfect combination. And to know that it was going to debut during the Super Bowl was a pretty big deal."
Did she watch her ad during the big game?
"Oh yea! I couldn't hear a thing, but I visually saw it! I was at a party with about 70 people there, but I heard that it got great reaction. People started tweeting me and my email and phone started blowing up with people saying, 'Is that you?' It was nice."
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On playing divas like Wilhelmina Slater [Ugly Betty] and Renee Perry [Desperate Housewives].
"It's one of those alter ego things for me. It just seems natural. I spent four years as Wilhelmina and I thoroughly embodied that whole concept for so long. It's easy to switch into that mode of someone being highly-skilled, having no patience or tolerance for mediocrity, and being a true leader."
On the upcoming series finale of Desperate Housewives.
"Unfortunately, that show's going too, but at least we had a forewarning. They've been doing it for eight years, I'm just happy to be able to jump on the last two. It's been wonderful. We still have another seven episodes to shoot, so we don't finish until the end of April. The mood on set hasn't been too sad because we still have a tremendous amount of work to do, but I'm sure after eight years it's going to get kind of teary toward the end."
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On what's in store for the women on Wisteria Lane.
"I don't know. We rarely know what's going to happen from episode to episode. I don't know whether it's intentional, but we get scripts sometimes the night before we shoot. It might be a good idea because then nothing ever gets leaked. All I know is that I hope I remain on the lane and stay alive! That's my wish."
On staying in touch with her Desperate co-stars.
"Hopefully we'll continue to be friends. The same thing happened with Ugly Betty. Tomorrow, I'm actually off to see Michael Urie star in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and then I'm having lunch in between shows with Judith Light, and America Ferrera and I texted last week. We're all still connected and I think the same thing will happen with the Desperate Housewives girls. I've been to Felicity Huffman's house for game night, and I've been to Teri Hatcher's house the past two years for her annual Halloween party. When you spend a lot of hours with people that you enjoy and work with you become friends and I hope that lasts."
On her plans post-Desperate Housewives.
"I've got at holding deal with ABC, so we'll see what new projects they might have that could be right for me. I'll also try to sneak in some theater in between and work on a new album. I've got a book coming out April 17, which I wrote with my mother, so I'm sure I'll be busy with that as well."
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On her new album.
"I literally just was in the studio last night putting down some ideas, so we're in the very beginning stages. I can't tell you whether it's going to be musical theater or jazz or R&B, but we're coming up with a concept now. I'm just excited to be back in the studio."
On what the mother of four likes to do on her days off.
"I'm literally driving my 11-year-old to school and bringing snacks to soccer games and going to her swim meets, so there's not much down time. But if I was away on vacation, my first stop would probably be to a spa to get a nice massage and relax!"