The Heart Specialist DVDAn Interview with Mýa
By Wilson Morales
October 7, 2011
Currently out on home video is the romantic comedy, ‘The Heart Specialist,’ which stars Wood Harris, Zoe Saldana, Brian White, Mýa, Nephew Tommy, Marla Gibbs, Jasmine Guy, Jenifer Lewis, Terrence J., Leon, Method Man, and Ed Asner.
While the film was released in theaters early in 2011, its production was completed nearly five years, so it’s been a long journey from there to now.
The story is a modern comedy about the everyday perils of first year medical residents at a shabby south Florida hospital. Wood Harris is the Chief Resident, who teaches the trainees how to save lives and not take themseleves too seriously, all the while hiding a chilling secret of his own.
For Mýa, the film gave her an opportunity to work with fabulous actors and be part of a romantic comedy. While she has done other films before and since ‘Specialist,’ the Washington D.C native and singer previously had a supporting role in the film adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical ‘Chicago,’ for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award. Mýa was the runner up on the ninth season of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and earlier released her new album in Japan.
In speaking with Blackfilm.com, Mýa spoke about her role in ‘The Heart Specialist,’ her current projects, and her music career.
What was the attraction to being in the film?
Mýa: Well, I love romantic comedies and this happened to be just that when I read the script. Dennis Cooper is the director. It was a small part but a significant one. I play Valerie, the girlfriend of Brian White’s character who teaches his a lesson. Throughout the movie he has to discover himself because he’s a player and a lot of people come together to teach him a few lessons and mold him into being a better person. I was attracted to the character for those purposes because it’s a bit parallel to some things to my personal life at that time. It had a great cast and was an independent film I wanted to support.
How was working with Brian White?
Mýa: It was a little awkward to be honest. Brian White is easy on the eyes, but the fact that my dad was present when we were filming a flashback love scene was a awkward, but Brian made him feel comfortable off-screen. Not easy seeing your baby girl in lingerie but other than that Brian is a funny character and a pleasure to work with.
Did you get to interact with the rest of the cast?
Mýa: Yes, Wood Harris and Zoe Saldana were present at the time of my shooting so we got to sit down and have lunch together and mingle.
After shooting this film nearly five years ago, how excited were you that it finally got released and is now available on DVD?
Mýa: Well, as I mentioned earlier, this was an independent film that I was attracted to because of the script, and it had black actors and black actresses. I was proud of Dennis Cooper for sticking with this and seeing it through. He believed in this project and took his time. To see it come together a couple of years later in theaters and now on DVD, I’m very happy about that.
Although you’ve done other acting projects since then, how’s the business been treating you?
Mýa: Well, I have a lot of scripts that come my way and some of them take a bit longer to read than others. There are a lot of things that I have to pas on because I’m just not into it and sometimes the story is slightly forced. I also like to take my time and make sure that I’m doing the art justice and not just a playing a role to be seen or be popular or anything like that. I really respect the craft and would like to be respected as well. I’m taking my time with the acting and learning as I go. It’s also an extension of art and I’m an artist and entertainer. I love doing great work and that’s my focus.
Next year will be the 10th anniversary of ‘Chicago,’ which you were a part of. How much fanfare did you received from the Oscar winning film?
What are you working on these days?
Mýa: Outside of music, I’m working on running in my first marathon on Nov. 6. I’m doing the New York City marathon, which is 26.2 miles and I’m representing Team Animal League. I’ve done 12 miles so far with a month to go, but I’ll be ready.
How’s the music career going?
Mýa: I released my new album K.I.S.S in April in Japan and I have a US version that has been done for quite some time. I’ve been taking lots of meeting every single month to find out how I would like to distribute it independently or major. My plan is to get it out before Christmas. The album is done and my fans want it. The US version is slightly different from the Japan version. I’m also working on my 8th album for 2012.
How challenging is it to put out an album independently?
Mýa: This is the first time that I’ve entertained putting out one of my independent projects that I put out in Japan stateside. They have a different sound over there called J-Pop and I didn’t think it was appropriate to release those type of project in the United States, but I specifically set this album to cater to the world and that’s why there are two versions. It’s a new experience for me.
With so much going on in your career, what keeps you grounded?
Mýa: My family, my spirituality, my animals, and I read. I watch documentaries and travel the world and see all sorts of life. I have great friends and always go back home to remember where and who the essence of Mya and where I actually come from and to never forget that.