If you were anywhere near a television during the 80’s you might feel as though you knew the Huxtables personally. Whether you wished you were Rudy Huxtable or just looked at her as a little sister, you will never forget her, but what about the girl behind Rudy? Keishia Knight-Pulliam is a career-minded business woman who is much more than the childhood character she once portrayed; she’s a woman making moves in her industry. Expect to be seeing much more from her in the near future. With her down-to-earth attitude, Keishia took a break from dinner to tell Clutch what’s been going on in her life.
Clutch: Where are you originally from?
Keshia: I’m from New Jersey.
Clutch: Where do you live now?
Keshia: I live in Atlanta.
Clutch: You’re a mature, adult woman now, but your character on the Cosby Show as Rudy was something probably millions of people grew up with, how or have you been able to shed that image?
Keshia: I don’t think it’s really shedding an image. As you grow and mature and take on different characters, it just happens automatically. Of course people will always identify with me as that character because like you said everyone grew up with it and even today’s generation of children are growing up with it through reruns, so I think that’s a mistake that a lot of people make, running from a role that people identify with. I’m happy that I had the ability to affect so many people’s lives in a positive way and that people are still enjoying my work. I just think that now it’s up to me to continue to build on the legacy that I started.
Clutch: From the outside looking in, the cast of the show seemed like a real family and within every real family there is conflict or tension at some point, was there ever tension on the set of the show?
Keshia: No, I mean honestly people have their differences but it was never a tense environment, and I was a little kid so it definitely wasn’t that for me. It was a wonderful experience, everyone was very professional and got along.
Clutch: Who taught you the most about acting?
Keshia: Definitely Mr. Cosby and everyone that I worked with on the show because that was my foundation. It was a wonderful thing to learn all the good habits from such greats at a young age.
Clutch: You went to Spelman and pledged Delta Sigma Theta, was it ever hard leading a normal, collegiate life?
Keshia: It was different, but I think everyone has a different experience no matter who you are because your life experiences and what you’ve done previously shape the person you are today, but I mean yeah, I went to an HBCU as Rudy, it was interesting! (Laughs) and my crazy behind pledged! But in hindsight, I wouldn’t do anything differently.
Clutch: Sometimes you are a guest on the “House of Payne,” how is it working with Tyler Perry?
Keshia: House of Payne was my first experience working with Tyler and it’s been great. The cast has welcomed me with open arms and I came on to do a show or two that turned into like 10 or 15 and now Lance and I are married on the show. It’s been a wonderful experience, and then to be able to work and be here home in Atlanta, it’s just been great.
Clutch: What are your future plans or upcoming projects?
Keshia: The new season of House of Payne premiers December 3rd on TBS, and I’ll be starring in Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, coming to theaters in February and I’m also starting my own production company called Pullpenn Productions. We’re working on several projects and developing our website, we’re going to have web TV shows and in addition to that we have some network shows that we’re negotiating now, so I’m keeping busy!
Clutch: A lot of women can get wrapped up in their careers, do you ever think about marriage or children in the near future?
Keshia: Of course, it’s something I definitely plan to do.
Clutch: Your hair always looks amazing, do you have any tips?
Keshia: Well, I must say I don’t put any chemicals in it at all, and I just think that when you’re healthy and you eat good food and workout and take care of yourself, those are the places that it shows first.
Clutch: In the past there was a lot of talk that you were in a relationship with rapper Chingy, was that true?
Keshia: (Laughs) No, not at all.
Clutch: Are you romantically involved with anybody?
Keshia: I try to keep my private life private as much as I can.
Clutch: What do you look for in a guy?
Keisha: Someone who is wonderful and genuine, intelligent, caring, you know all of those things, and of course handsome!
Clutch: What does your daily schedule look like?
Keshia: Oh lawwd, it depends! If we’re filming I’m on set all day from 8:00 AM to about 8:30 PM, if not I’m working on stuff for Pullpenn or traveling here there and everywhere. It just depends on the day.
Clutch: What do you like to do in your downtime?
Keshia: I like to just chill with my friends. We are incredibly silly and just love to have fun and it can be anything from me cooking dinner and having friends over to watching movies in the bed, just enjoying life all the time.
Clutch: What do you like to cook?
Keshia: I cook everything! I love gravy, I must say (laughs). Smothered chicken…makes me happy. I just love food.
Clutch: What music are you listening to right now?
Keshia: Oh! I was dying the other day. There was this song and the girl was saying how she bust the windows out of his car [Jazmine Sullivan] and I thought it was hilarious! That song, I don’t know what it is, I’m not trying to go to jail or anything but sometimes a brotha’ will make you wanna bust some windows! (Laughs) I don’t advise it, but she made it sound so eloquent. But I listen to some of everything.
Clutch: You’re going out with the ladies, what three things do you take in your clutch?
Keshia: Well, it probably wouldn’t even fit in a clutch because I always have a big ol’ bag! But in my clutch, I would have my cell phone, my lip-gloss and my AmEx.