For Christian actress Erica Hubbard, her faith plays a huge role in picking projects. The star of the popular comedy series "Let's Stay Together" which is produced by talk show host Queen Latifah, Hubbard is also known for her portrayal of Cassie Sutton in the family-oriented series drama "Lincoln Heights."
Though she rarely speaks to the media about her faith, Hubbard, who got an early start working as a child voice-over actress, recently told the Gospel Herald that she has turned down projects that did not coincide with her Christian faith.
"Every job is not for you and because it is given to you doesn't mean it's for you," Hubbard says. "I am a devout Christian and although I know that nudity can sometimes help create the story better, I have declined nude roles because of my spiritual background."
The 35-year old actress who started her career in 1988 doing voice-overs and starring in commercials for brands such as McDonald's, Reebok and Sears, credits her family and a strong Christian foundation for keeping her grounded.
"My faith and family is what helps me stay true to myself," says Hubbard who plays the carefree Kita Whitmore in the series "Let's Stay Together," a romantic comedy that follows several couples renegotiating the rules of cohabitation. "There are a lot of egos in the industry and a lot of people in Los Angeles stay in Los Angeles and are not around their family members," she continues. "When you stay around a lot of industry people, they won't always tell you the truth about yourself. When you are around genuine people you automatically take on their characteristics. My family is very grounded and a lot of them are still in the same neighborhoods that we grew up in and that brings you back to reality."
The Chicago native who garnered public attention with roles in films "A Cinderella Story," "Save the Last Dance," "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," and "Akeelah and the Bee," in which she starred alongside Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, can be seen in the romantic comedy "Black Coffee." Her television credits include guest-starring roles on "CSI: Miami," "Everybody Hates Chris," and "Cold Case."
Nominated for an NAACP Theater Award for her work in "What Would Jesus Do," a stage play that tackled the church's conflicted response to the AIDS epidemic, Hubbard also runs a non-profit organization that speaks to schools, community centers and youth organizations.
"I come from a community that was stricken by poverty and started the Erica Hubbard Foundation to help the kids in my community grow," adds the actress. "I have written two children's books and host a literacy night. It's a big thing I am doing for the community where I read my books to the children, as a lot of kids in school are not reading as much as they should."
"Let's Stay Together" airs on the BET Network Tuesdays 10:30/9:30c.