Actor Spotlight: ROCHELLE AYTES

ROCHELLE AYTES

Ever since it started airing last summer I’ve been watching and reviewing each episode of Mistresses on ABC. As I said from the beginning, the primary reason I started watching was for the chance to see Alyssa Milano, my childhood celebrity crush, on TV again every week. And she’s still the main attraction of the show for me, but I’ve also been very impressed with the rest of the main cast, especially Rochelle Aytes, who plays April Malloy. She’s a friend from High School of Milano’s character, Savi. In season 1 her storyline was that she was a recently widowed woman struggling to run her own business while raising her daughter Lucy (played by the adorable Corrine Massiah) by herself. She very slowly started getting back into the dating game, at her friends’ encouragement, but had trouble getting over the memory of her dead husband, Paul. And then she’s devastated when a strange woman appears, claiming to have been Paul’s longtime mistress and mother of his illegitimate son, demanding money from Paul’s estate. Not only does April have to deal with her own feelings of betrayal, there’s also the question of whether to tell Lucy about her supposed half-brother, worrying how that will effect Lucy’s memory of her father. And then on top of that, just when she thinks she’s gotten over it, and is ready to move on with a new guy who seems perfect for her, Paul shows up, revealing that he actually faked his death!

That was quite a roller-coaster of emotions that April went through over the course of that season, and Rochelle handled it like a champ, with some great acting that I enjoyed watching (and that fact that she’s extremely easy on the eyes didn’t hurt either!). I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of her before. Checking her bio I see that she’s been in a few roles here and there, things I hadn’t seen, including a Tyler Perry movie but y’all know I don’t watch those. Last month I finally got a chance to watch CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, where Rochelle played their crooked (allegedly) manager Pebbles, and she was excellent in that too.

So far this season of Mistresses has been a bit more subdued for Rochelle’s character April, as it’s mainly been focused on her beginning a relationship with an artist named Daniel, whom we the viewers know is hiding some kind of secret involving another woman. But she and Ricky Whittle, who plays Daniel, have been melting the screen with some scorching hot love scenes. Those two have great chemistry as lovers. She’s also had some nice little scenes with Corrine, with whom Rochelle has great onscreen chemistry, they really seem believable as a mother and daughter who love each other.

So while I’m enjoying Rochelle on Mistresses, which appears to be a minor but steady hit, maintaining around 5 million viewers a week (pretty good for Monday late-night drama), I think she could definitely be heading for even bigger things in the future, like some feature films. How about her and my first Actor Spotlight choice, Damon Wayans Jr, in a romantic comedy? I’d watch that!

See Rochelle Aytes in MISTRESSES airing Monday Nights @ 10pm on ABC
You can also watch episodes online via
http://abc.go.com/shows/mistresses

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