Some folks with short memories may already be saying “Lisa Who?”
But Lisa Wu Hartwell, who quit “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” after season two, is moving on, pursuing a genuine acting career.
Reality TV got her name out there, but she felt she had to walk away from the shenanigans season three so directors and producers of scripted programs would take her more seriously.
Hartwell just finished a month-long shoot in Philadelphia on a murder/mystery film with actor/writer/director Charles Dutton called “Must Be the Music.”
She is starring in an upcoming play at Ferst Center on the Georgia Tech campus called “Stripped.” It debuts July 27 and runs through July 31. She plays the wife of a former NFL player struggling with life after the big time. She also happens to be married to Ed Hartwell, an ex-NFLer himself who makes a cameo appearance via video.
Hartwell works opposite Dorsey Levens, another former NFL player who played professionally from 1994 to 2006. Levens, a Georgia Tech graduate, produced the play.
During rehearsals last Saturday at Whole World Theatre, Hartwell showed off her “angry side,” a resentful wife of the fictional Jayden Dorsey. They argue a lot.
Hartwell always seemed to have her head on her shoulders on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” save for a moment where she threatened to flip Kim Zolciak over a couch for allegedly spreading lies about her and her children during a season one reunion show. (Hartwell was once married to R&B Keith Sweat, who never showed up on camera on the show.)
As we all know, being sane does not help you on a show like “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” A little bit of crazy goes a long way.
When the producers wanted her to orchestrate things a bit too much in her “real” life season three, she bolted. She did make a few cameo appearances this past season (where the producers were kind enough to remind viewers who she was via captions). She will not be back at all for season four, not even in the background of a random party. Kim wanted her at her baby shower, Hartwell said, but she passed.
Soon, Hartwell said she’ll be doing a film with director Bill Duke (”Sister Act 2″) in Los Angeles. Otherwise, she regularly auditions for parts and even ran into Sheree Whitfield at one point at a casting call.
Here’s my interview with her at Whole World Theatre Saturday.
IF YOU GO
Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech
350 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta
Wednesday July 27, 2011 8:00 pm
Thursday July 28, 2011 8:00 pm
Friday July 29, 2011 8:00 pm
Saturday July 30, 2011 3:00 pm
Saturday July 30, 2011 8:00 pm
Sunday July 31, 2011 3:00 pm
Sunday July 31, 2011 8:00 pm
Tickets: $31.50, $41.50 (VIP)
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog