Actress and life coach AJ Johnson has given us laughs, body and lots of dance moves with her remarkable roles in ‘House Party’ and ‘Baby Boy’. Now her wellness expertise will help improve the lives of others in TV One’s new series, “Life Therapy with AJ Johnson.”
Johnson spoke exclusively with Atlanta Black Star on Thursday, October 28 to discuss some of her iconic roles, the reboot of “House Party” and how she’s improving the lives of others through counseling.
Johnson is best known for her role as ‘Sharane’ in the ’90s cult film ‘House Party’. She choreographed the routine she and Tisha Campbell performed during the dance-off scene against Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin from the famous hip-hop duo Kid’n Play.
When the film’s original director, Reginald Hudlin, was asked about the “House Party” reboot, Johnson felt there was no need to replicate an iconic film.
“I personally didn’t believe in the reboot,” she stated. “I get that I might be doing a sequel or prequel, but a reboot? I just feel like sometimes things are iconic for a reason, and maybe it’s better to just let it be. That’s my opinion. “
The crowd was even more excited when Johnson joined Larenz Tate in 1994’s “The Inkwell.” Towards the end of the film, Tate’s 16-year-old character Drew spends a night under the stars with Johnson’s 20-year-old character, Heather.
“TThe story is a spin-off, if you will, an adaptation of Mrs. Robinson, [the character from the book/film “The Graduate”] that was the story of an older woman having an affair with this younger man,” Johnson noted. “So because that was the storyline, one, it made it easy and two, Larenz isn’t hard on the eyes.”
Despite starring in several popular movies, Johnson took time off to continue her psychology studies as a life coach and fitness trainer. As a result, she acquired famous clients such as: Steve HarveyWhoopi Goldberg and Lindsay Lohan, to name a few.
Johnson claims she took a short break to get “serious” about building her fitness brand, The AJ Zone.
“I never wanted it to be seen as something extra when I wasn’t doing a movie or TV show. I wanted people to take it seriously,” she explains. was educated like me. So I wanted people to know how serious I was from that perspective.”
The physically fit actress was more likely after an Olympic athlete was chosen over her to play the lead female warrior in 2002’s “The Scorpion King,” featuring Dwayne Johnson.
“That was really the turning point for me to say, ‘Okay, I need to get really serious about what I want this brand to be,'” she explained. “But you’re never going to tell me I don’t have the body, and I don’t have the… [acting] chops. And that’s when I really got into it and stepped away from acting a little bit to build the brand.”
Johnson said the “collegiate pressure from Hollywood” pushed her to “live a life where acting becomes a passion and pleasure again.”
“I would like to [that’s] a strong reason why TV One came to me and said, ‘Your life is a show. We can figure out how to produce it, but your life is a show,” she said. “Of course I was already a lot concerned with healthy living. I did many things with OWN and oprah [Winfrey]. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff for MTV lately, a lot of stuff for BET and VH1.”
The actress helped five famous couples deal with their marital problems on “VH1 Couples Retreat” earlier this year, including Ray J and Princess Love.
In her new show ‘Life Therapy with AJ Johnson’ she will focus on helping individuals improve their lives. In the half-hour series of Wellness, Relationships and Life Coaches, Johnson provides therapy, support and guidance to clients just as she helped Gabrielle Union “raise her life” and shut down her “mean girl” persona.
“We’ve found… part of what makes you unhappy is the way you feel and the way you feel is because of this mean girl thing, and the mean girl thing comes from insecurities. So it’s layers for this s–t, right?” added Johnson. “So with Gab, I think when we found out what was blocking her happiness, we found that she was looking for happiness by putting other people down. And then we decided together that that wasn’t healthy and that it was a bad habit that had to be done.” be broken.”
“Life Therapy with AJ Johnson” premiered Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 10 p.m. ET on TV One.