'P-Valley' Actor Blue Kimble Says His DMs Are Open & He's Accepting Applications

"Whatever it takes to please her and get her to where she gotta go, that's what we're doing."


One look at Blue Kimble, and your mind may instantly plays Trey Songz's "Panty Droppa" from his 2009 Ready album. However, what many may not know is that there's a lot more to him underneath those rock-hard abs and pearl-like smile of his - and I don't mean from the waist down.

Prior to his acting career, the born and raised ATLien played in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills (which would definitely explain his solid stature). Once he began to pursue acting wholeheartedly, Blue's resume stacked up as he appeared in shows and movies including The Game, Being Mary Jane, Fast and Furious 5, and TVOne's The Bobby DeBarge Story alongside Adrian Marcel. Just two short years ago, Blue starred in UMC's drama series Monogamy. And this year, he's added a starring role in television's newest drama series, P-Valley (which airs on Starz on Sunday nights at 9pm).

When first connecting with the 34-year-old heartthrob, his deep, warm voice embraced me with positive energy and light-heartedness as we exchanged stories about where we're currently located and how our mental health is being maintained amidst all that's happening during this time. As an actor, model, and former pro-athlete, you can imagine that Blue must have women flocking to him, but according to the leading man, he's still looking for his leading lady and his DMs are open, accepting applications.

The eye candy who also happens to be soul food (you hear that, ladies?) talked to xoNecole about his favorite strip clubs, his trials and fears in love and how he's willing to climb any mountain to help his woman reach her 'peak'. Here's what he had to say.

*Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

xoNecole: Tell us about 'P-Valley', which is the highly anticipated stripper drama on Starz. How was the filming experience and what were some of the greatest things that you learned?

Blue Kimble: Wow, P-Valley coming to Starz. The stripper drama, like you said (laughs). First, off the bat, there's nothing on TV like that right now giving you an up-close, raw, direct look into the life that goes on in the strip culture and some Southern culture. It's just a taste of Southern culture - raw [and] gritty within a strip club. Katori Hall, the creator - she is a genius, award-winning playwright. The honor to work with her and the cast is amazing.

My character, Rome, he's a Southern hustler and former drug dealer turned music exec. We know that story has been heard and told a lot within the music industry (laughs), so I was just able to put my real spin on it from actual accounts and my Southern heritage and culture came out in the role. It was a blessing to pay homage to all that. I really like it and I know people are going to gravitate towards this a lot, and I can't wait for y'all to see it.

How would you say, if at all, you relate to your character?

Like I said, he's a Southern hustler, gentleman, [and] businessman - those are some of the things that I have grown up around and had a foundation of, being from the South, being from Atlanta. It's a culture. Every city has their own type of lingo, type of swag, type of attractions, and raw. Just like a street cat from New York is not gonna sound like a hustler from Atlanta, Tennessee, Alabama or Mississippi. Just to be able to pay homage and pull from real-life accounts, it was an honor.

When it comes to relationships, how do you balance your career, time for your significant other and time for yourself? I’m pretty sure as an actor, it’s already hard enough to find time to be on your own, so how do you balance that with the person you’re dating?

Look at you with more good questions. Jeez, you are on it. The industry is a difficult thing to handle within itself. When I fell into it after I transitioned from football, this was a whole new world, but a lot of it had the same connections with me as playing sports. Athletes get a bad rap and stereotypes within relationships, so to come from that and go right into my film career - which started afterwards and I was blessed to fall into - it's some of the same stereotypes. For some of the relationships that I've tried to have, it was hard for my significant other to just fathom the time that I would be away or what I was doing.

It takes a lot of understanding and time; sometimes I can make someone jealous. Not about what I'm doing or who I am or what I'm aspiring to become - jealous of the time that I'm not there to give the woman in my life. That has been a balance that I've been figuring out. Now I'm even older, wiser, more mature and I'm looking for all that. I'm still looking and searching. I'm not saying that I'm flipping over every rock in town looking for my queen, but when she reveals herself to me, I will be ready, willing and accepting.

"I'm still looking and searching. I'm not saying that I'm flipping over every rock in town looking for my queen, but when she reveals herself to me, I will be ready, willing and accepting."

Courtesy of Blue Kimble

How can you tell the difference between women who genuinely want you for you or just the clout and the attention that comes from being with you?

That's a good word that you used - genuine. You took it right out of my mouth. I try to surround myself with genuine people. You can only play and fool somebody for so long and the truth will always reveal itself. Who you really are is gonna come out; you can only play that you're genuine for an hour or two (laughs). The truth will seep out, leak out and reveal itself. I pay attention to those types of things and I try to keep myself around grounded people, people with like-minded energy and people who aren't going to use me or sponge me for my good energy.

That's what people gotta understand not just within relationships, but life period. Stop letting people drain you for your worth, your goodness, your light or your energy because that's what a lot of people are - they're leeches for the light, for the sun, for the good energy. Watch it and protect your energy.

This is a fun personal question for me because you’re an actor. Do you ever try to get into character for the bedroom with role playing?

Look at you with all the good questions (laughs). I'm a facilitator when I'm with the women that I'm with and my job is to please her. Whatever it takes to please her and get her to where she gotta go, that's what we're doing. If she wants me to put on a Superman costume, I'm doing it if that's what's gonna get her to the moon. Whatever it takes.

How can you say that your acting skills and your views on relationships have evolved from the beginning of your career to where you are now?

In the beginning of my career, I was younger, and I tend to grow daily - mentally, physically, spiritually. I'm definitely more mature than I was in my craft, acting, and delivering as well as I am within life, learning and relationships. Not saying that I was ever intentionally being a jerk or a bad person (laughs), because I try to be a good person as much as I can. But I still grow within my understanding of my actions and the actions of the people I'm around. I'm still learning and growing right now. When you stop growing, that's when you die. I don't ever wanna stop learning and I'm looking forward to some significant woman to come around and teach me some more. Come teach me, girl!

Do you think you’ll ever find true love one day? If so, what does true love look like for you and what do you look for in a partner, for all of the women who are about to submit their resumes to you?

Wow, you really think I'm about to get a lot of resumes. You really think it's about to go down like that? With myself and the woman I'm with, I like confidence. Show your confidence because confidence leads to sexiness and your sex appeal. Those are always good things and things that men will gravitate to in their significant other because at the end of the day, it's about attraction. You have to attract someone before you can see how much you can grow together and see if you have that bond. I'm open - my heart and mind are open.

Yeah, I do think that I will find that love that you spoke of. Now, I'm not gonna force it; a lot of people do that and try to force love. When it comes and reveals itself, I'm gonna be ready for it and I'm gonna receive it. All the ladies, or potential suitors like you said, that's putting their resumes out there - hopefully, I do. With my family, my mother and my father are still together; they've been married before I was born and they're still together and still in love. That's what love looks like to me [and] I know what love looks like. I'm a Black man that comes from a family that has embodied love.

With that being said, I also know what fake love is. Show me that real love. Like you said, I need genuine people around me. Do not come around me with that fake love. 2020 is all about 'real'. We need that real love going forward; 2020, no more fake love! People [have] been showing us fake love for a long time now. Reveal your truth.

"With myself and the woman I'm with, I like confidence. Show your confidence because confidence leads to sexiness and your sex appeal. Those are always good things and things that men will gravitate to in their significant other because at the end of the day, it's about attraction. You have to attract someone before you can see how much you can grow together and see if you have that bond. I'm open - my heart and mind are open."

Courtesy of Blue Kimble

So, what are some things that attract you to a woman initially?

You're cheating. You're not supposed to ask me about that. You're trying to get me in trouble.

Man, look, I’m just doing my job. I’m not, I promise.

I like a woman's smile - the smile does a lot, and the eyes. Because everyone else is gonna say body features like shapes, thighs, butts, chest and this, that and the other, but that only goes so far. When you get down to the eyes and the smile, that's when you're able to tell what's real and genuine about her. The eyes never lie.

What are your dating non-negotiables and how does it differ from when you’re casually dating a woman versus when you’re trying to be serious?

Like I said, I'm pretty open, but anyone who's disrespectful, I don't deal with. I don't like disrespect in any fashion, and not just towards me. Just that type of energy that you bring and that also relates to some negativity. I'm a very positive person and I like to keep positive people and energy around me. Disrespect and anyone going out of their way to be disrespectful - I just can't. I don't care how pretty you are or attractive you are, nastiness overrides all of that. I'm open and try to figure out and understand any and everything, but someone who's just trifling and disrespectful, I can't allow that.

You mentioned that understanding is a huge foundational element for you when it comes to relationships. What are some other important qualities that make a successful relationship for you?

Definitely communication and good communication comes from understanding. Once you're on a level of understanding amongst both of you, that's the growth and you will have reached that level and those bonds that are unbreakable. I just feel like a lot of people rush into relationships of titles and status without having a level of understanding between them and not even being friends.

Before you try to build with someone in that type of fashion, definitely like a relationship long-term, I feel that you need to be friends first before you can become anything else and people don't establish a friendship. The person you're in love with is supposed to be your best friend. Be in a relationship with your best friend - it's not a business arrangement. That's the genuine bond and that's what you have to establish to make longevity.

"The person you're in love with is supposed to be your best friend. Be in a relationship with your best friend - it's not a business arrangement. That's the genuine bond and that's what you have to establish to make longevity."

Courtesy of Blue Kimble

Lights on or light off - and why?

You almost made me spit my water out (laughs). There's levels to that. Like I said, when I'm with someone, I do what pleases them. If my partner prefers the lights off and candles and that type of vibe, then that's what we're doing. But if she likes the lights on and she wanna look and she wanna be able to see everything and check it out, then we'll do that too (laughs)! I like to look and see what's going on, personally. I'm gonna do whatever my partner needs to get her to the mountain top.

'P-Valley' is embedded in the world of strip culture, so it would be very remiss of me to not ask you what are your top three favorite strip clubs?

Everybody else wouldn't know them. That's Atlanta talk - I'm from Atlanta, so the world may not know. You have to understand that Atlanta is enriched in strip club culture and Atlanta has the most strip clubs per capita, at least that's what I've been told and it's hard for me not to believe. We have strip clubs on every corner downtown (laughs). We've always had a stripper culture. I went to my first strip club when I was about fourteen or fifteen years old.

[In] Atlanta, you gotta check out the Blue Flame, that's an Atlanta staple; Magic City, another Atlanta staple. See, there's this throwback for real Atlanta people - Club Nikki's. Club Nikki's was the spot and they shut it down; it's been shut down forever, but the building is still up.

Speaking of strip clubs and strippers, if the woman in your life was to surprise you with a lap dance, what’s the song to get you in the perfect mood?

I would probably be more excited about those things. I wouldn't care if she's doing it in silence (laughs). The song that's gonna get me in the mood and not her freaky stripper outfit…

Songs are important. You don’t want your stripper giving you a dance to The Jackson 5’s “ABC”, now would you?

Yeah, so what song do we need? (laughs). TLC, how 'bout that? That's a good one? "Red Light Special".

I like that. I’ll accept that answer.

That's a good one. The Tank song, "When We".

His song “Dirty” is a good one, too.

There you go. TLC for the old heads, Tank's "When We" for the young people and my young girls to show them some love.

For more of Blue, follow him on Instagram. Catch him on Starz's P-Valley on Sunday nights at 9pm.

Featured image courtesy of Blue Kimble.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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