One To Watch: Aisha Hinds
Editors Note: Some actors defy the labels “Fresh Black Girl” (because they’re men) and “Obscure Black C-Lister” (because they’re so on the rise). These are the type of performers that you catch from time to time, finally have a moment where you say, “oooh! that actor/actress!” and can only hope will lead the new generation of black performers – they actually excite a tv/film geek like me because they’ve yet to blow up like they should. Instead of just chatting about them with friends and on Twitter in that Black Pop Culture Expert-y way I decided to spotlight a few so you can look out for them in the future and show their work the support it deserves!
Aisha Hinds is striking: brown, bald-headed, and full-lipped, with a deep, crystal clear voice and black and beautiful features. My “a-ha!” moment with Ms. Hinds came courtesy of HBO’s True Blood in her role as voodoo lady/drugstore clerk Ms. Jeanette (a character that was meant to be a good twenty years older than Ms. Hinds, who is thirty-five). Aside from her commanding screen presence, the true pleasure in her performance is her voice. Aisha Hinds gives new meaning to the term “enunciation,” especially while playing a backwoods Louisiana black woman. Thinking back on it, I remembered her from an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit playing a transgendered counselor and she stood out because I spent more than a few minutes trying to figure out if she was male or female – she doesn’t look manly, but her portrayal was so convincing that I had to double check. She also stood out as a no-nonsense welfare case-worker on Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia and as a guard on Prison Break. See, Hollywood? Versatility is a thirty-five year old bald-headed black woman. Ms. Hinds has been popping up everywhere in 2009 but she hasn’t been 100% put on just yet – she currently has a recurring role on HawthorNE (which I’m glad has been renewed JUST so she gets more work), another in Dollhouse (again, same sentiment), and maybe, just maybe, Miss Jeanette will come back from the dead on True Blood? We want more Aisha Hinds and we want it now! One her life’s philosophies, as discussed in an interview with Urban Thought Collective, is “the day I stop learning, growing, or being challenged is the day I stop existing . . . I must GROW, every moment I am graced to do so.” Can we help make that happen? Check out the first this clip from True Blood (with Rutina Wesley, Adina Porter, and some NSFW audio) to see how she gets down, and make sure you know her when you see her!