The “Love Thy Neighbor” Interview
with Kam Williams
Hip Hip Zulay!
Zulay Henao was born in Medellin, Colombia on May 29, 1979, and moved to the United States with her family at 4 years-old with her parents. Living in New Jersey, she knew from an early age that she wanted to be an actress. However, Zulay didn’t follow the conventional route to fame. In fact, she took a pit stop and joined the United States Army after graduating from high school.
While stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, she found time to study at Methodist College. After completing her commitment to the military, Zulay decided to finally pursue her dream of performing.
She enrolled at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, where she would study for several years. It was during this tenure that her break came when she landed the female lead in Feel the Noise starring opposite music sensation Omarion.
It was then that Hollywood insiders began to take notice of her irresistible beauty and talent. She was hand selected by writer-director Tom Skull to star in his horror feature Grizzly Park produced by Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’s Belle Avery. Next would be the role that would really put Zulay on Hollywood’s radar – a starring role as Channing Tatum’s love interest in Fighting.
She would subsequently go on to star in John Singleton’s Takers alongside the star-studded cast of Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Michael Ealy, Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown, Matt Dillon, Zoe Saldana and Jay Hernandez. She also appeared in S. Darko, Boy Wonder and Hostel: Part 3.
No stranger to the small screen, Zulay’s TV credits include guest-starring roles on such series as Grey’s Anatomy, Army Wives, Law and Order: SVU and The Unusuals, as well as the made for TV movie Racing for Time. Next year, she will appear in Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club alongside Amy Smart, Nia Long, Terry Crews and Eddie Cibrian.
Here, she talks about playing Marianna on Love Thy Neighbor, a new TV sitcom written and directed by Tyler Perry and airing on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. The show premieres on May 29 at 9 PM ET/PT. [Check local listings]
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