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‘You Play Up What You Know’: LisaRaye McCoy Talks Breaking Through the Sexy Typecast

Actress LisaRaye McCoy may always be seen as a sex symbol, but when it comes to her career she’s ready to push past the barriers of being typecast. 

McCoy joined the short list of “it girls” of the ’90s when she starred in “The Players Club” as single mother and college student Diamond. Her performance, which showcased a toned physique and McCoy’s natural beauty, has withstood the test of time, just like her looks. The latter is a dream for many, but for McCoy it’s the very reason she struggled to consider herself for different roles that did not require her to be seen as sexy. 

Lisaraye McCoy. (Photo: @therealraye1/Instagram)

“When you do such a role that’s iconic and it deems you as a sex symbol, you feel that you have to be sexy all the time,” she explained while appearing on “The Real” talk show. While seated and posing, she continued, “So it’s like is it this, is it this, or is it this, you know what I mean?” 

But the “All of Us” actress doesn’t place the blame for her being typecast on producers or casting managers; instead, she says some of the onus for her sexy roles is her own doing.

“You play up to what you know that helped make you, you know. So you tend to kind of stay in those roles, besides them giving me those type of roles, the woman next door, the cheater, this mistress or whatever. It’s like sucked in, pushed out, can’t speak kind of roles,” she added.

To her credit, McCoy has appeared in more than a dozen movies and a handful of television series. In more recent years the 54-year-old says her roles have grown more diverse as she embraces who she is as a no longer 20-something actress.

“It wasn’t until I got older that I got OK with myself, the more that I felt confident about me and the woman that I am, that made me say, ‘I am now interested in this role, in this type of role.’ And so now I’m venturing out.”

McCoy has spoken about the pressure of being a sex symbol in the past. For a time, the actress says, “‘Players Club’ put me on the map. … It made me a bona fide sex symbol, and when you are a sex symbol people think that you’re sexy all the time, and that stigma follows you.” Her latest role in the T.D. Jakes produced anthology series, “Greed: A Seven Deadly Sins Story” will see her take on being a villain. It airs on Lifetime network.

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