‘You’re Looking Better and Better’: Actress Lela Rochon Shares Major News About Her Acting Career Following Her Drastic Weight Loss Transformation

Actress Lela Rochon is reclaiming her time in the spotlight by joining forces with some of the “Waiting to Exhale” crew in a new film, “Terry McMillan Presents: Tempted By Love.” The project reunites Rochon with author Terry McMillan as well as actress Loretta Devine.

The movie is executive produced by actress Garcelle Beauvais and will premiere on Lifetime on August 17. Rochon first hinted at the project in May. She eagerly shared the news of its release date on June 21 on Instagram, where many of her followers were overjoyed with the mini “Waiting to Exhale” reunion. The 1995 film was based on McMillan’s book of the same name and also starred Angela Bassett and Whitney Houston.

lela rochon announces new role after weight loss
Lela Rochon shares exciting news about her acting career following her drastic weight loss. (Photo: @iamlelarochon/Instagram)

“Lela and Auntie Loretta? Yes!!!” excitedly wrote a fan in the comment section of the post. Another person similarly acknowledged Rochon and Devine’s past when they wrote, “Yes Gloria & Robin back together again!”

Countless others, however, were elated to see the Hollywood veteran landing new roles after more than 30 years in the industry. 

“Oh yes! So happy to see you back on the screen where you belong,” read a supportive message. “I see you @iamlelarochon booked and busy,” read another. A third person gushed, “Beautiful talented cast, I’m glad to see Lela Rochon returning to the big screen.”

Touching on her recent weight loss, one person said, “You’re looking better and better.”

Lela Rochon fans are thrilled to learn she’s starring in new the new film “Terry McMillan Presents: Tempted By Love” after debuting her body transformation. Photos: Iamlelarochon/Instagram.

Rochon’s résumé includes her work in “Harlem Nights” starring Eddie Murphy, the “21 Jump Street’ series, “Boomerang,” “The Wayans Bros.,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” and “Any Given Sunday,” to name a few. However, the new role is her first major movie job since debuting her slimmed-down figure in April, marking her 60th birthday.

In a 2016 episode of OWN’s “Where Are They Now?” the once sought-after actress said her career could have maintained momentum if she had continued to take on new and different roles.

“There are things that I was offered that I probably should have done just to stay relevant. I didn’t go in and read or pursue ‘The Help,’ and I actually threw the script in the trash can,” Rochon revealed.

“I didn’t read the book. I wasn’t a fan of the idea of playing a maid. So as I started reading it, you know, I didn’t really get it, and I was like, eh, OK … I’m not interested in that. But you know, sometimes you read a script and just don’t know what it’s gonna be.” The movie would go on to star Viola Davis and Octavia Butler.

Rochon revealed that she also read the script for “The Matrix.” Similarly to Will Smith, who producers originally wanted to play Neo in the action-sci-fi franchise, she was unable to see the vision for the project. “It’s techno babble, it’s scientific — I don’t even understand what I’m reading. … It was huge, ‘The Matrix.’ Huge! Who knew?” she said.

In that same episode, the actress disclosed that a sequel to “Waiting to Exhale” never came to fruition because of Houston’s sudden demise. The vocal icon passed away from an accidental drowning in a bathtub in February 2013. According to the toxicology report, cocaine, Xanax, and other substances were found in the system of the 48-year-old, who had struggled with drug use for many years.

“We were ready to go. Terry McMillan had finished the script, and the studio called and asked if we were all available to shoot in the summer, and they were unsure about Whitney,” Rochon recalled. “Loretta Devine and I said, ‘We don’t want anybody else. We want her.’”

Known for her decades-long career, Rochon is also the wife of “Equalizer” film director Antoine Fuqua. The couple of 25 years share two children, daughter Asia and son Brando. Despite a 2019 scandal where Fuqua was caught kissing Nicole Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife, the pair have managed to keep their union out of the headlines.

She is currently in production on the New Orleans spinoff of “The Family Business.” She plays Big Shirley Duncan, the co-owner of a nightclub named Midnight Blues. The upcoming series will premiere on BET+.

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