Her adoration doesn’t just stem from the glamour of wearing beautiful pieces, but also from the undeniably transformative power fashion can posses.
Beauvais should know. She made the leap from successful model in the early nineties to landing her first big break in the entertainment world on legendary producer Aaron Spelling’s small screen hit series, Models, Inc., which aired in the mid-nineties.
And while the Haitian-born beauty moves gracefully through her many ventures, behind the scenes securing her spot on Models, Inc. was pure grit and tenacity, playing out in many ways like its own daytime drama.
“I was still modeling and going back and forth to New York when I heard about a TV show coming out about models,” says Beauvais of trying to get an audition for the series. “But my agent said that they were not seeing any black models for the show. I dreamt that night that I was talking to Aaron Spelling. Being superstitious, I decided the next day that I was going to write him a letter and take it to him myself.”
Beauvais found Spelling’s office address, marched up unannounced to the receptionist desk and left her headshots and resume. The receptionist dutifully placed it on the producer’s desk and three days later the model turned to actress with a role in the Models, Inc. ensemble cast.
“We’ve made great strides since then,” she says about an increase of diverse roles in Hollywood. “We have shows like Empire, How to Get away With Murder and Scandal. We still have a ways to go, but we’ve definitely come a long way.”
With over two decades of TV and film under her belt, Beauvais has recently taken her talent behind the camera in order to be an active part of telling women’s stories. With the launch of her production company, Beauvais/Wilson (with producing partner Lisa Wilson), she is giving life to projects she finds important.
“There are so many stories out there that talk about things we want to talk about,” says Beauvais. “It’s important to have a woman’s voice. Hollywood is just now starting to go, ‘Oh, a woman’s film can do well.’”
The first project Beauvais and Wilson are producing is a short film called Lalo’s House which deals with sex trafficking in Haiti and is inspired by a true story. Beauvais also stars in the film.
“It’s loosely based on two little girls living in Haiti, who are kidnapped on their way home from school and wakeup in an orphanage,” explains Beauvais. “I play the nun running her orphanage as a sex trafficking ring.”
The film was director Kelley Chatman’s USC film school thesis and she had Beauvais in mind to play a role long before ever meeting the actress.
“My picture was always in her deck. She was trying to find me,” said the actress of Chatman’s desire to have her participate in the movie. “She finally met a friend of mine who introduced us. We decided to jump on board and also produce it. Jamie Foxx helped us. We’ve made the short and are hoping to get a feature. You always have to put things out in the universe.”
Foxx and Beauvais are longtime friends and co-workers, having starred together for five years on The Jamie Foxx Show, and again on the big screen in the film White House Down.
Like Foxx, Beauvais has proven that her talent doesn’t stop at the screen (though her star clearly shines bright there). In addition to her thriving production company, she has a reoccurring roles on The Magicians, which she describes as “Harry Potter, but more grown up,” and on The Arrangement which is loosely based on Hollywood’s clandestine marriage contracts.
“The beauty now of the industry is that it’s not bad to do other things,” says Beauvais of branching out beyond traditional entertainment. “When I started in the industry you were pigeonholed to being one thing. That’s changed and allowed me to do so many things.”
Case in point: A successful children’s book series focusing on common issues within modern families that can often be hard to deal with. The 3-book series includes the titles, “I Am Mixed”, “I Am Living in Two Homes” and “I Am Awesome”.
“Writing books was something I always wanted to do, but was also very scared of doing, she says. “I was going through a hard time and realized that to get out of the mindset I was in, I had to do something that scared me. That’s when the book happened and it’s been so great for my kids to see that I had an idea and I made it come to life.”
Though she’s far from her initial modeling days (and having to personally hand in her headshot for a role), Beauvais still makes time for fashion, especially jewelry.
“I love it!” coos Beauvais, about slipping into model mode for her AGTA Spectrum Awards™ photo shoot and getting to wear amazing clothing and award-winning jewelry. “This shoot was so much fun. I’m such a girly girl and I love every time I get to dress up and get fancy.”
For the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ shoot, the actress donned an array of gemstones ranging from black and white “tuxedo” inspired sets to dazzling purple Amethysts and gorgeous Garnets. The vivid color of each piece fell perfectly in line with her personal sense of style.
“When it comes to my personal style, I’m classic,” says Beauvais, “but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t wear a trend. And I love color! Being from the islands, color is big for me.”
The added radiance Beauvais brings to the gemstones is indicative of everything she is involved in – infusing her own inner and outer beauty in order to play an interesting character and to tell a compelling story.