She played Molly in Showgirls. See Gina Ravera now at 56.

Fans of the 1995 NC-17 flop that became a cult classic show girls will remember Gina Ravena for her role as Molly, best friend of Elizabeth Berkley’s nomi Sadly relegated to the sidekick role, Molly helps the protagonist settle into Las Vegas and later provides funds for her redemption when Nomi avenges a horrific crime committed against her.

show girls May live in infamy, but Ravera has remained active in Hollywood after that, with roles in a number of notable films and series – including a pivotal appearance in the 1997s soul food in that one writer who has been described as “one of the most iconic moments in black culture, black film history, black history.” Read on to find out how the actor sees the role of Molly almost 30 years later, and see her now, at the age of 56.

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Gina Ravera in 2005
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In the years following Showgirls, Ravera had supporting roles in Spike Lee’s Get on the bus, kiss the girlsand the miniseries The temptations before wrapping up the 1990s as a regular on the party of five spin off time of your life.

her role in the film soul foodin which she plays the cousin and romantic rival of Vanessa Williams Teri, entered the pop culture lexicon when it inspired Williams to create a now iconic line at will. After Teri catches her husband having an affair with Ravera’s character Faith and is told not to tear the family apart, Teri exclaims, “Oh, [expletive] the family!”

In the 2000s the show girls Actor made guest appearances The fugitive, Fascinatedand Boston Legaland was cast as a regular on the TNT series The nearer and continues in a 13-episode arc HE From 2006 to 2008, radiologist Bettina DeJesus played the love interest of Mekhi Phifers dr Greg Pratt.

Gina Ravera in 2006
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Ravera would continue The nearer through the fourth season in 2009 and found that her character Irene Daniels – who was once described in The New York Times as “a young, attractive detective who also happened to be the only member of the group without a strong personality” – was quite a turn off for her.

“I’m very passionate and very expressive,” she told Fanbolt in 2008. “This character, Daniels, is far more reserved than I’ve ever played. It was very difficult to play someone who was so tight-lipped and so direct. “

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ravera left the series after just four of their later seven seasons, and Daniels decided after her split from teammate Sgt. David Gabriel (Corey Reynolds).

In the years since, Ravera’s acting career has slowed to occasional appearances on series, including lie to me, CSI: CIDand lock. Ravera did not release any credits between 2014 and 2018 before returning to television for three episodes of the CW comic series Arrow. Since then, she has only appeared on screen twice, in two episodes of train station 19 in 2020 and as the voice of Room Service on an episode of the Apple TV+ series Calls.

While Ravera was mom about why she left The nearer and what’s next for her, her IMDB profile is writing her as the writer of a production entitled Exitsuggesting that she may be repurposing her creative abilities.

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Gina Ravera in 2010
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In 2007, Ravera launched Project Reina (PR), a non-profit organization focused on preventing the spread of HIV among Hispanic and Black youth and young women. Next to The nearer assistant director Anna Notarides and fellow actors Angel Moore, Ana Ortiz, Teresa Randalland Lisa VidalRavera tried to empower young women with the message that “they deserve to be valued and adored” and to provide them with information about sexual health.

“We act as big sisters, giving young women information about life and sharing our experiences from our youth,” Ravera said in a 2010 interview. “It’s not just about AIDS prevention; it’s a recognition that life is a gift and it’s your responsibility to make something of it.”

In addition to her work with Project Reina, Ravera has partnered with organizations including Until There’s a Cure, which works to end HIV and AIDS, and Common Threadz, which works to help children in rural Africa.

Gina Ravera on Station 19

As show girls Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020, Ravera reflected on the role of Molly in an interview with Yahoo! News. While noting that she felt “seen” by the director Paul Verhoevenwho she said acknowledged the difficulties of being a black woman in Hollywood and gave her space to make the character her own, she also expressed concerns about Molly’s place in the script.

“It is that Hattie McDaniel role where you cater to the needs of the white woman and don’t have a story of your own,” she said.

Ravera also shared the emotional difficulties of filming a scene where Molly is brutally assaulted, noting that she has since refused to take sexual violence jobs and commenting on the problem she sees with the film Molly uses is used to redeem the protagonist.

“They just brutalize this character; They rip the character apart and don’t do anything with it — it just sits there broken,” she said. “I still have a problem with that. We watch a black girl get totally gutted for no reason other than to have this character [Nomi] affirmed because it has no redeeming qualities.”

Amid the film’s campy comeback, Ravera remained skeptical and skipped the reunions, realizing she had only seen show girls once since its release. “People just want to call it camp, but it’s not camp,” she told Yahoo! News. “There’s too much darkness in there to avoid all the weight.” She played Molly in Showgirls. See Gina Ravera now at 56.

Sarah Y. Kim

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