From “The Real World” to “Basketball Wives” to the big screen, Tami Roman has solidified herself as royalty in the Hollywood business. Most recently, the actress is returning to her reality show roots in a different capacity.
VH1’s Level Up Mondays has a new show on its hands titled “Caught in the Act: Unfaithful,” in which Roman will help people crack down on cheating partners. In this exclusive interview with REVOLT, the “Truth Be Told” actress chats about the new series, her relationship with Reggie Youngblood, and a separate television show idea she’s interested in bringing to life.
What was it about “Caught In The Act: Unfaithful” that made you sign up?
I signed up because I feel like I was this person and there was no outlet for me. We’ve seen shows that deal with relationships and infidelity — this show offers the ability to sit down with the other woman, which stuck out to me. When I experienced infidelity in my previous marriage, I would’ve loved the opportunity to sit down with some of those people and have a conversation with them. The first time I sat down with somebody, I mushed her in the face (laughs). You got to see that play out on “Basketball Wives.”
I would’ve liked to have been in a position where the conversation could’ve been in a controlled environment — not confrontation but real conversation and getting to the bottom of things so I can make proper decisions pertaining to the future of my life. Now, I’ve been able to live a little bit more. I have compassion and empathy for individuals in that predicament, and I know how to advise and counsel based on my own ability to come out on the other side of it.
As you mentioned, you’ve experienced infidelity in the past. What’s the biggest lesson you learned?
The biggest lesson I learned was that it wasn’t me. When I went through it the first time, I thought it was me and something was wrong with me. It really has nothing to do with you — it’s all about them and the inability to be committed, loving, honest, unconditional in your thought-process, and unselfish as it pertains to a relationship with another person. The inability to do that is a character flaw in that individual, not you. That was the biggest lesson I learned. I now know to not be so hard on myself and know that I’m valuable and worthy — to know that the love I need is out there and not with this person.
Do you have any advice you can share in order for couples to maintain a healthy, fun relationship?
Couples need to be honest — not surface level but brutally honest — about the things they need in a relationship. People say communication, but the problem is people don’t understand communication. Most people think it’s talking and saying what you want, how you feel, and what you need. The other side of communication in order for it to be done properly is to listen.
If you incorporate communication properly with brutal honesty, that is how you’re going to get to a point like the couples we see in media — Ciara and Russell Wilson. And while people like to joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, they have a very in-depth understanding of what their relationship is and that’s why they are still together. In light of whatever goes on, they know what their relationship is and what it represents to them. A lot of people don’t know that.
During the 2022 BET Awards weekend, you appeared as a relationship guru for one of the activations. Do you ever see yourself opening up your own practice or expanding on that venture?
I do that for fun because the people like it, and we go off doing the matchmaker thing and it’s a good time. This show shows some of that — the relationship advice and counsel in an unscripted format while dealing with real people and real situations. I would like to say the show is a hybrid — talk show-meets-unscripted-reality programming. I feel like people will get some of those elements naturally and generally through this show.
What are some ways Reggie makes you feel safe in your relationship and one reason you fall in love with him every day?
The one thing that Reggie did for me is having the patience of Job. When you interact with someone who has been through a lot of things I’ve gone through — not only relationship-oriented but life-oriented — I come with a lot of baggage, but everyone does. We’re all waiting in line at the baggage claim. I like to say, “Pick up our sh*t and bring it with us to the next destination.” He has the patience of Job to be able to say, “I’m not what you’re used to, and your experience with me is not going to be the same as other people,” and he needed to show me that.
He couldn’t just say that. Reggie being consistent in showing me each and every day that he has my back and he loves me — he’s going to be present amongst all the things I have to do is why I stay in love with him.
A few months ago, you talked about taking a break on “The Real” and giving Reggie a pass so he could conceive a child with another woman, which he ultimately declined. For anyone who may be going through something similar or who may be trying to fulfill a want for their partner in other ways, what advice would you give to them?
Before I answer this question, let me give you a little clarity and context on what I meant because I had only two minutes to answer, so this is what I wanted people to know: Reggie and I were trying to find a surrogate and with the type of job he has, he works from home, which allows him to travel with me while I do the many things I need to do. When I said take a break, what I meant was take a break from going on the road with me to go and find the surrogate that we need because it’s a lengthy process. I’m not sure if people understood that.
It’s true … vetting a surrogate can definitely be a very long process.
You know, when you’re not knowledgeable, then you don’t really understand the process. You don’t just open a book and go, “Her” (laughs). That’s not how that works. It’s a process with my eggs, making sure that person is compatible and their uterus can hold the little amount of eggs I have because if we lose those, now what? It was a lot of layers to the process, and he was not designating the proper amount of time to do it properly — that’s what I meant when I said that.
Do I want my husband to go stick his penis in someone else? No, that’s not what I meant (laughs). I’m giving you full context on that. Advice for others would be — now that I was able to explain in context what I meant — it was me being unselfish enough to say, “Separate from the mental and emotional amount of energy you give me, and go handle something that you know you want so we can cross that bridge and travel it together as well.”
You’ve showed your acting chops in the Apple TV+ series “Truth Be Told,” which has been renewed for season three, as well as in “The Ms. Pat Show,” which is set for season two. Let’s say you’re able to make your own show, what would the plot be and who would co-star?
It would be a scripted series and I would probably pick someone like an Octavia Spencer, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan, Essence Atkins or Regina Hall — any of them (laughs). It would be a show called “Good Grief,” and it would be covering the layers of grief that we don’t deal with in the African American community. How there are five stages of grief that people sweep under the rug and don’t deal with when we lose someone we love. This would be based on my life of losing my mom, and how I chose to not deal with her illness because it protected me — instead of protecting her from what she was going through.
Tami … that is a great idea. Have you pitched this to any network or streaming service?
We haven’t pitched it yet, but it’s something me and my partner would love to do.