Antonique Smith: Keeping the Faith

She played Faith Evans in the movie Notorious and was recently shouted out by Nas on his single, “Nasty,” when he rhymed, “Maserati, pumpin’ Biggie, the great legend/Blastin’, I’m after the actress who played Faith Evans.”

Now, actor Antonique Smith will appear alongside Taylor Lautner (from the Twilight movies) in the action-thriller Abduction, which hits theaters September 23. “I kind of liken it to a Mission Impossible,” said Smith, who was born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey. “It’s going to be a big weekend.” The beautiful blonde bombshell took time out to talk to XXL about her portrayal of Faith, the Nas shout-out and her own budding music career.—Mark Lelinwalla

XXL: How was it growing up in New Jersey?

Antonique Smith: I’m from New Jersey, real Jersey, though. East Orange by Naughty by Nature and them. They were around the corner from me. I was a little girl in the park, watching Treach and them ride by in their cars like, “What’s good!” It was a good time.

Did you grow up on hip-hop?

I grew up listening to everything because my parents were like that. As a singer, though, my influences were Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey. Those were the people I actually grew up singing to. I love everybody from Prince to Coldplay, of course Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyoncé. All that. I even love Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. System of a Down. I listen to everything… even a little bit of opera.

Nas shouted you out on his current single, “Nasty.” How did that feel?

He shouted me out on the song, which I thought was really sweet. I had never met him before and he called me sometime after that and said that he was initially afraid that I’d be upset about it because he wasn’t sure how I took it, but I thought it was sweet. He’s really nice. Word for word, he’s an incredible rapper. I’ve always been a fan and that line is a really dope line. We’re going to do some music together.

Really?

Yeah! I would love that. Like I said, I’ve always been a fan and that’s something I think would be so cool. It was random and awesome that he shouted me out and then it was like, “Ok, he shouted me out, do I reach out to him?” But then he reached out to me, we got cool and we been talking about doing some music. That would be crazy. I think that would be dope!

FOR MORE ANTONIQUE SMITH, GO TO PAGE 2