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Raven-Symone  in "A Girl Like Grace" courtesy production stills


Many who watched her as the adorable Olivia Kendall on the Cosby Show still see Raven-Symone as that witty and adorable "child" star we tuned in to watch every Thursday night on NBC. But the actress, who is now opposite Whoopi Goldberg hosting the hot topic ABC TV Show "The View," has come into her own. First as a woman. Recently, as a starlet.

Raven co-stars in the new film, A Girl Like Grace opposite actresses, Garcelle Beauvais (The Jaime Foxx Show), Meagan Good (Fox TV's "The Minority Report), and breakout newcomer, Ryan Destiny.

The film, directed by the intriguing and discerning, Ty Hodges, who also directed the critically acclaimed, "Miles From Home," takes us into the sexuality apogee of its title character, Grace, portrayed skillfully by Destiny. The coming-of-age drama follows Haitian-American Grace, who struggles to find herself and heal after her best friend's suicide, but between a group of bullies intimidating her, dealing with a self-absorbed mother trying to fulfill her own needs, and the tragic loss of her friend, Grace confronts a world of challenges.

In the film, Symone plays the role of Mary, a cruel yet agitated diva who, with her tagalong aficionados, antagonizes young Grace with a seemingly vindictive drive. It was the actresses first attempt at portraying a character out of her natural good girl persona, and she does it with convincing and scary efficiency,

"I drew from the character internally," Symone said of her performance during a Q&A at September's Urbanworld Film Festival. "I got to play a character who didn't have to be funny. I got to play a character who wasn't corny."

Symone's performance in the film has already generated a buzz around Hollywood and among fans who are used to the 29-year-old being somewhat amiable from her current screen achievement.

If the film is any forecast of what to expect from the actress in future film roles, expect to see Symone in the next David Fincher or Joel Schumacher thriller.




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