, August 2009

By Charreah Jackson

Will Eva be a bridezilla? Not if the model and actress can help it. As the “Young and the Restless” star continues the search for the perfect wedding planner, she shares details on her big day, how she and Lance Gross keep their relationship strong and why she’s holding off on being a mom.

ESSENCE.COM: Congrats again on the engagement! Give us some details and how are you incorporating your funky style.
The wedding is July 17 of next year in Los Angeles. It will be a Catholic wedding in a church with a reception outdoors. We are going with a fall color scheme. Amsale is doing my dress and the guys are wearing Tom Ford. I’m still looking for my planner, which is an experience in itself. I want someone who gets my style and can make it happen. I love my dogs and want them to come to the reception dressed in tuxes. I’m also changing to a second dress as we get ready to party.

ESSENCE.COM: Sounds great. Now with your busy schedules and working in different cities, how do you and Lance keep the relationship solid?
The saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder is so true. One of the reasons our relationship works is because we long for each other when we’re not together and we dread the moment a part when we are together. I have enough time to live my life, hang with my friends and work, and with him it’s a plus. It’s our natural ebb and flow and organically works. I didn’t look for someone who worked in the business and I honestly thought it wouldn’t be a good match, but it is. He gets my hours and I understand his.

ESSENCE.COM: That’s important. So how did you two meet?
We met at the premiere party for “House of Payne” and we exchanged numbers. Our first date was at a small healthy restaurant in Atlanta. He didn’t know what he was getting himself into. We just talked and hit it off.

ESSENCE.COM: It’s great to see a new couple in Black Hollywood going strong. What couples do you look to as a guide?
Of course the Obamas. Will and Jada [Smith] display an amazing family dynamic to the world and show you how love can exist in show business and you can raise a nice family. I love Rev. Run and Justine, Terry Crews and his wife, Malinda Williams and D-Nice, and there are many others. Some people would like to have a life outside of monogamy and there is nothing wrong with that, but I think there are great examples of the other side which is marriage and family. I also have many strong couples in my family I look to.

ESSENCE.COM: Speaking of family, there have been a lot of new babies in Tinseltown. Do you have your eyes set on growing your family after the wedding?
I’m not ready to have kids and do all that, and that’s ok. I’ve learned from those who have had kids early and are amazing actors or singers, and took time for kids early on and they might not be working now. There are other actresses that I really hope land on top, like Lauren London. She’s beautiful and amazing, at her prime and about to have a baby. I’ll be a great aunt and do like Beyoncé—Solange, you can have the baby and I’m going to get married and do the career. I’m not in any hurry.

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