NORCROSS, Ga. — Rosie Perez is a walking burst of sunshine.
When the adored actress — and “The View’s” newest cohost — raises the corners of her ruby red lips into a trophy smile, producing the tiniest indentations under her sculpted cheekbones, she already has the audience cradled within her tiny caramel-coated hands before she even opens her mouth.
Though the vivacious and versatile vixen is not known as a singer among her many talents, the Academy Award-nominated actress’ New York accent is pure sonic pleasure that is both melodious and disarming.
Turns out that Perez’s famous red-carpet smile and adorable dimples often camouflaged a searing pain that was hidden within the deepest crevices of her soul. The dancer-choreographer-actress-author poured the hot contents of her heart into provocative and poignant autobiography, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life, a portion of which she read to a small audience inside the the world-famous Tree Sound Studios in suburban Atlanta.
The event was hosted by Tree Sound Studio general manager Mali Hunter and attended by the likes of Trina and Towanda Braxton, Big Tigger, Rodney Perry, HeadKrack of the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show,” among others and was sponsored by Corona.
The incandescent Perez, her regal visage framed by dark curly tresses cascading past her shoulders like a waterfall, detailed a tumultuous childhood in the Bronx borough of New York City, where she overcame an abusive and mentally unstable mother and sent off to boarding-type school. She harnessed her pain into performing arts, later winning a spot as a dancer on the the iconic “Soul Train” and eventually earning early memorable roles beginning in the late 1980s, most prominently the seminal Do the Right Thing and White Men Can’t Jump and later included Fearless and The Counselor.
The rapt audience devoured Perez’s every word and emotion and dramatic expressions, alternately having the audience laughing and gasping or nodding their heads in agreement about some truth that Perez learned along the way while fighting off clinical depression.
Check out the photographic highlights from this exclusive, intimate affair at Tree Sound Studios in metro ATL.