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Raven-Symone growing up in 'Dr. Dolittle 2'

By Lori Blackman
CNN Showbiz Today Reports

"I get to do a dramatic scene with Eddie Murphy (in "Dr. Dolittle 2"), so you get to see different sides of my character," says Raven-Symone  

(CNN) -- You may remember Raven-Symone as the 3-year-old Olivia on "The Cosby Show," or as Nicole on "Hanging with Mr. Cooper" -- but it has been almost a decade since these shows.

Symone is now 15 years old, and reprising her role as Charisse, Eddie Murphy's daughter in "Dr. Dolittle 2." This time she gets to grow up a bit, with a new boyfriend and a new surprise gift. But she hasn't forgotten her television roots, or her love of music.

Blackman: What's changed this time around for the Dolittle family?

Symone in a scene from "Dr. Dolittle 2"  

Symone: Well, you see a lot more of Charisse in this film. She's a lot older, she's 16 and she has a boyfriend, played by (recording artist) 'Lil Zane. She has the typical father-daughter relationship with her father, she's very rebellious and she's not like him since her father can talk to animals. All the publicity is coming around, all the cameras and they are not able to be a normal family, and she doesn't like that. But in the end she gets a surprise and it brings her and her father closer together. It's so wonderful.

Blackman: How did you react when you learned 'Lil Zane was going to play your boyfriend?

Symone: I was on the set and they asked me, "Name the top five people that you would love to be your boyfriend," so I named some impossible people, and then like 'Lil Zane was number three or whatever. They were like, "Are you serious? 'Lil Zane?" And I was like, "Yeah, why?" They were like, "Guess who your boyfriend is?" You know, I almost fainted. I was like; "Oh my goodness, I'm so happy." I don't know if he was as happy to have me as his girlfriend, but I was happy to have him.


Blackman: We haven't seen you doing the dating thing on screen yet, have we?

Symone: No, and you haven't seen me be mean either. I was always a sweetheart on "Hanging with Mr. Cooper" and "The Cosby Show," so in (Dr. Dolittle 2) you get to see that. And also, I get to do a dramatic scene with Eddie Murphy, so you get to see different sides of my character.

Blackman: You're character is a bit of a rebellious teen. Are you?

Symone: No, I am not a rebellious teen. I am a sweet person. I mean, I have my moments. But it's kind of fun because all the stuff that I can't do, like Charisse, she talks back to her dad and she's really rebellious. I can just play it out in the character rather than doing it with my dad and getting in trouble. So, it's okay.

Blackman: You are aware that people always say that an actor should never share the stage with an animal because they will steal the spotlight.

Symone: They will. But they were more well-behaved than the humans were. They always got treats when they did something good. Once in a while, I wanted a treat too. I didn't get one, but that's okay. I was like; "Can I get a treat? The little monkey, he gets little gummy worms." It is so cute when he eats though, it is so adorable.

Blackman: Do you think we are going to see a "Dr. Dolittle 3"?

Symone: Yes. You know, because it's such a great movie. The second one, I have to say since I saw it already, it's so good. I wish there is a three. Everybody keep their fingers crossed. Go call the director and Eddie Murphy, send in letters - "Dr Dolittle 3. Dr Dolittle 3."

Blackman: Well, what would Charisse do if there was a "Dr. Dolittle 3"?

Symone: It depends on how the second one ends, how this one ends, on June 22nd when it opens. And I can't tell you that, you know, I can't. If you don't see it June 22nd then you won't know what I'm talking about. And then once you see it, you better send in the letters for "Dolittle 3."

Blackman: Okay, I want to take you back a bit. You are 15 years old. You started acting at 3 years old on "The Cosby Show." You have essentially grown up in front of America. And America seems to still see you as a child. You are America's 3-year-old sweetheart.

Symone: I am a 3 year old. Some people don't even believe I'm grown up. People are like, "I just saw you today on TV. You're 3 years old." I'm like, "No, that was 10 years ago." Sometimes, you have to let the people go and let them believe what (they) want to believe as long as you know you're not 3 years old."

Blackman: At 5 years old, you became the youngest person ever to sign a recording contract, with MCA records.

Symone: Yes, I was 5 and I was singin' and rappin' and doing everything. My single was called "That's What Little Girls Are Made of." Then I had a second album that came out on my own record label, called Rayblaize Records records, it was called "Undeniable." That came about three years ago. That was a great album, I was on tour with 'N Sync with that album.

Blackman: You've done music, you've done television, and you've done film. You've tackled every genre at a mere 15 years old. What do you like to do best?

Symone: I have to say acting has one side of my heart and then music has the other side. And if I stop one, I'll have half a heart. I can't live with half a heart, so I like both of them equally.

Blackman: What would you like to do with your career from this point forward, if you could paint your own picture?

Symone: That is so funny that you asked it like that because I would love to paint. I want to go to college and major in art history. I love to paint. If the acting and singing doesn't work out, that's the next love that I have. Or cooking, I love to cook. I might have my own little restaurant one day, you never know. But if acting does still work out, I'd love to have my own movie saying, "'Something-Something' staring Raven-Symone." That's what we're looking for.

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