It’s time for the holidays on tonight’s special episode of Young & Hungry and CelebSecrets4U to to chat with Kym Whitley, who plays Yolanda on the show, to get the scoop on what we can expect from the Christmas episode.
She also told us about her own holiday traditions, offered a little advice to kids with single mothers and dished about her show Raising Whitley (the new season premiered on November 21st). Oh and we had to ask her about her love for Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, so make sure to read our Q&A with Kym below.
In “Young & Christmas,” Gabi and Sofia aren’t able to be with their families this holiday season, so they decide to volunteer at a local homeless shelter on Christmas Eve. Yolanda is missing her kids and decides to boycott the holiday until Gabi encourages her to reach out to her estranged sister Jolanda (Jackee Harry). As soon as the siblings reunite at Josh’s loft, however, old grievances are aired, and the family get-together quickly goes from bad to worse. Elsewhere, Josh goes out of his way to cheer up a miserable Elliot, who is missing Alan, while Sofia wrestles with her conscience when a department store clerk (Mindy Sterling) makes an error in her favor.
The Christmas special of Young & Hungry airs tonight at 9PM ET/PT on ABC Family.
CS4U: Young & Hungry was renewed for a third season. Are there any storylines you’d like to see for Yolanda in the new season?
Kym Whitley: “Yes, I’d like to see Yolanda get sexy and a makeover and I’d like her to be dating a hot young guy and I’d like to see family members. It’s a lot (laughs).”
CS4U: There’s going to be a Christmas episode and Jackee Harry is actually going to star as your sister. What was it like working with her and what can fans expect from the episode?
Kym Whitley: “Absolutely, it’s a fun and exciting episode. It’s a special. Jackee is going to be as hysterical as she always is, so that makes it more fun. I’m excited for her to play my sister because everyone thinks we’re the same person. A day does not go by people don’t call me Jackee and she says she gets the same thing, so finally both of us will be on the same screen at the same time. It’s just fun. It’s just going to be a fun, family, ups-and-downs episode.”
CS4U: Do you hope they might bring her back on in the next season?
Kym Whitley: “Oh yeah. She’s a fantastic actress, so I definitely look forward to that.”
CS4U: Since it is a holiday episode, can you tell us what you and your family do for the holidays?
Kym Whitley: “We go on like destination holidays usually. We used to go to Vegas every year, but there are two things that are tradition always and one is that we always play the white elephant game. We buy a toy and then everyone has to exchange. Not a toy, I mean a gift. A toy is for Joshua (laughs). We also do Christmas carols so we always do that and those are traditions that never change.”
CS4U: In the season two finale, Gabi now has a food truck. If you were to have a food truck of your own, what food would you sell?
Kym Whitley: “If I had a food truck of my own, I would have a food truck called everything pasta.”
CS4U: Oh that’s sound good.
Kym Whitley: “See you want to go, don’t you? (laughs)”
CS4U: You also have your show Raising Whitley. What can fans expect from the new season?
Kym Whitley: “This season is going to be absolutely the funniest season and most insane. I have a friend who in the middle of the season moves in with me and I think that she’s going to stay for like a week –she’s literally there for three months and we have totally opposite ideas on how to raise a kid and how she’s supposed to help me. It’s like I could have just dropped Joshua off anywhere and he would have been better off (laughs). In one of the funniest episodes, we actually going skiing. All of us go up to Big Bear. Now, I’m sorry, but it’s a hilarious episode when you put a bunch of non-skiing, black people on a mountain and put them in skis. Hysterical. Joshua had fun but it’s just one of my favorite seasons.”
CS4U: You have a lot of stuff going on. You just wrapped up filming a movie and you have comedy shows, so how do you balance your life between work and at home taking care of Joshua?
Kym Whitley: “I literally have to have the best support system. I called them Villagers, but all of my friends and family and all the teachers are all there. Because what happens is that sometimes one person will drop Joshua off and another person will pick him up and I will still be out of town. And people always say well Kym how do you do that? It’s called a smartphone. I literally text one person and say can you pick up Joshua at 3. Someone will always be at my house.”
CS4U: You are a single mother and you’re very proud of everything that you’ve accomplished with Joshua by your side. What advice would you give to kids who were raised by single mothers? What would you kind of want them to understand about what their mothers are doing?
Kym Whitley: “They have to have patience with their parent. A lot of stress is on single mothers and sometimes they’re trying their best, but sometimes they can’t be everywhere and they can’t do everything. Let them know that it’s okay. Say mom it’s okay. Aunt Brenda can watch me or I can stay at school a little longer or try to do their homework. It will make their life. Because once they tell their mom it’s okay, their mom relaxes and then you have a happier mom, which means you have a happier home.”
CS4U: We also see that you’re a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes and you like watching Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. What is it about these shows that you love?
Kym Whitley: “I love the writing. I really love that I can’t really predict what’s going to happen. I love that if we looked back 5 years ago, if even that, that these shows have African American leads. Female! You can’t name a show that’s had that, so to see someone like me in a drama leading the show when it’s always been men leading the show, it’s just…I watch it and I celebrate.”
If you want to see what Kym is up to, follow her on social media @kymwhitley.
Photos: Eric McCandless/ABC Family