The Soft Life...

During Compulsive's one-on-one convo with this widely celebrated actress, she shares the steps along her impressive journey and why it's so important to continue setting the blueprint for other Black girls.

There's no doubt about it: Meagan is good at just about anything. And fans of this actress, who consistently slays on screen and the red carpet, never cease to be amazed by her evolution. The former child star is on the fast track to becoming one of the major players behind the scenes in the television and film world.

And she has been putting in the work. From her early days as an integral cast member of Kasi Lemmons' Eve's Bayou, to her memorable roles in NBC's Deception, the Think Like a Man series, and more, she's created a mark on Hollywood that transcends beyond our screens.

As she continues her journey, she makes a note to emphasize how "I want to create opportunities for others but especially the little Black girl behind me to make sure she doesn't have to work as hard as I did." Growing up in Santa Clarita, California, Good was in the minority as her family was the only Black family in the neighborhood.

So it was representation that drew her into television. "[In Santa Clarita] it wasn't at all like being from Hollywood or even Los Angeles in a lot of ways," Good recalls.

"There were mountains, dirt roads, coyotes, rattlesnakes, those kinds of things. "Like many young kids, Good dabbled in activities, including sports and ballet, but found her niche in acting. "Acting for me was where I felt the safest," recalls the 41-year-old. "I felt that I was able to express myself, and I felt the most comfortable and confident."

Although acting started as a hobby, she proved it was worth fighting for. This was especially the case when someone revoked her work permit in the early stages of her career.

"There was a lot of racism," she admits. "A lot of things that were done to me weren't done to other kids. I ended up losing my work permit in the sixth grade. If you don't have a certain grade point average and you're under 18, you're no longer able to have a work permit, which means you can't act. I spent that summer focusing on tutoring to ensure that I could get my work permit back.

A lot has changed for Good since she was that little girl working on improving her marks to continue her budding career. (Spoiler alert: she succeeded.)

Now, with a career spanning three decades, the actress/producer/director has done everything you can think of. She's been in commercials, music videos, television, and films. Yet her latest role as the brilliant yet quirky Columbia professor Camille Parks in Harlem is one of her favorite characters to date.

"I get to explore kind of that dorky side, that kind of embarrassing socially awkward side at times," she says of the role. She adds that Camille's character has allowed her to explore different sides of herself and expand her craft.

"There's so much of me, and I guess you could say, in her. She can be sensitive, but then she can be confident. She can be awkward, but then she can be totally aware of her capabilities and know that she's the one," she points out.

"I think all those things can exist at the same time. It's just been a lot of fun because not only do I get to do comedy, but I also get to do drama. Everything is rooted in such truth, and these are real experiences that all women, especially Black women, go through. This show has been the best experience in my career."

While the actress has been in front of the camera for years, Good has been working on her skills behind it. The California native directed the second episode of season two of Harlem, after making her directorial debut in 2019 with If Not Now, When?, which she co-directed with Tamara Bass. While Good tells Compulsive it was a "natural pivot" going from acting to producing and then directing, the events that led up to her sitting in the director's chair were anything but planned.

"My cousin Dijon Talton and I produced a show on AMC's sister company, ALLBLK, called A La Carte. It was his baby, his brainchild, and now he is the director. But this all started 11 years ago when he came off the television show Glee.

He ventured into music and wanted me to produce his music video. He had picked out this director that I loved, and he was like, 'Well, what if we can't get him?' I said, 'Well, we can get him. We can definitely get him. If we can't get him, I'll direct it. Ha ha ha. And it turns out this director was having a baby that day. So, I had to step in, and I was terrified."

Now, fast forward to 2023. Good is stepping in where she will be pulling triple duty as she will act, produce, and direct solo for Russ & Drew, a project for which she expresses her passion.

"I would direct for free. There's a quote that goes, 'if you didn't get paid for your passion, would you still wake up every day and do it?' That's how I feel about directing," she quips.

Good has worked with countless esteemed actors throughout her career, including Samuel L. Jackson and Lynn Whitfield in Eve's Bayou, for which she earned an NAACP nomination for her breakout role as Cisely Batiste.

In her adult career, she's worked with Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J, and Michael Ealy in the Think Like a Man series, which only represents a small amount of her success over the years. However, when asked with whom she'd like to work with, there was no hesitation.

"Halle Berry. I want us to play sisters in a kick-ass movie with some incredible social commentary and artistic activism," she beams. "I love her so much. I've always looked up to her, and when I met her, she did not disappoint. She was so kind and so sweet. And I got emotional when I met her. And then she got emotional because I got emotional. Now with her producing and directing as well, it's just cool to watch. It's all good".

Outside of her studio work, Good is committed to the community with The Greater Good Foundation. "My sister, La'Miya, and I kept thinking, 'What can we pour back into the younger generation?' And it just started as a resource for young people to pursue their dreams and to kind of hone in on what their purpose is and what God's put in their hearts so that they have an idea of which way they should be going in life and how to start working towards those things," she describes the foundation's initial purpose.

"But then we partnered with a curriculum to teach kids with different learning styles. It's still evolving on exactly what it will be. But we know at the end of the day this is the core value."

As she continues in her quest to inspire her community and focus on her acting, producing, and directing endeavors, Good continues to strive for more. "I want to do a biopic and more action films. I want to do things with social commentary where I'm not telling anyone what to think or believe, but giving them an opportunity to figure it out.

"I love creating projects that I can relate to and that show us in a light where we can do anything," she adds. "We can figure out anything. We're capable of anything. We're worthy of everything."

As for her career trajectory in the coming years the triple threat says, "I also think my most favorite role is yet to come."

It's all good.

Compulsive Questions: Getting back to Meagan the Good way

Compulsive: What are three beauty items you can't live without?

Meagan: Aquaphor lip ointment, eyebrow pencil, and Tatcha luminous dewy skin mist.

Compulsive: What's a guilty pleasure of yours?

Meagan: Cheeseburgers, champagne, and donuts.

Compulsive: What does a dream vacation look like for you? Active or restful?

Meagan: Split down the middle. I love hiking, massages, sipping pina coladas, finding something magical like a waterfall, and zip-lining. I love zip-lining. I try to go zip-lining in every country or state that I go to even though it terrifies me, I love it so much.

Compulsive: Where is a place you haven't traveled to that you would like to see?

Meagan: Morocco, Spain, Greece. I just started my traveling endeavors but I just went to Italy for my birthday and I want to go to Barbados because that's where my dad is from and I've never been.

Compulsive: What's your favorite meal to cook or go-to dining out meal?

Meagan: I really started teaching myself how to cook different meals during the pandemic so I'm still trying to figure out what my favorite meals to cook are. But I like to do both. I like eating out then I kind of have to be in the mood to cook because if I'm in the mood, then I'm just going to take my precious time and just do all the things and have a glass of wine and watch TV at the same time.

Compulsive: What do you like to do outside of work?

Meagan: I love karaoke, horseback riding, having a good lunch with a friend, spending time with my nephews, and watching old movies.

Compulsive: If you could manifest three words you want in your career, and life for 2023 what would they be?

Meagan: Peace, Joy, and Alignment.

— Photographer: Arnold Turner/Eclipse Content, Wardrobe Stylist: Breona Moore, Make-Up Artist: Jorge Monroy, Hair Stylist: Jasmine Ashley, Wardrobe: Her Group PR, Jewelry: Lottie Wallace