By Sarah Batcheller

Kiki Hayne’s tremendous personality is impossible to ignore. Whether she’s on-screen starring as Keisha Jones in Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network, or divulging her best love advice, she never fails to make her audience laugh. The television star knew at a young age that acting was her passion. After meeting Bill Cosby and other cast members of The Cosby Show early in her acting career, she became determined to pursue a successful career in the entertainment industry. Since then, she’s captivated fans with her riotous, sassy attitude. In this exclusive celebrity interview, the New Jersey native opens up about her thriving career and the importance of keeping your head up.

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The For Better or Worse star explains that she and her castmates are like family. “We’re all team players. It’s gotten to the point that we know each other so well that we play off of each other,” Haynes gushes. “We just have a good time while we’re filming! It’s kind of like having a best friend who you don’t have to say anything to; you can just give each other that look.”

In addition to having such supportive friends, the OWN star names her faith as being what helps her keep her head up during tough times. “It is everything,” she says of her beliefs. “This business will tear you apart. There are always more actors than there is work, so everybody’s trying to get those two or three roles. My faith in God makes me feel a comfort that, when I don’t get a role, no matter how great I was or how hard I worked on the audition, it just wasn’t meant for me. A lot of people think, ‘What did I do wrong?’ It’s not that you did something wrong; it just wasn’t meant for you. I know for a fact that my faith taught me that — it keeps me sane!”

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When it comes to her For Better or Worse character, Haynes admits that Keisha is very different from her true self and draws her inspiration to play a villainous woman not only from people she’s known in real life but from reality TV as well. “I’ve met people like Keisha before! They’re not necessarily friends of mine, but I’ve been in settings where I’ve witnessed people bring on the drama,” she reveals. “And I’ve watched reality TV shows like Bad Girls Club and Basketball Wives. I look at the drama they bring and use those kinds of mannerisms for Keisha. It’s so much fun!

“But I also find a truthful side to her because I wanted the audience to still have a heart for her,” she adds. “She is a lot of trouble, but underneath is a woman who’s hurt.”

Kiki Haynes Offers Old-Fashioned Love Advice

Haynes’s sweet disposition is evident in her outlook on love. Like many single celebrity women, she describes herself as a “renaissance woman” but still values chivalry when it comes to dating. In our exclusive celebrity interview, she points out, “I have a modern outlook that women should be in more powerful positions and be able to be independent, but I still like tradition in my dating life. I like old-school courtship. I want a guy to actually come and ring the doorbell and open the car door for me. I also like it when guys ask me about me; I’ve been on dates when guys talk more about themselves. Don’t just try and sell yourself to me — get to know me!”

The Jersey girl’s best love advice comes from the early days of a past relationship, in which she claims if she could go back and do the relationship over again, she would have known better from the get-go: “On a date one night, we were talking at dinner, and he asked me about things I had never done, so I told him things like parasailing and canoe riding. On the next date, we went parasailing, went to breakfast afterward, then went on a gondola ride, had champagne and strawberries, then dinner, and finally went to a huge Latin dance concert. He had the full date planned out from top to bottom. I really felt like a princess!” she shares. “But it was too good to be true because it was all for show. As much as I enjoyed it all, if the heart behind it isn’t genuine, then I’d rather not have it.”

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Of the same relationship, Haynes continues, “Another thing he did was that, every time he came to my house, he would spend a long time in my bathroom, and I found out he actually made a mental note of all of the products I used and stocked his bathroom with the same shampoo, deodorant, etc. so that I wouldn’t have to bring things back and forth. He did all of that in the first month! Not that anything is wrong with that, but I could probably have waited another two to three months. After six months, he showed his true character.”

So what did she learn from this failed partnership? “If someone does too much too fast, they’re probably on a schedule. Why did he have to plan that date in one day? It was too much, too fast! If I could go back and do it all over again, I would have known to run for the hills,” she says.

For more from Kiki, be sure to keep up with her on Twitter @iamkikihaynes, www.facebook.com/kiki.haynes, and www.instagram.com/kikihaynes/.