She’s smart, friendly, slightly self-deprecating, and has earned a reputation as the hilarious host to watch on Fox’s daytime show “The Real.” A talk show where she shares her perspectives on topics ranging from the day’s news to relationships, along with four other women, Loni, who’s long charmed audiences in comedies “Soul Plane” and the sitcom “Girlfriends,” is combining comedy and action as the sassy security guard in “Mall Cop 2.”
“She’s called Donna Ericone and she’s a feisty mall cop who works for Mall of America in Vegas. She’s the only mall cop that can actually fight and that was put into the script on purpose to give her some character. It was a challenge to play,” says Loni. It’s certainly an overdue opportunity for the Detroit native who packed in an electrical engineering job to purse an entertainment career in 2003. “I was a bad engineer and did that to please my mom as she always stressed to get an education and get a good job,” admits Loni. “But there is so much more that I wanted to do in my life than just sitting at a desk. Standup allows you to express yourself, so I did my engineering job during the day and did standup comedy at night.”
Loni Love at the World Premiere of Columbia Pictures’ PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 at AMC Loews Lincoln Square.
With stints at various comedy clubs, her comedic flair and vivacious personality earned her a role in the major motion picture “Soul Plane” alongside Tom Arnold, D.L. Hughley, and Snoop Dog. With smaller roles in the television sitcom “Girlfriends,” Loni continued to hone her acting craft appearing in theater productions; “12 Angry Women,” “Devil’s Journey,” and in the “Bad Ass” film franchise alongside Danny Trejo and Danny Glover.
“Entertainment is a whole different spectrum and that’s why I started getting into it. There is so much trouble in the world that you want people to escape for a minute and entertainment does that. That’s what keeps me going,” adds the comedian who is also a recurring panelist on “Chelsea Lately” and a regular Guest DJ on “The Ellen Show.”
In “Mall Cop 2,” the likeable hero Kevin James is back in the amiable sequel as an over-zealous, overweight security guard whose mission is to ‘observe and report.’ It’s been six years since he gained fame for his daring rescue of the West Orange Pavilion Mall and he’s being recognized for his heroic efforts with an all-expenses-paid trip to a security convention in Las Vegas. When he discovers a criminal threat to the hotel, America’s favorite security guard and his cohorts spring into action. Filmed at the world-famous Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, returning to join Kevin James in this sequel are Raini Rodriguez, who plays his daughter, Maya, and Shirley Knight, who plays his mother.
“We had a great time making this movie. Kevin allowed us to improvise,” continues Loni. “We did the script as written and then he allowed us to add to it and that’s what kept doing take after take interesting and fresh. He hired a lot of standup comedians he has worked with so I knew a lot of people there and we had a great time. Plus being in Vegas for two months is not bad at all.”
Paul Blart (Kevin James) with Gino Chizetti (Vic DiBitetto), Khan Mubi (Shelly Desai), Donna Ericone (Loni Love) and Saul Gundermutt (Gary Valentine)
A non-offensive, lighthearted comedy about the perils of mall security, “Mall Cop 2” offers ample action for a comedic flick. There are plenty of chases, a variety of cool gadgets and since it’s a PG comedy, you can expect lots of falling down and running into things.
“It’s a family film that has comedy and action and I’m glad Kevin made me a part of it as I always like to make people laugh. There are certain scenes where you will see Donna getting emotional and you will also see her squaring off with another woman. It’s a film that will keep everybody’s attention.” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” releases in U.S. theaters this Friday.
Samantha Ofole-Prince serves as the Senior Entertainment Editor for Trendy Africa. She covers industry-specific news that includes television and film.