Keshia Knight Pulliam on If Her 3-Year-Old Daughter Will Follow In Her Child Star Footsteps (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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The world has watched Keshia Knight Pulliam grow up right before their eyes. The 41-year-old actress is best known for her role as Rudy Huxtable, the youngest daughter of Cliff and Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show.
Knight Pulliam was and still is the youngest person ever nominated for an Emmy at six years old for her role in the NBC sitcom in 1986. Now, it seems like her 3-year-old daughter, Ella, may follow in her footsteps.
"She's aware that mommy is an actress, and the other day she was like, 'Well mommy, can I be an actor when I grow up?'" Knight Pulliam shared with ET's Nischelle Turner. "I said, 'Whatever you want to do, mommy is going to support you.' And I told her, 'You've seen mommy as a little girl on TV, so understand that whatever you dream, you don't have to wait to be a grown up to do it. You can start right now.'"
It doesn't worry Knight Pulliam that her daughter might be interested in the entertainment industry, saying she's "not of one of those people who are like, 'I don't want my daughter to do what I've done.'"
"I feel like if she chooses to do it, she has the best guidance ever," she explained. "I've lived it, I've experienced it. So with that being said, I tell her, 'Look, if you wanna sell snow cones in Alaska, I'm your biggest fan. I'm gonna be right there next to you, promoting you.' So whatever it is that she ultimately chooses to do, I absolutely support."
Knight Pulliam, meanwhile, is reprising her role as Miranda Lucas-Payne in Tyler Perry's House of Payne. The show just returned after an eight-year break, and now everyone wants to know what's going between Miranda and Calvin (Lance Gross).
"When we left off, Miranda said she wanted a divorce…It's really getting into the thick of that. Like, will we end up together? Will we work it out? Will we go our separate ways?" she teased. "So now it's that co-parenting space and the space of just figuring out what the future looks like."
"I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, so I always want love to win and for love to come out in the end and be amazing," she continued about her onscreen relationship. "What is really important is that it takes two people, and it's going to be whatever is the healthiest for our little one. So we'll have to see what happens, but I feel like the fans are rooting for us."
The cast finished filming before quarantine and Knight Pulliam was on a plane headed out of New Orleans when everything got shut down. Now that House of Payne is back, she couldn't be happier.
"The one thing about House of Payne, and it being such a family comedy, is that there's something for everyone," she relayed.
Knight Pulliam also reflected on her lengthy career after ET showed her footage of her as a child at the Emmys in 1986.
"I've had an amazing career that so many people just dream of. Not just to be on one hit show that's historic and a part of everyone's lives, but now two with the House of Payne," she acknowledged. "So I'm grateful for all the experiences and to be able, from the time of 9-months-old, to do something that I love and to have such a profound impact on people's lives and their childhoods, and now their children's lives. That's a blessing."
As for the advice she would tell her 6-year-old self?
"Keep living with that joy and that child-like innocence of any and all things are possible -- and there's no such thing as a box," she said. "I'm grateful that even without that knowledge now, I've lived that way. I have no regrets."
Tyler Perry’s House of Payne airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on BET.