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Ta’Rhonda Jones Talks Hosting ‘The Never Ever Mets’ On OWN

April 18, 2024

Read the full interview on SheenMagazine.com!

Ta’Rhonda Jones just landed her dream role, and we are here for it!

The Chicago native is best known for her role as Porsha Taylor on the hit television series Empire, playing Taraji P. Henson’s assistant. Now, Jones is stepping into her own limelight as the official host for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s new dating show titled The Never Ever Mets.

Premiering this Friday, April 19th, The Never Ever Mets is a reality TV series that follows couples as they transform their relationships from online dating into the real world. Clocking in at 10 episodes, Jones will be the voice of reason for seven couples as they meet face-to-face for the very first time, and even live together in a house for three weeks.

With Jones’ fun yet bold personality, she was the perfect fit to take these couples on an unforgettable quest for true love.

Sheen had the pleasure of chatting with Jones about this exciting new venture.

 

What are you most excited for hosting The Never Ever Mets?

I’m excited for people to reconnect again. This show is going to provide a different outlook when it comes to dating. We lost the essence of connecting with people, because of social media and everything being weird after the pandemic. People are going to learn a little lesson here, I’m so excited about that. And for people to see my face again. I’ve been off TV for a little bit. I’m back, like I’ve never left.

 

 

I saw your post saying, “y’all I’m in tears as I’m typing this. I prayed for this, I worked for this, I DESERVE THIS🥺” How for full circle is this moment, and how long have you had to keep the news under wraps?

I kept this for myself for about a year and a half. The full circle moment: I started my role on Empire, initially going into that audition room thinking I was going to rap for Terrence Howard. I went in for a whole show, didn’t know it was a show. Got the role, changed my life. What a lot of people don’t know is that when I got this role, I was going through such a hard time. I had recently lost my mom, I lost my granddad two weeks before. Maybe six months later, I lost my baby. It was so dark for me. Work was slow. Work had gotten so slow, I felt like the world forgot about me.

This opportunity came along out of thin air. My manager called me on a Monday morning like “yeah, Oprah’s new show. They need a host and they’re filming on Friday, they still don’t have a host. So I threw your name out there.” They’re like “yeah that’s an interesting person. Let’s interview her.”  I said okay, when they want to interview me? He said, “Today!” I just left the gym, my wig ain’t on. I don’t look good, let me get myself together.

I went in just grateful that somebody had remembered me, that somebody thought of me. Went in, showed up, did me. That Thursday night, got here. I’m like ugh, it’s closer to the time. My manager called me like “Look, I got good news and bad news.” I said listen, if I didn’t get it, it’s okay. I’m just grateful that they thought of me. He said “Well, the bad news is you’re gonna be in LA a lot longer than you anticipated, because I know you wanted to go home. But the good news is, you’re now this TV show host for the show.” I said okay great!

I remember that Friday got here, but I didn’t hear anything that morning. I’m like, it’s not going to happen. Because I had so many jobs that have been coming in, but then something went wrong. Something would always go wrong. When they finally called me with the numbers, the contracts, praise God. When I worked, it was so many epiphanies coming to me all at once while working on his show. I’m humbled, and I’m also grateful that I get to be not only this TV shows, but TV show host of OWN. Of Oprah’s network.

Have you met Oprah?

Not yet. I haven’t met Oprah yet, but I know we’re going to cross paths soon. This is a whole stepping stone, stepping into the hosting world. Now I’ve hosted a lot of things, but I’ve always had somebody next to me doing it with me. Never had I had to hold something on my own, so I’m excited for the world to see this new thing. I get to be authentically me. I didn’t have to read a script or become a character, it’s just me.

Was that pressure, having you host an entire show?

Yes and no. Yes because I really didn’t know what to expect. Listen, I was really set on this notion of I’m an actress. I want to be taken seriously as a serious actress. We don’t convert over to reality TV. A lot of us actors, we despise reality TV. But this didn’t feel like one of those shows. It’s almost like therapy. It’s healthy. [laughs]

What was your favorite moment in filming?

See, I don’t want to give it away. [laughs] I’ma just say I had to set the record straight.

I had to really set the record straight with an individual, but that’s about it. That’s all I’ma say.

How important is in person connection versus virtual?

It’s so important. It’s a lifestyle. A lot of the things we do is built off connections. A lot of the people we meet is built off connections. I always tell people: when you connect yourself to the source, you possess a certain type of light. You possess a certain type of gift. You just become. But the moment you disconnect from the source, you’re lifeless. Connecting with people is so important. You run into the right person, they’ll be able to pour into you, or give you an experience that nobody may have ever given you before. Connection is so important.

Anything else we can look forward to?

Just new music. I got something else, I can’t really talk about it right now, but some stuff is in the works. Just stay tuned.

 

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