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Vanessa Williams on being a Diva

Hey Donald Trump: Vanessa Williams wants to know what’s going down with you and Melania.“The first thing I’d be asking is how are relations with Donald and Melania? And why is she always slapping his hand away?” says musician, actor and former Miss America Williams (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) in an interview in Toronto.That’s not Williams personally, of course. It’s what she would ask the American president as her alter ego Maxine Robinson on the fictional talk show “The Lunch Hour.”Williams plays a Barbara Walters-type figure and creator of a daytime show similar to The View in the new satirical comedyDaytime Divas, airing Mondays at 10 p.m. on Bravo Canada.“I’d be playing that tape over and over,” laughs Williams. Video of the first lady batting away the hand of her husband several times on their first foreign excursion this year has raised questions as to whether their relationship is on the rocks. And Williams seems to have honed the right daytime talk show instincts.Article Continued BelowDaytime Divas, created by controversial former View host Star Jones and produced by schlockey pop culture channel VH1 is something of a summer surprise. It’s over the top and cheesy, yes, but it’s also good satire of a medium that is ripe for some deflation.As Lifetime’s UnREAL is to The Bachelor, Daytime Divas is to The View. The scalpel isn’t as fine or on point as UnREAL and, arguably, it could have been more topical. But, largely because of Williams, it remains good if not groundbreaking entertainment.“The true diva in this setting is really Star Jones. She wrote it, kind of infusing the character with the personality of a storied journalist like a Barbara Walters, and then there is Star’s sense of elegance and what the show strives for. It’s really an infusion,” says Williams of Maxine.

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