If you didn’t already know who Paula Patton was from such films as “Idlewild” and “Precious” and the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she probably caught your attention at the BET Awards on Sunday when she cracked a dick joke onstage while presenting an award with her “Baggage Claim” co-stars. She appeared to be having just a bit too much fun that evening — beginning with her red carpet walk with husband Robin Thicke. Twitter had some theories: that she was drunk or high or both. Whatever the reason, we’re glad she enjoyed herself. But Paula Patton is so much more than a good dick joke. After the jump, what you should know about the actress.
1. Before she was an actress, Paula worked in documentaries. The magna cum laude USC film school grad worked for PBS and was a segments producer for “Medical Diaries” airing on Discovery Health Channel before deciding that she wanted to be in front of the camera. She decided to take some acting lessons and by the age of 30, she landed her first major role in the movie “Hitch.” She proved that it’s never too late to switch gears in your career. And when she’s not acting, she’s doing a little bit of singing on the side. You might have heard her voice on Usher’s album Confessions or on his song “Can U Handle It?” which was co-written by her husband Robin Thicke.
2. The Los Angeles native met her husband Robin Thicke when she was 15 and he was 14. And he serenaded her at a teen night club! The two dated throughout high school and college but didn’t get married until 2005, when she was 30 and he was 29. Talk about a long courtship. Robin attributes their long-term relationship success to mutual respect. “The No. 1 thing is that any real relationship starts with respect. You have to respect that person, and that way you’ll listen to them and you’ll care about what they’re saying,” he told Essence.
Paula seemed to put this into practice with the release of his song “Blurred Lines” with what some called “rapey” lyrics and racy video to match. “Some of it was my wife’s idea. My wife is an artist first and wife second. So she’s my creative partner and muse. She was excited about it right away and loved the video and wanted to watch it like 10 times, then she would jump on my bones,” he told NOW. Hey whatever works for you. The other thing that gets Paula off? Reading.Robin likes to read books like Marcel Proust’s In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. to Paula when they’re on vacay together. “I read to her,” Thicke, told People. “She likes me to do that when we’re on vacation. She’ll sit next to me and I just read to her.” That would certainly win me over!
3. She’s a mom! In October of 2009, Paula’s mother-in-law Gloria Loring spilled the beans that the couple were expecting their first child on her Facebook page. Oh Facebook. They gave birth to son Julian Fuego Thicke on April 6, 2010. On the BET show “106 & Park,” Paula said the secret to making marriage and motherhood work is “compromise” and lots of laughter.
4. Paula hasn’t been afraid to talk openly about race. “I find [the term biracial] offensive,” she said in an interview with Women’s Health. “It’s a way for people to separate themselves from African-Americans … a way of saying ‘I’m better than that … I’m black because that’s the way the world sees me. People aren’t calling Barack Obama biracial. Most people think there’s a black president….People judged me because I was light-skinned. [They'd assume] I didn’t want to be part of the black race.”
5. You’ll get to see plenty more of Paula on the big screen in the next couple of years. You can look for her in the upcoming rom coms “Baggage Claim,” “About Last Night” and the action flick “Mission Impossible 5.” co-starring Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner.