In her JET Cover story, Tracee Ellis Ross also reflects back on the popular run of ‘Girlfriends,’ gives the secret to her bombshell body and dances around the subject of dating record executive Bu Thiam, brother of rapper Akon.

On Moving on from the show ‘Girlfriends’
I felt like we really did it. And I was always so present and aware of what a gift it was. I don’t think you realize when you’re in the grind, how in the grind you really are. I felt like a basketball player retiring from the NBA.

I still laugh out loud as if I’ve never seen it before. The other day I was watching an episode and I tweeted Jill [Marie Jones] and Persia [White] and said, “We were amazing!”

On playing the character of a therapist on ‘Reed Between The Lines’
The world of self-help and self-awareness has always been of great interests to me. I welcomed the opportunity to introduce, through comedy, this idea of therapy, which has been this ‘hush hush’ thing in our culture.”

On how she spent her down time during her three year break
I had the freedom to go on extended vacations with my family. I got to sit and luxuriate on the phone with my girlfriends. I got to do all the other things that fill my will.

On working out
I’m turning 39 this month and when they say it takes more to get muscle when you get older, that’s no joke. I was like, ‘I need to go back to TV with a bang.’”

On her trainer Tracy Anderson
At first I was like hell no. It was too expensive, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna don’t have the same shape as me. But I gave it a try and my body started snapping into place immediately. While doing the exercises, I feel sexy, I feel beautiful, I am laughing my ass off and I have a ball. I was not a girl who liked to show my upper thighs. I liked a skirt that went right to the knee. But let me tell you, I’m so happy in a short skirt now.

On her hair
I have so much hair it’s extraordinary. You could take half of the hair on my head and cover another person’s head. I’m Diana Ross’ child…big hair is what I come from-she has learned one important lesion in natural management: “You gotta respect the curls.” I work for them. I can’t tell them what to do.

On her personal life and dating Bu Thiam rumors rumors
Even though I come from a very public family, I am a very private person. I have a great life. The key for me is to continue to take the risks and feel leaps toward who I want to be, to do what makes me feel joyful and connected so that I get to love and live fully