Geoffrey Owens on His Life-Changing Photo, Plus: How the Cosby Scandal Affected Him
Actor Geoffrey Owens is back in Hollywood!
“Extra’s” Tanika Ray spoke with the former “The Cosby Show” actor, who made headlines after being shamed for working at a Trader Joe’s.
Owens told Tanika he actually knew the photo — taken by a shocked fan who has since expressed remorse for the embarrassment it caused him — was going to come out. "I had time to brace myself," he said, "but even bracing myself didn’t work. When it came out, it was worse than I ever thought it would be.”
"That only lasted such short time before all the good stuff started happening," he continued.
As for his family’s response to the photo, Geoffrey revealed, “They were pretty shocked, pretty horrified… It was painful, but short-lived.”
Owens only had positive things to say about his former employer and why he chose to work there between acting gigs. He said, “Trader Joe’s is a great place. It’s a great place to shop, a great place to work. I chose it because it did have that nice feeling, that great ethos about it. I felt like it might be a place, and I was right, that would give me some flexibility to try and stay in the business, and I actually got about four or five TV gigs while I was working there the 15 months.”
Of what he has learned about this experience, the 57-year-old commented, “It taught me that I was right to hang in there, I was right to have faith. There were times I wanted to quit the job, not because it was a bad job, just because the strangeness of being that guy, that celebrit- recognized guy in a job like that… If I had quit, this whole thing would not have happened."
After his photo surfaced, Tyler Perry was the first to offer Owens a role, in his OWN series, “The Haves and the Have Nots.” He raved, “It was a very bold cool thing Tyler Perry did… I have already done that work, it’s in the can, it went really well, it was great working with him.”
Owens is also working on the film "Fatale” with Hilary Swank. He emphasized, “I am hoping that the acting stuff will continue, but hey, I would go back to Trader Joe’s if I have to.”
Geoffrey also opened up about how he was affected by the downfall of Bill Cosby and reruns of “The Cosby Show” being taken off the air. He noted, “I got a certain amount of residuals… When the show was pulled, that ended, so that didn’t help, that was one of the things that contributed to me feeling like I had to take any job to make ends meet.”
Cosby is now serving time for sexual assault. Owens commented, “Emotionally, I just feel sad for everyone involved.”