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Meet the Multifaceted and Multitalented Crystle Stewart

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She stars in a hit sitcom on OWN, is a former Miss USA, and competed in the Junior Olympics. Sugar Land Magazine catches up with this versatile and talented Missouri City native.

Written By Tonya Ellis

Sugar Land, TX News - Since 2011, Fort Bend native Crystle Stewart has entertained audiences as Leslie, a character seeking love on the Tyler Perry sitcom For Better or Worse. Now, the former Miss USA is getting ready to begin her own real-life happily ever after with a Houston wedding set for Aug. 9.

Stewart met Tyler Perry in a restaurant; soon she was auditioning for a role while finishing studies at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Tyler Perry Studios

 

Put a Ring on It
Labor Day weekend, Stewart’s fiancé, Belgian model Max Sebrechts, staged a romantic proposal with her family’s help. She had no idea the helicopter they’d chartered for a Houston tour would land in her neighborhood’s Missouri City cul-de-sac. In front of a group of family and friends, Sebrechts dropped to one knee and proposed. A stunned Stewart playfully got her friends’ approval before she said, “Yes.”

“I had no idea,” she gushes. “He always does things like that. I have the best fiancé, and he’ll be an even better husband.”

Planning a Wedding
Stewart met Sebrechts at a pre-Oscar party in Hollywood. Sebrechts, who speaks six languages, has a Master of Economics degree, and recently took a position as an economic advisor.

Details of the wedding are hush-hush. But it will be in Houston, and some “special guests” will be there says Stewart. “I really want it to be like a fairytale wedding,” she says. “It will be very formal, with long gowns and tuxedos.”

Max Sebrechts with Stewart after he proposed to her in Missouri City
Photo courtesy of Crystle Stewart

Meeting Tyler Perry
It was Sebrechts who encouraged Stewart to approach Tyler Perry. “We saw him at a restaurant in Beverly Hills,” the actress recalls. “I didn’t want to bother him because he was eating.”

Sebrechts went to Perry’s table and asked if he wanted to meet Miss USA 2008. “Tyler Perry said, ‘I’m doing a new television series. If you can act, I think you would be great for the role,’” shares Stewart.

She met with Perry’s casting director and got the part. The win was especially sweet because it was her first major acting job. She’d been completing her studies at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles through a Miss USA scholarship when she met Perry.

A Day on the Set
Stewart spends her days filming the show, which airs on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Typically, she arrives at the set a 6 a.m. and works until 4 or 5 p.m.

Asked if Perry ever behaves like the outrageous Madea character he created, Stewart says no. “He’s very reserved,” she says. “He’s a very giving, very nice person. It’s a pleasure and an honor for me to call him my boss and my friend.”

Stewart with the cast of Tyler Perry’s sitcom For Better or Worse. New episodes begin April 16 on OWN.
Photo courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Missouri City Girl
If you had told Stewart she’d become a Hollywood actress when she was a child, she would have dismissed it. “I was a tomboy as a little girl,” she says. “I would climb trees and play flag football with my brother and his friends. I always wanted to be a teacher, like my mother.” Stewart attended Elkins High School and ran track. “Most of my spare time went to training for the next track meet,” she says. “Off season, I would hang out with my girlfriends at First Colony Mall and go shopping.”

Strong Fort Bend Roots
Since those days, Stewart has earned many titles: Junior Olympics silver medalist in track, Miss Texas, and Miss USA. Stewart says her Christian background and her mother keep her grounded.

“When I first visited home after winning Miss USA, my mother asked me to clean the dishes. I gave her a surprised look, and she said, ‘Look, in New York you are Miss U-S-A; but here, drop the ‘a,’ and it is just ‘us.’ So clean the dishes!’”

Her schedule is hectic, but the actress makes it home to Fort Bend about every three months. “I still go to the same doctor, dentist, and hair stylist,” she says. “I’ve traveled the nation, and you can’t beat the professionalism, advanced medical technology, and creative talent Fort Bend has to offer.” SLM

TONYA ELLIS is an author who enjoys feature writing and spending time with her family.

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