BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP
I had the opportunity to dial into a teleconference with the cast of “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, premiering August 28 at 9 pm. This film will join True Crime Mondays on TV ONE.
ABOUT WHEN LOVE KILLS: THE FALICIA BLAKELY:
Inspired by an episode of TV One’s hit original series, For My Man, an original film was created based on the tragic story of Falicia Blakely. Falicia Blakely, a teen mom from Atlanta who finds herself rolling in the fast lane. When she finds herself becoming a dancer at a local strip club, she attracts the attention of local pimp and bad boy, Dino. His smooth talking and empty promises of a life together with Falicia turns her into an accessory in his crimes. She is forced to prove her love for him at the expense of others.
This film is the feature film directorial debut for Tasha Smith and stars Niatia “Lil Mama” Kirkland, Lance Gross, and Tami Roman. It guest stars Big Freedia, Lil Zane, and Floyd Mayweather.
LIL MAMA (Falicia Blakely)
“I was trying to play the best friend but was asked to come in and play Falicia. This was definitely a risk. This film shows how desperate young women are and how they will do things for love. They’re in need of a voice and someone to reach out and help them. I hope to minister to them through acting and I know I was chosen to do this role for a reason. Out of everything that I auditioned for during that season, this was the only role that I got.”
“I spoke to my dad about taking on this role, and he was very supportive and told me how important it was to play this role. This film is important now. It will help young women who don’t have a mother or father. Falicia had a mom, but she wasn’t really there. She wasn’t there to raise, uplift, or show her the way.”
“I pulled from the truth of women all around the world who have been victims and not known that they were victims of society. This is what’s so amazing about acting – allowing myself to be as vulnerable as I would be in that moment, just to actually live through the character and become Falicia. I want to do her justice, and so I tapped into truth to tell her story.”
LANCE GROSS (Dino)
“In playing Dino, a modern-day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde who uses Falicia’s desire to be loved for his gain. This is a role nobody’s ever seen me in – they’re used to me being the nice guy. I want the audience to know that you really have to be conscious of the decisions that you make because there are consequences that come along with it.”
TAMI ROMAN (Stacey, Falicia’s alcoholic mother)
Tami had to reflect back into her own relationship with her mother as a teenager to tap into how to play this character.
“At the age of 13 [my mother] sent me to live with my grandmother. By 15 she came to get me, and at that point, we became best friends because she had finally gotten herself together. And I think that is where I tried to become my mom [in this role].”
TASHA SMITH (Director)
“My goal was to challenge each actor to dig deep and to relate to their character while creating a suspenseful, high-stakes drama on screen. I feel like it’s my calling to inspire other actors to pursue their purpose in the heart, and that’s why to have the opportunity to direct and to work with actors on that level – I love it. I’m in heaven,”
She brought a heart and humanity to this character. Tasha was once a stripper in Camden, NJ and could relate to Falicia Blakely.
“People don’t understand the struggles of people and what they go through. We need to have empathy for the Falicia Blakely’s of the world.”
This was a riveting movie that will speak to women and show them that they don’t have to live that life and there is more on the other side. You will feel for the Falicia Blakely’s of the world and understand how love is a powerful drug after watching this movie.
Make sure you tune into When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story on August 28 at 9 pm on TV ONE.