Exclusive: Lil Mama, Tami Roman and Lance Gross Talk ‘When Love Kills’

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Exclusive: Lil Mama, Tami Roman and Lance Gross Talk ‘When Love Kills’
Posted by Wilson Morales

August 28, 2017

Premiering on Monday, August 28 at 9 p.m., the film is the TV One’s first original movie inspired by an episode of TV One’s original series, For My Man.

When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story marks the feature-length directorial debut for Tasha Smith (For Better Or Worse, Empire) and stars Lil Mama, Lance Gross, Tami Roman, Big Freedia, Lil Zane, and Floyd Mayweather

Based on a gripping true story, the film tells the tragic story of Falicia Blakely, a teen mom who grows up in the fast-lane. At odds with her mom ( played by “Basketball Wives’” Tami Roman), she becomes an exotic dancer and she attracts the attention of local pimp and predator, Dino. His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games; and she’s forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives.

For Lil Mama, this is her first lead role since she played Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, in the VH1 bio film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. Gross has been acting for a minute but the character he’s playing is a new range for the Oakland, an as for Roman, who best known on TV for her stints of a few reality series, the film represents her comeback to the world of scripted projects. She last appeared in an episode of CBS’ Extant, which starred Halle Berry.

Earlier this summer at the American Black Film Festival, Blackfilm.com spoke with Lil Mama, Lance Gross and Tami Roman on their experience working on ‘When Love Kills.’

Can you talk about getting into character?

Lil Mama: Theresa were so many layers to get into this character for me to talk about. Tami brought up something interesting recently and she said that the chemistry between my character and other characters, specifically the men and my mother (played by Tami), I allowed myself to be vulnerable. As I watched the film, I was able to see how weak and vulnerable I was with (Lance’s character) and I was in a space where I was waiting for his call, but with my friend I would speak up more and have more energy where I can run the show a little bit. I may fight my mom back but I would try that with him. Those characteristics show up in a lot of people’s lives. We are different people depending on who we are with. It brings out a different part of us. Speaking for myself, that happens with me. If I’m talking to my dad or my brother, my energy will for sure change. I allowed myself to be vulnerable for that and allowed myself to be vulnerable to show my body and be comfortable with my sexuality and things like that.

Tami Roman: She was amazing in this movie. We had a conversation where she was like, “I’m not used to people seeing me like that, and Dino (Lance’s character) is doing all things to me.” I told her, “Girl! Lil Mama the musician no. I understand where you are coming from, but the actress? You’re killing things right now! You just have to step into that.” I told her to embrace this moment she totally killed in this movie because she did everything she needed to do. With the chemistry between her and Dino, people will lover performance.

Tami, can you talk coming back to the world of feature film and getting into character?

Tami Roman: It’s what I love the most in the world. A lot of people will talk about my reality TV work, but I’m acting through some of that stuff. I love the craft of acting and for me, being able to dig deep and find the emotion for whatever I have to play and give it a voice and give it mannerisms and all of this to bring it to life is very special to me. I don’t decredit myself or minimize what I have worked hard to do. I studied, I take the craft seriously and I put all into every role I’m ever given.

Lance, with Dino, the audience doesn’t know at first whether they should like him or not. Can you talk about play this Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde role?

Lance Gross: It was tough because there wasn’t a lot of information on Dino, this mysterious guy. I found myself just filling in the blanks for myself. I’m from Oakland and I lived in Las Vegas so I have a heavy network of people that know that life. I was reaching out to everyone I could and trying to get their mindset on their thoughts process. Dino was very driven. He had a goal and that was to use a pawn to get the money that he wanted to get himself out of that situation. I was following my scene objectives, to get her to trust me, to get her to love me. Hit this lick. It was fun. I had fun with it.

How was working with Tasha as a director?

Lil Mama: Working with Tasha was amazing. I met Tasha when I was 18 years old. I came to California to do a reality show, a dance competition show called America’s Best Dance Crew. When I was doing the show is met Tasha and she said, “Come to me, I can help you. I want you to explore acting and all of this stuff.” I was doing music and TV and I didn’t myself acting at that time but she was very open. The same person she is now, she was then. This came along, and Tasha and I were joined at the hip. She’s one of the most raw people I know and she will tell you like it is. Some people may not be built for that but I come from a family of that and I felt that she and Tami were my aunts. The guidance that I received from her as a director and as an acting coach, it was a win-win because I got paid for something I should have been paying for.



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