Written by | Ray Cornelius
I had the extreme pleasure Friday night of getting a behind-the-scenes look at TV One’s upcoming made for television movie, “Hit A Lick.” The project is the network’s first original film inspired by their popular crime series “For My Man” and is also the directorial debut for “Empire” actress Tasha Smith.
“Hit A Lick” tells the tragic story of Falicia Blakely, a teen mom who grows up in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, 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.
“Hit A Lick” features celebrated hip hop star and actress Lil Mama as Falicia, “Temptation” star Lance Gross as Dino, “Basketball Wives” starlet Tami Roman as Falicia’s alcoholic mother, Floyd Mayweather Jr. as Punch, a loud and cocky club owner from Miami, Tiffany Black as Falicia’s “road dog” and stripper friend, Pumpkin, Walter Fauntleroy as “Q” Falicia’s regular customer-turned-friend, Big Freedia as “Tam” neighborhood friend and confidante to Falicia’s mother and Lil Zane as DJ Pierre. The film is being shot exclusively in Atlanta, GA and is set in the late 90s/early 2000s.
Keith Neal, Tasha Smith and Cas Siger-Beedles
The “Hit A Lick” screenplay is executive produced and written by industry veteran and my buddy, Cas Siger-Beedles, who previously wrote and executive produced for TV One’s “Welcome to the Family” and “Girlfriends Getaway 1&2.” It is also produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal and James Sepplefrick of Swirl Films.
During the Q&A portion of the evening, Smith revealed that she was drawn to Falicia’s story because of her own history as an exotic dancer. She also said that she is directing the film in a “compassionate and non-judgemental way” that Falicia’s situation may serve as a lesson for the film’s female viewers.
Tasha Smith discussing why she was attracted to this story
“I have so much compassion for this girl. To be able to work with a talent such as Lil Mama and help bring this story to life in a way that is full of compassion and passion without any judgement is a blessing. Some people think that for a young girl to end up doing this was stupid and they want to judge her instead of really understanding her position. But we’re telling her story in a way that may help other young girls. I also have deep, deep love for Falicia and I hope that she’s proud of the way we told her story,” said Smith to Atlanta press.
Stay tuned for more exclusive content featuring Smith and the cast of “Hit A Lick” as well as the screenwriter Cas Siger-Beedles on a future episode of my radio show, “UPFRONT” Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. In the meantime, check out more photos below from last night’s media event:
Swirl Film’s James Sepplefrick
“Hit A Lick” is Lil Mama‘s first time as the lead actress in a television project
Lance Gross admits that playing Dino has been a challenge
Tasha Smith with TV One’s Lori Hall and Tosha Whitten Griggs
Uh Oh! Dino‘s up to somethin’
Jubilee Magazine’s Kim Ford with Lil Mama and Tasha Smith
Tiffany Black stars as Pumpkin
“Hit A Lick” debuts on TV One in 2017!
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com