Written by | Ray Cornelius
I had the pleasure of attending a private viewing party for TV One’s original movie, “When Love Kills” Monday night at Atlanta’s League Tavern (formerly T.I.‘s Scales 925 restaurant). The event was hosted by the film’s writer and executive producer Cas Sigers-Beedles along with her Nina Holiday Entertainment business partner and actress Terri J. Vaughn.
“When Love Kills” tells the tragic story of Falicia Blakely (Niatia “Lil’ Mama” Kirkland), a teen mom turned exotic dancer who attracted the attention of a local pimp and predator named Big Dino (Lance Gross). His empty promises of a life together turned Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games and she was forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. The project was directed by “Empire” actress Tasha Smith and also starred Tami Roman, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Big Freedia, Tiffany Black and Lil’ Zane.
It took Sigers-Beedles over a decade to bring this story to light. However, seeing the actors on the set last November made her realize it was worth the wait. “When I was on set and saw Lil’ Mama’s magic and Tasha’s magic and Lance’s magic, I realized I was just 10 years ahead! This truly was Tasha’s movie to make and it was Niatia’s role to play. Everything is always in its timing and I am just so happy to tell this story.”
Siger-Beedles first became acquainted with Blakely’s tragic story through a Creative Loafing article. So she reached out to Blakely’s attorney and talked to her about the case and was taken aback at how much she loved this man and how she didn’t see fault in him. She later shared the story with Vaughn and the two eventually took it to TV One.
Blakely was a teenager when her life was transformed by Big Dino and is still serving time for the murders she committed. She is now in her 30s and mentors young girls through the prison system.
Atlanta notables in attendance included “Greenleaf” actors Lamman Rucker and T.C. Carson, singer-songwriter B. Slade, actresses Brittany Inge and Naomi Lavette, British actor Zimzon Lelo, Tiphanie Watson from the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment + book author and motivational speaker Lakara Foster.
Check out more photos below:
Naomi Lavette + Alan Favors
Terri J. Vaughn + Cas Sigers-Beedles + Zimzon Lelo
Tiphanie Watson + guest
Will Goldsborough + Crystal
T.C. Carson + B. Slade + Lamman Rucker
Lakara Foster + guest
That’s all folks!
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com