Teyonah Parris stars in the upcoming TV One Original Movie “The Miki Howard Story” (working title), which is being directed by Christine Swanson. Parris plays the R&B/Jazz singer and actress who enjoyed mainstream success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with a string of top 10 hits including “Come Share My Love,” “Baby, Be Mine,” “Love Under New Management,” “Ain’t Nobody Like You” and others.
The film, which is produced by Carl Craig and Eric Tomosunas and Rob Robinson of Swirl Films, will cover 30+ years of Howard’s life, both professional and personal trials and triumphs, including her relationships with the men, like Gerald LeVert, who played instrumental roles in her life.
Joining Parris in front of the camera is Darius McCrary as Gerald Levert, Gary Dourdan as Augie Johnson, LisaRaye is Sylvia Rhone, Amari Cheatom as Eddie Phelps and Vanessa Bell Calloway as Josephine Howard.
Swanson is directing from a script written by Rhonda Baraka, which is based on a yet to be released biography by Miki Howard.
“I first met Miki Howard when I was hired to direct the film. As I approached the rewrite for the film, I spent over 50 hours with Miki to get a sense of her and her story,” said Swanson, who’s an NAACP Image Award nominee this year in the Outstanding Directing – Motion Picture (Television) category for a 2015 TV One telepic, “For the Love of Ruth.”
She adds about telling Howard’s story on film, “I knew then that what we were embarking upon was going to be epic in terms of storytelling, nuance and passion. Like myself, Miki Howard is a passionate individual who has a love for life. [Her] music was the backdrop to my youth and now I get to translate her story on screen. What a privilege. We hit it off right away and I knew my whole life was in preparation to tell this story at this time. We are both passionate artists, caring mothers, strong women and perhaps both a little crazy in all the right and some wrong ways!”
Production is currently wrapping up in Savannah, GA as post-production begins, with a June 2016 premiere on TV One eyed.