By KIA MORGAN SMITH
Nzingha Stewart will see the fruits of her labor come to fruition when the Lifetime movie “With This Ring” premieres.
We’re not saying it will be easy for the director to watch it since she examines all of her projects closely “with a critical eye as most directors do.” But coming away from the final cut, this she knows for sure: “I do feel really good about this movie.”
Nzingha has taken a special liking to this project.
Aside from directing the flick, Nzingha adapted the screenplay from the best-selling novel, “The Vow.” She and Gabrielle Union brought the project to Sheila Ducksworth and Tracey Edmonds who signed on as executive producers.
“Sheila and Tracey really fell in love with it and they took it to Lifetime,” she explains.
“I thought this could be really fun. I do like these women (the characters) so much I want to hang out with them, and that’s always how I feel like when I’m on to something; when I like the characters.”
The characters affection and love for each other oozes from the book’s pages. That kind of friendship is infectious. Nzingha and actress Gabrielle Union, the producer on the project, met and hit things off famously and became real life BFF’s while trying to get the script picked up.
“In a sense, With This Ring is like the black ‘Sex and the City,’” Nzingha says.
The three single ladies who light up the screen do an incredible job of bringing the story to life. Regina Hall, Jill Scott and Eve Jeffers Cooper, couture clothes and man problems are all served up on a platter.
And of those women, Nzingha said she hopes this is a banner year for Regina whose on-screen antics was really a comedic cornerstone of the movie.
“She’s so gifted as a comedian, people never give her the props she deserves. She’s so, so, so funny. I really hope this is a huge year for her,” she says.
Movies that are written by, produced by, directed by, and starring black women usually don’t see the light of day but Nzingha is glad this one did.
“There was a huge obstacle of them (Lifetime) saying ‘thank you, but no thank you.’ They (Lifetime) changed and stopped and wanted to produce ‘ripped from the headlines’ movies so we were thinking like it wasn’t going to happen,” she explains.
“And every once in a while I kept checking in with the producers and eventually Lifetime just came back to us and said ‘we’re thinking about that script. And we always really liked it.’ They bought the script and we got excited and we were like, ‘hooray we’re making a movie!’”
Part of the passion came from the fact that Nzingha can relate to the struggles of the women in the movie.
“I do see a lot of black women who are WAITING to be happy and really do think if I get this career achievement, I’ll be happy then. Or I can buy a house and I’ll be happy then and most frequently when I get married or have a good relationship, I’ll be happy then,” she says.
“I really hope when they watch this they get the underlying theme – DON’T WAIT! Because for one it’s a numbers game and not everybody gets married and what if that doesn’t happen for you? Are you just going to decide you don’t get to be happy in this lifetime? I want them to see the movie and decide from that moment, I’m going to be happy NOW.”
Now that “With This Ring” is done, she’s already focused on her next project. She’s told CocoaFab exclusively that John Legend will produce the next project she’s directing for HARPO and describes it as being “dramatic in nature, but has some comedic elements.”
We can’t wait to find out more!
“With This Ring” premieres January 24th at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
“With This Ring Director Nzingha Stewart On Sisterhood & Her Top-Secret Project” appeared originally on Cocoafab.com. It was reprinted with permission.