Mental health issues, abuse, control and fear, they all established the foundation for the drama airing on Lifetime Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 8:PM/EST
ABOUT DEATH SAVED MY LIFE
On the surface it seems Jade (Meagan Good) has it all, a successful marketing career, a husband admired and respected in the community, and a young daughter (Paris Johnson) they both dote on. But behind closed doors, her life is far from idyllic. Her husband Ed (Chiké Okonkwo) is a controlling man who is physically and psychologically abusive. When Jade decides to leave Ed, he tells her "If I can't have you, nobody will," a threat which becomes very real when she discovers he has hired someone to kill her. Knowing no one will believe her, Jade realizes the only way to escape Ed is to make him believe the hitman completed the job and that she is dead. La’Myia Good plays Jade’s sister Leigh. Death Saved My Life is produced by Jarrett Creative. Executive producers are Julie Insogna Jarrett, Seth Jarrett and Meagan Good. Seth Jarrett directs from a script written by Barbara Kymlicka.
The movie is produced by Jarrett Creative. Executive producers are Julie Insogna Jarrett, Seth Jarrett and Meagan Good. Seth Jarrett directs from a script written by Barbara Kymlicka. The film will air as part of Lifetime’s popular Ripped from the Headlines slate."
In an opening scene, Jade is slipping into a dress that she's wearing to a gala. She models it for a second while rubbing her hands up and down her sides, flattening it to make sure that it accentuates her curves appropriately.
Jade doesn’t notice anything out of the ordinary until she turns and faces the mirror, where she's mortified and taken aback at the final view. The bedazzling sequin dress is embellished with large holes. Her husband Ed, emerges after observing her. He seems remorseful when he says, “Too bad.” Jade said it's okay, and she’d wear an older dress from their anniversary party. Ed says in a more wicked tone that she would’ve looked like wh**e if she would’ve chosen the former dress.
The couple go from being explicably happy, to downright unstable with Ed displaying mannerisms that are apprehensible and terrifying. In the movie, Jade, her sister, and Ed, all have mental issues, bipolar, depression and malignant narcist, which is a melting pot of characteristics.
Jade suffers from depression... "From the moment I tackled this script," Megan Good says, "I loved that it tackled all three of these issues. I don't know how Chiké feels about that, but I feel it's a little mental health as well. I think its something that we don't talk about enough, and we don't have enough dialogue around, especially in the black community. I loved how we deal with that and in the same breath, I loved how we start off with a story, with a woman who is very broken, who doesn't see her worth, who doesn't really see her value, who's in a situation. She almost feels there is no other choice in her life. Throughout the course of the movie as she continues to get stronger, and finally takes that step, by the end of the movie she gets to a place where she's finally empowered even though she was terrified."
Megan hopes that the movie empowers, inspires, invokes hope and frees some people who may be going through the same traumas as Jade.
"This movies starts at a time where I had been gone for 10-years," La'Myia Good talks about her character Lee. "I had bipolar disorder and I spent many years away. So, this is like a reconciliation of the sisters coming together and it just really shows the bond and the strength of sisterhood; and through time and space, that bond can see you through. I thought that was really profound, the circumstances they were in to the point of their lives that we found them in, when we entered the story. Lee was just trying to make sure her sister knew that she was there for her, (and) she's not going to abandon her. She's not going to leave her and through this process, they were able to rekindle their relationship and their bond. I thought that was unique as well, teaching forgiveness and not taking those relationships for granted." La'Miya wanted to show a different side of mental health through her character, to humanize it so that people can get the help they need.
Chiké Okonkwo said that it was important for him to step up and tell Jades story-- he also heard great things about Megan Good, and he looked forward to working with her.
"It's important that we had the opportunity to speak about these things," says Okonkwo." "Obviously, Ed has a lot of issues. As Megan alluded to earlier, a lot of his issues have to do with his trauma, and his past hurts, but none of it excuses the lengths that he puts Jade through this terrible situation. I wanted to really lean into the truth of it. I spoke with a clinical psychiatrist beforehand and got a bit of a bead on what it meant to be a malignant narcist and how that can be very controlling and sometimes overtly loving but most of the time it could be very violent and dark. It's a tough space to be in, but as an actor, it's a really good challenge."