Tamala Jones (The Brothers, Two Can Play that Game, and Booty Call),” DomiNique Perry (Insecure), and Wayne "Bone Crusher" Hardnett (Rapper) are seasoned entertainers who aren’t strangers to theatrical debuts. Although experienced in their line of work, nothing really prepared them for their damming roles in TV ONE True-Crime movie, Deadly Dispatch.
Wrapping up the final installment of TV One’s chilling slate of LOVE, LIES AND MURDER the network is premiering the spellbinding film Sunday, July 28 at 8 p.m. ET/7C, followed by an encore presentation at 10 p.m.
DEADLY DISPATCH stars Tamala Jones (Castle), DomiNque Perry (Insecure) and Rapper Bone Crusher (ATL). The film chronicles the tragic murder of Shawn (Bone Crusher), a well-liked owner of a struggling taxi company. Tiffany (Jones) is a local salon owner and Shawn's longtime, high-school best friend who becomes intertwined in the puzzling circumstances surrounding his death. Unsatisfied with the police's classification of the case being a "robbery gone wrong," Tiffany becomes suspicious of Shawn's grieving widow Amber (Perry). Motivated to find out what really happened to her friend that fateful day, Tiffany embarks on a quest that will not only endanger her strained marriage, but her life as well. Will she be able to come to terms with a deep secret shared between her and Shawn while seeking justice?
DEADLY DISPATCH is written by Sadé Sellers and directed by Morenike Joela, with casting provided by Leah Daniels Butler and George Pierre as casting director. Swirl Films produced the film for TV One, with Eric Tomosunas serving as executive producer and James Seppelfrick, Darien Baldwin and Keith Neal as producers. For TV One, Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge-of-Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Brigitte McCray is Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Production.
According to DomiNique, it was fun working on set… “It was amazing. I know for me, it was fun working with Tamala. I loved working with Bone, and the casting crew was great—and, the director. I had a good experience. It was a fun moment. I definitely laughed a lot I definitely would love to meet up with them again.”
“I was a little mood swinger on that,” said Tamala. “I had fun, but I had some intense scenes and it looked like I had turret [syndrome] at one point. I was laughing one minute and the next I was crying and shouting out some stuff, but I had a good time.”
“I had a blast,” said Bone Crusher. “It was great seeing Tam. I haven’t seen Tam in many years and to me, Dominique was a great experience. She’s a professional in what she does and Tam is a professional in what she does. We did the running man [dance] off camera,” he joked.
The actors agree that they didn’t really prepare for their characters; they wanted to go into the studio with fresh angles.
DomiNique, who’s accustomed to playing the safe roles, said that she felt challenged in her character… “It was stretching for me the entire time. I don’t want to tell the movie because Amber’s character evolved into something else. I think many scenes for me were challenging and I had to challenge myself. Even the crying, and stuff like that, it had to take me there because I never had a chance to portray a character that had to be emotional enough to cry. It was a stretch for me there, and a lot of scenes you will see that.”
Tamala Jones, who’s played a wide range of personalities [Thinking back to her portrayal of Sheila West on 2001 movie The Brothers], has always been a forceful spirit. So, that part wasn’t difficult at all. “I didn’t really have much of a stretch, because Tiffany’s loyalty to her friend. I’m like that with my friend. I’m a little hostile when it comes to my friends. If they call me and tell me something happened, I’m on my way,” she laughed. “Tiffany is good. The stretch part for her character came because she was so relentless on trying to find out what happened, and showing up and acting crazy. I don’t do those things,” Tamala clarified that there is levels to her turn-up.
“I don’t know if it was a stretch for me,” Bone Crusher replied.
The story is different from what we normally see in the news or on television. Typically, it’s a man who's abusing a woman. You don't see women masterminding a whole murder. Much less, a conspiracy of this magnitude.
“You know what surprised me period,” exclaimed Tamala. “I know this is going to sound racist and I don’t meant for it to sound like that, but I didn’t think black people did stuff like this, that this was a black couple that this happened to…”
“Love can make you do some crazy things, dispelled DomiNique. “I have some people who were in love, and they just went off, and all out of line. It’s just a chemical imbalance for me that make you do this out of jealousy, rage and everything. It wasn’t as surprising for me, but I fully agree Tam. It’s an epidemic now. They [Blacks] are doing it. Love will make you do some crazy things."
“I know for a fact that even with what Tam and DomiNique said— At first, I was younger or whatever. Even now, to know that this is happening in our community is like fable talk. I didn’t think that could happen. There is no way that could happen in our community. That’s something that other people do,” Bone Crusher, spoke in a disappointed tone, convinced that blacks and black women are stronger willed than that. “We don’t do that. I know that mental health is rabid in our community right now, and narcissism with social media, and all these things going on. It’s becoming more prevalent in our community more than we can imagine. I think that some of these things are really happening, but because we didn’t get a chance to actually see them in our face all the time, it never pertained to us. So, now, that it’s accessibility to information, we are starting to see that our people are in a space where we have to start adjusting our thinking and getting our people in the position to know that now is the time. The thing with TV One is amazing because it’s showing, now it’s time for us to start bringing out these issues on how we can become better physically and mentally in our community until we make it a stronger community,” Bone Crusher finished addressing the typecast that black women don’t commit murder.
TV One went beyond to bring these different narrations to the forefront. The reason that the storyline resonates so much with viewers is that this actually happened to real people.
“I think it is because it’s a true story.” Tamala shared. “These things really did happen, and you know somebody that this happened to, or you heard about it. Maybe, you feel like you’re in a situation now that could possibly like that. I think, because it’s real and it’s true and it did happen, it makes people feel more familiarized. Then, they also want to know justice. They want to see where the justice happened. So, that’s the part I think they want more from.”
“I agree everything with what Tam said. Sometimes we are going through things like that whether it’s women or men,” says DomiNique, “and, to see that people on television are portraying these stories and they’re true, it’s letting you know that you are not alone. These [scenarios] are the things you need to look for or this can happen. This can happen if you don’t hurry up and get out, or seek counseling or some type of healing. I think that’s the reason that it’s really becoming an epidemic with these types of stories. As Tam said, “We do want to see justice. We want to see who prevails. We want to know if it’s a happy ending."
“I definitely concur with all that,” Bone Crusher spoke. "People like drama. They like true stories. They like reality television. It’s movie-based, reality-television, with a tragic ending to all these stories. The sad part about all this and the enlightening part about all this is that, it’s now bringing light to some things that need to be talked about in our community. I always talk about that. It’s serious. It’s something that needs to be done to help out our people.”