American Idol(R) Winner Fantasia Stars in the Lifetime Original Movie 'Life Is Not A Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story,' an Inspirational Drama About Overcoming Insurmountable Odds
Legendary Choreographer, Actress and Director Debbie Allen Set to Direct
Cast Includes Celebrated Actors Loretta Devine ('Crash'), Viola Davis
('Traffic') and Kadeem Hardison ('A Different World')
LOS ANGELES, May 5 -- Principal photography begins this
month in New Orleans, Louisiana on the Lifetime Original Movie "LIFE IS NOT
A FAIRY TALE: THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY," (working title). The telefilm is
inspired by the true story of Fantasia Barrino, a teenage single mother who
overcame poverty, sexual abuse and illiteracy by using her incredible voice
to rise to national prominence as the winner of American Idol(R).
Grammy(R)-nominated, platinum-selling recording artist Fantasia will grace
the title role, playing herself in the movie.
Prolific actress Loretta Devine ("Dreamgirls," "Crash," "Boston
Public," "Waiting to Exhale") has been cast as Fantasia's grandmother,
Addie Collins and Tony(R) Award winner Viola Davis ("Traffic," "Get Rich or
Die Tryin'," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") stars as Fantasia's
mother, Diane Barrino. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Kadeem Hardison
("A Different World," "Biker Boyz") in the role of Fantasia's father, JoJo
Barrino and newcomer Jamia Simone Nash ("My Wife and Kids") who plays the
young Fantasia. Acclaimed Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R)-winning
choreographer, actress and director Debbie Allen ("Fame," "Girlfriends")
will direct the film, bringing her boundless experience from in front and
behind the stage and screen to this movie. "LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE: THE
FANTASIA BARRINO STORY" is set to premiere this August on Lifetime.
"Fantasia made America fall in love with her through her astounding
voice, but few people knew the obstacles she overcame to get where she is
now," said Trevor Walton, Senior Vice President, Lifetime Original Movies.
"She openly shares her inspirational story, and audiences will see that she
is not only a phenomenal singer, but also an impressive actress." Walton
continues, "Lead by the multi-talented director Debbie Allen, actors
Loretta Devine, Viola Davis and Kadeem Hardison are perfect matches in
bringing Fantasia's story to life."
Before she ever captured the hearts and votes of millions to become the
winner of American Idol(R), Fantasia Barrino had little to celebrate in her
life. As the youngest child of Diane and JoJo Barrino, Fantasia experienced
a complicated childhood, low self-esteem and eventually dropped out of
school in her early teens. With little education, money or chance of a real
future, Fantasia found herself in a loveless, abusive relationship that
left her pregnant at sixteen with no one to turn to for help.
The birth of her daughter Zion was the catalyst for Fantasia to rethink
her choices and redirect her life. With the encouragement of friends and
family, Fantasia took a leap of faith to audition for the hot television
show American Idol(R) and quickly won over the judges and audiences with
her sassy style and extraordinary voice. Her powerful singing made her an
instant sensation and changed her life forever.
"LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE: THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY" is produced by
Ostar Productions for Lifetime Television. Bill Haber ("Nightmares &
Dreamscapes," "Uprising") serves as the executive producer and Ellyn
Williams (Lifetime Television's "Hunger Point") co-executive produces. John
McMahon ("Nightmares & Dreamscapes") produces the movie and Keith Glover
wrote the teleplay based on the autobiography "Life is Not a Fairy Tale" by
Lifetime is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated
basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, Lifetime
is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information
programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and
their families. Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real
Women, Lifetime Home Entertainment and Lifetime Online are part of Lifetime
Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and
The Walt Disney Company.
SOURCE Lifetime Television
Web Site: http://www.lifetimetv.com